The Value of One, The Power of Many

From start to finish

François Robert-Durand

From start to finish: handmade woven basket by 46 years old weaver Ncamzile Zwane 

This photo was taken in Lavumisa, Eswatini, on January 30th, 2020. I believe this photo fits into this theme because we can see, with this single photo, a lot of production steps – and the collective efforts beneath those – that lead to this beautiful basket. Ncamzile’s expression shows a mix of pride and humility that, in my opinion, says a lot about her and how she feels regarding her craft.

I also think the process of how the photo itself was taken reflects this theme. I might have been the one who found the right light, the right angle to take the photo, but Priya, the crossroader with whom I made the trip, was the one who suggested me to make Ncamzile hold one of her baskets. Thanks to Priya, Ncamzile’s portrait suddenly switched from an acceptable photo to a wonderful portrait that I’m still tremendously proud of today. Let alone Jane, our wonderful translator & friend, who helped us communicating with Ncamzile. So, yes I took the photo, but I didn’t do it alone.

The value of one, the power of many. Yes, this photo definitely represents it, both in its content and in the process of taking it.

Eswatini, 2020

Check out more of his work: Instagram – @francois.robertdurand