I came to Angola to see how the country is handling rapid development after the end of one of the longest civil wars in Africa. The country is laden with contrasts that are well documented and it really wasn't my intention to beat that to death (though I have some decent images in that regard).  Rather I want to focus as much as I can on people and everyday lives.  I love that everyone I've met has a strong sense of style and that their pride really comes through.

Kid bouncing soccer ball - from my first day really getting into the street on my own - walking along Ilha, the promenade along the ocean that draws Luandans of all levels of society. There was a game of beach soccer going on and this kid was juggling - just happened to catch it as he was bouncing the ball perfectly on his head.

photo 3

Taxis in the Western sense are pretty much non existent - you have small minibuses, people using their private cars as taxis (same as we have gypsy cabs in NYC) and these young men on motos who will take you. They have awesome attitude and style - some are totally decked out and others less so, but they carry themselves like they're in Tom Ford day and night. Anyway, I was shooting a few portraits and grabbed them as a group for this photo. I want to do a whole series.

photo 2

This was shot traveling south out of the capital of Luanda into the countryside to explore more of the country. It's worth noting that just a few years ago, our 4 hour journey would've taken 2 days given the condition of the roads and the number of land mines after the conflict. We stopped for a bit to explore the fishing village of Porto Amboim and I was getting a snaps of the old wreck when these women came down to gather sand in buckets      for what purpose I am still unsure. Even though we were far from the capital and clearly on an area that was much less developed, their presence, pride, strength, and friendliness struck me.  To have them in front of the old wreck was a great moment.
- – - Mike Magers is an emerging photographer who documents his frequent travels, which will be featured in Musée’s new travel section. Magers originally studied photography at ICP under the tutelage of Musée founder and Editor-In-Chief Andrea Blanch.


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