Portrait Session with Hevea
During a trip to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Raphaël brought me to this field on the far outskirts of the city. There, the land had been cleared and split into lots. A new neighbourhood promises to grow here, having replaced the forest. One the lot belongs to his teachers’ union and will turn into their headquarters. For Raphaël, this is hope.
On the edge of the lot lies the remainder of the forest. The time is late and the light falls nicely on the heveas, rubber trees, watching us. Their bark is etched to collect the sap used to produce rubber. They are like elders, their faces etched by time and industry, forever scared, forever watching, from the edge of darkness, our ‘progress.’