On a recent trip to Senegal, Panamanian photographer and Fathom 24 Best Travel Photographer 2016 Sofia Verzbolovskis captured the bright colors, unique architecture, and friendly faces of Dakar.
DAKAR, Senegal – It had been seven years. The last time I was in West Africa, it was 2009 and I had spent a couple months in Ghana. I went with a non-profit organization that my boyfriend works for, called Le Korsa — it supports institutions and individuals working in the fields of agriculture, education, healthcare, and the arts. We stayed in Dakar for a few days, so I had a chance to explore the city. I went to Gorée Island, Ngor, and walked around the streets and markets. I was immediately fascinated by the city and felt right at home. The people are absolutely incredible — generous, warm, and inviting. The vibrant colors and patterns, the smells of fish and the ocean, the calls to prayer five times a day, the congested traffic, and everything in between form a beautiful, cacophonous city.
After a couple of days, we traveled to Tambacounda, a region southeast of Dakar. I spent time photographing the Sinthian community for Le Korsa. Although faced with a complete language barrier (they don't speak any French and I don't speak a word of Pulaar), it didn't matter at all. We connected immediately.
These photos capture my first impressions of Senegal — what caught my eye, my daily experiences, my walks, and the amazing people I came across.