African interiors: the discreet charm of objects (1/2)
Travelling to Africa offers us wonderful sights, countless memories, amazing encounters. But beside the landscapes, the experiences, and the people, what also capture our attention is the aesthetics of the objects and spaces we come in contact with. Caged TVs, plastic buckets, Chinese fans, butchery-inspired bathrooms, heavily carpeted rooms (in a tropical climate, ça va sans dire), floral curtains, didactic (and sometimes brutal) drawings on the ceiling, improbable refrigerators: how could we ignore all this? And what about the Big Old Glories, all the Central hotels built in the first decades after the independence wave of the ’60s? These huge, odd, out-of-context, but immensely fascinating buildings… Spending the night in such decaying structures is a veritable travel time to the past, a way to connect with an era of big money, presidential suites populated by corrupt generals, and water-filled swimming pools.
These places have stimulated our imagination, and often annihilated our sleep. In this first selection, along with other spots, I pay tribute to the Samora Hotel, Jos (Nigeria) – be aware, the Samora is one of Kakakin’s favourites!