A few week back I met Alun [Be] at my neighbourhood hangout Hearth Amsterdam. Alun is a talented architect, musician, photographer and videographer who has been crafting his creative style with military precision. Born in Senegal, Alun has spun his experiences in France, the United States, and West Africa into the fibre of his work.
What do you call home?
"Home is where I find myself. Whenever I’m somewhere that reflects the brighter side of me I feel at home."
What drives you?
"People. After time and health, people is to me the most important source of happiness. Being a part of their definition helps me define myself."
What motivated you to begin a career in photography?
"So much things to say. And I feel like I did not have a choice, I am an artist deep down, so I choose not to deny my true nature."
Whose work has influenced you most?
"Tough question! I guess Martin Luther King, fight hate with love and compassion."
What place does photography have in Africa today?
"Photography is destroying all the clichés that the west stamped on Africa. It shows the real Africa. It is a vibrant and rich continent, far from the wars, poverty, and diseases. Every corner of this world have ugly sides, and for too long the west was only showing the ugly side of Africa."
What has been the most challenging experience you have encountered as a photographer in Africa?
"A lot of people believe that when you photograph them you steal their soul for a moment. So that was always a big challenge. Though now I understand that they just need to make sure that you are a good soul before opening up to you."
What do you hope to accomplish with your photography?
"I have almost no expectation with my photography. I feel like it doesn’t belong to me, that’s why I often don’t even sign my photos, and then agents and curators gets very angry at me. But I have been very happy with what my photography has accomplished so far."