Madame Ngone caught my eye as I watched her catch fresh sea urchin in the ocean. When I first approached her for a photo, she looked me dead in the eye and said “NON!”. But I didn’t give up. I shadowed her, asked questions about her life, her family, and told her a bit about myself. It wasn’t until I showed her some of my work that she let her guard down and agreed to have her photo taken. She then began to pose for me; we laughed together and cracked jokes. Not long after, she smiled slyly at me and then told me to go get my money because I now owed her 1500 CFA ($3). As much as she liked me and my photos, her time wasn’t free. After all, she is a business woman.
Everyone has a Michael Brown story, and Ngone Seck is telling hers as she sits with several friends at Riverview Gardens High School, where she’s a freshman.
They have spent three long months living in the aftermath of the shooting — the civil unrest and rioting, a militarized police response that shocked the country, and school delays. The protests haven’t stopped, the conversation is constant, and uncertainty covers the metro area like a second skin.
That massive unrest may erupt again soon has students even more anxious, frustrated and emotionally exhausted.