For years the german photographer Sandy Haessner has been travelling to Senegal to work on projects with local hiphop artists. Her main concern with every collaboration has been to bring a new vision of Senegal to the rest of the world, one that is different from common stereotypes. In that sense all her photos are credited of having a natural touch depicting people in their true and daily life. Linking with the clothing company Timezone was then easy since they’re supporting musicians from all over the world, helping them express their local spirit outside of the homogenized mainstream. The focus of this photo project is to bring into form Timezone’s motto “real people in every timezone” with the images of real senegalese people.
Timezone in this project is a metaphor for the world in its interactive diversity of cultures, beliefs, politics, social and economic realities. But despite these differences symbolized here by Time, one will always find people with basic concerns as for their survival, not the glitz and glamour or the drama shown most often by the media. Such people called “real” because of the authenticity of their natural lifestyle represent humanity and the daily places they fill with their presence, ideas, dreams and feelings are nothing but the reflection of planet Earth’s spirit. The characters of the photos are from different backgrounds but mainly Sandy Haessner worked with rappers, because they are known since a long time for representing the real face of their country through music. When talking about street-life they bring forth the social problems their society encounters and the strong will of people to get out of poverty, lack of education, unemployment, etc… For that reason the set of the photoshoots is always is the neighbourhoods in which the rappers live to make them feel comfortable and to have a better chance to catch them in a natural moment. The importance of such a process was to show them as real people in their own surroundings.
The originality of this project lies in its its social and human implications mixed with the professional way of presenting a positive image of the Senegalese urban culture. As for her preceding projects, the German photographer, due to her eco concerns, strives with a sincere intention to bring people into understanding and acceptance of what difference is: a priceless gift of life for human beings to know more about themselves and others. And that, everybody can do with all the real people in every timezone.