The Other Cali

As a first generation American-African, I have always been interested in the experience of the African Diaspora throughout the globe. After traveling from Oakland, California down to Cali, Colombia, I came across faces that so closely resembled those of my own family in Ghana, that I felt compelled to create and share images to help dissolve our language barriers.

After that first trip 10 years ago, I continued to visit more regions of Colombia, documenting the experience with 35mm black and white film. But I always returned to Cali. Cali became my home whenever I wasn't in California.

Over the past decade many things have changed: tourism has increased, 30 years of civil war is coming to an end, the country's reputation has grown in favor. One thing remains the same: the people and their character.

The life that I encountered in Cali always felt beyond time, which is why I chose to document it with film. It felt more at home in the imprecise hands of silver halide than the saturated Caribbean colors that usually paint the story.

The following are a small sample of the many people I've met during my regular trips to the home of magical realism.