Teodoras Grigaliūnas‘ photographs from ‘Men and Sea’ take us onto the waters of the Indian ocean with a group pf Kenyan fishermen from a small village called Kipini, divers whose livelihoods rely on the rich abundance of crabs, lobsters and octopus found in this particular part of the world.
Using one of the two seasonal winds, the ‘Kaskazi’, a northeasterly that blows along the coast from December through to March, the fisherman take off in hope, looking for calm waters and the opportunity to both dive, and if lucky, catch barracuda with a simple line and hook. The fish is the bonus, the prize, the meat to be shared between friends and family after a successful day on the water.
On one end of the fishing line is a tackle with a big bent hook, popping and shimmering as the boat cuts the wave, the other end of the line is wrapped around Captain Morzina’s little finger. When he feels the tick, he grabs the line with both hands and begins the battle.
These wonderful images of proud men, hard men living a dangerous and exhausting life are a statement of fact, a bulwark against our anemic western existence. Here we have a series of pictures that reveal what for many of us is but a collective memory of times past, of an era when we had to physically work to stay alive, to exist, to be. These photographs are a reminder of the world at its most ferocious and beautiful, stripped away of the glittery surface of our modern consumerist existence. Here’s what Grigaliūnas has to say about the project:
[This project focuses] on life that is silent and proud of itself. Chewing on octopus for breakfast, cooking a freshly caught barracuda on a fire in the middle of the boat, pulling wet and heavy nets from the ocean up to the boats.
I spent a month in Kipini, a fishermen village in Northern Kenya. Throughout the month, I had the opportunity to befriend some of the fishermen. We went fishing together. Because my Kiswahili language skills had its limits, fishing became our means of communication. We sailed together, ate together and pulled nets together. I was invited to catch a glimpse of their life, and blessed with the opportunity to record it and share these times with men and the sea.