As I started packing for Peace Corps, assembling the essentials, a good friend of mine told me, “You’re not spending two years with that crappy point-and-shoot.” She strong-armed me into buying a better camera that I didn’t even know how to use. I owe her a lot.
Throughout my service, community members would ask, “Where is your camera?” or random disembodied voices would shout as I walked down the street with it, “Shoota me! Shoota me!” In some ways, being the community photographer opened me up to experiences I might have missed otherwise. My school never hesitated to send me out on school field trips, because I was responsible for documenting them.
In terms of my own interests, these pictures help me facilitate story-telling, taking me down new roads or back to familiar faces. When I talk to people back home who don’t completely understand what my experience in a township was like (but want to), many times having a visual clears the fog. For me, it keeps my site alive in my mind.
- Eva Cappuccilli
Eva Cappuccilli is a Peace Corps volunteer serving in South Africa. She was the unit still photographer for Posh Corps. She currently serves in Cape Town with an HIV education non-profit. See more of her work on her blog, Stranded Traveller.