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Pandemic in Focus

First Line of Defense

Alberto Mesirca | Kigali, Rwanda

Pandemic in Focus 07
soldering #4
Soldering the top metal ring where the water tank fits.

During the spread of coronavirus in Rwanda, these workers are building our first line of defense.

They are building ‘tippy taps’, which are water dispensers for hand-washing, that you can find all over Kigali. They are placed in front of shops and bus terminals and people are actually using them, otherwise they are reminded by a security guard to do so.

This workshop, Gakinjiro, situated in central Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, was rather crowded and the hope is that there were no infected people among the workers.

The different stages of construction of the dispensers are represented: the sawing and soldering of the metal bars of the trellis stands, and the bending of metal sheets to build water tanks.

During my time in the workshop I had the occasion to appreciate the good atmosphere between the workers. Amidst the loud machinery noise, it was not uncommon to also hear a great deal of laughter.

These photos were taken one day before lockdown which resulted in the complete closure of the workshop, with dozens of workers subsequently left without pay to fend for themselves during lockdown.

Alberto Mesirca was born in Rome (Italy) in 1964. He grew up in Rome and after having obtained a Master in Telecommunications Engineering he lived and worked in different countries (Hong Kong, Argentina, USA, Belgium, United Arab Emirates) following his wife on postings abroad.
He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
He is a Self-taught photographer.
He approaches his subjects in two ways. One is from a geometrical and
rational perspective, possibly trying to find the abstract in reality and
attempting to rationalize it.
The other is from a sociological perspective, investigating the social,
economical and historical context of also minimal aspects of reality that, like in a fractal, represent the whole.
He believes that these processes inevitably lead to a more intimate
knowledge and appreciation of the reality before him.
He exhibited in Rome, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles.
His works have been published in Silvershotz, Artillery Magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie, Aint Bad Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, Fotoforum Magazine
He was finalist at Focus Photo LA 2019 and received honorable mentions at IPA-International Photography Awards and PX3 - Prix de la Photographie

Alberto Mesirca



IG : albertomesircaphoto

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