Woman rowing a boat in Marsaxlokk


Woman rowing a boat in Marsaxlokk

They say a photo is worth a thousand words.  And I think that this is particularly applicable when the photo captures a genuine moment in space-time, a matter-of-fact event, frozen for posterity.

I do not normally like taking photos showing people and have a particular dislike for pictures which include posing humans.  However, there are occasions when a perfectly natural photo, untainted by the artificiality of posing, says so much more because there is a human being in it than if it were to only feature inanimate objects.

This particular photo is a favourite of mine.  A woman rowing a small boat from one of the larger luzzu in the background to the shore.  Probably after having delivered some food or supplies to her fisherman husband who is preparing for his next trip to sea on his vessel.  A woman of the sea, for whom the transition from land to sea comes naturally and with no fuss.  Bearing the clothes she wears at home and rowing the boat with grace and skill.

The beautifully coloured luzzu, the calm inner waters of Marsaxlokk harbour and the graceful paddle of the oars are all factors which contribute to make this photo special.  I also love the small details: the boat fenders which are actually used detergent bottles and the larger buoys which are actually plastic tanks in which imported olives are consigned.  A culture for whom re-use and recycling are not newly discovered fads but practical realities which they have long practiced.

A photo which does not feature a model chosen on the basis of looks wearing clothes specially selected for the occasion, but a split second snapshot of life in Marsaxlokk, Malta featuring a real person in her day to day life in a Mediterranean fishing community.


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