Finnish photographer Jussi Puikkonen looked for a different kind of beauty on his travels through Senegal — a country of colorful, sprawling cities and towns that is situated on the western edge of Africa.
In this series, Puikkonen finds moments of contrast a long way from home. In his own words; “Last year, I spent Christmas and New Year in Senegal. I traveled through the northern part of the country. When I travel I photograph more in a way to make a visual journal for myself. Senegal is amazingly rich visually with all the bright colors, beautiful people, and rugged landscape. Dakar is constantly covered in dust which makes an interesting backdrop. The images are shot mostly in Dakar and St. Louis. Traveling Senegal is rather easy if you’re not easily shocked. On the highway, by taxi, you can often watch the highway through the bottom of the car — something you’re not accustomed to when you live in the Netherlands. Traffic in Dakar can be terrible so it’s better not to be in a hurry.
For me, Senegal was completely different from anything else I’ve experienced. The beauty of the country is not traditional beauty that you would find on a relaxing holiday. It is a beauty of randomness — like a huge pelican walking parallel to you on the street. At the same time, the beauty lies contrast of the rugged landscape and really well-maintained details of the fabrics and patterns, or in the way that everybody in the country seems to work out and take care of themselves. At around 6 pm everybody shows up to the beach which turns into one giant gym. These contrasts are something that I try to show in my images.”