Images / Men

Men and Love in Africa, no.5

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I have just arrived back in Cape Town from Ghana where I saw and was reminded in the faces of the people of a certain beauty I have always found difficult to communicate without resorting to stereotype. So I am not going to try. Not today anyway. But it a startling beauty – to me. That is the more reason I must put up more images of love (because I think love is connected to perceived beauty, I think). In any event, here is image 5 on men and love in Africa.
This is another commonplace image of love. Yet the ordinariness of the act captured here does not quite capture how important such small acts are in a relationship.
I made the image of this cool cat holding hands with what presumably is his lover (or girlfriend or wife) at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, on 21 March 2012. Observe how tenderly their finngers are entwined with each other, like they don’t want to hold hands yet each still wants to know that the other is close by.
I say ‘presumably’ because I know nothing about the two except that they were holding hands in such a loving way. On that simple basis, I declared them to love one another. What other conclusion does one come to when fingers are twirled like that? Doctor and patient? Cousins? Teacher and student? Siblings?
There is something that says, if this is an incestuous relationship, then we have been lied to. No, this looks like a healthy sexual relationship, just from the way the two are touching hands.
As I said in a previous post, ‘it is in how a couple hold hands’ that you are able to tell they love one another. Perhaps one can hypothesise and also state that, as a partner, don’t just listen to the words but also pay close attention to how a man holds your hand in public if you are thinking whether he is worth the time, by which I mean the long run as opposed to the one night.
I think it may be different with women, but men tend to underestimate the importance of touch in relating to others – that touch that says so much without demanding anything in return.
(By the way, someone asked why I have not put up an image of two men in love. Because I don’t have an image of two men in love. If you have, don’t hesitate to send it to me. In the meantime, I will think where I should go to make such images.)

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