Michael Magers

Documentary Photographer
  
Tribo - The Moto-Taxi Boys of Luanda
Location: New York, NY
Nationality: USA
Biography: Michael  Magers  is a documentary photographer and journalist based in New York City.  He is a frequent collaborator with the award-winning team at  Roads & Kingdoms  and served as the lead photographer on their... read on
Public Story
Tribo - The Moto-Taxi Boys of Luanda
Credits: michael magers
Updated: 12/31/16
Location: Luanda
This is the Luanda I saw: Porsches and favelas, beauty and decay, pockets of immense change and total stagnation. Out of the ruins of more than forty years of conflict—a war of liberation followed by a brutal civil war (one with some of the fiercest ground combat since Rommel’s defeat in WWII) —the country is at peace and is surging. You may have read that the oil money vanishes into the hands of the elite. That Luanda is consistently ranked one of the most expensive cities in the world for expats. But it’s harder to grasp, without being here, just how electric the place feels, across all levels of society. The country is not just trying to rebound; it is trying to rebound with style.

Nobody embodies that quite as much as the young men—many still in their teens—who drive Luanda’s motorcycle taxis. It’s a dangerous job. Angola’s traffic is notoriously treacherous: on my trip to the south of the country, roadsides looked like the Autobot graveyard, with burnt wrecks everywhere. In Luanda, the swirl of moto-taxis defies the risks in order to bring cheap transportation to a city reliant on a mostly informal network of gypsy cabs and micro-buses. And they do it because, as one of the drivers told me, there are simply no better jobs to be had. To be in your late teens or early 20s in Angola means you were too young to have fought in the civil war, but likely too old to have benefited directly from many of the investments the country has made in the past 10 years to develop basic infrastructure, healthcare, education, and a services industry – the general building blocks of a middle class. 


1,831

By Michael Magers —

VISUAL STORY

Up Close and Personal - A Selection of Recent Work

By Michael Magers — A selection of recent work/publications - more details/images can be provided on request.  Link to..
VISUAL STORY

The Ama - Japan's Aging Mermaids

By Michael Magers — From the article  “A Free Dive in Japan”  via Rods & Kingdoms (excerpt below): It’s known as..
VISUAL STORY

Images from Haiti's First International Surf Competition

By Michael Magers — A couple of years ago, exhausted after working on a story in Port au Prince, I ended up at a small surf..
VISUAL STORY

Una Noche en La Fabrica: Portraits of Cuban Youth

By Michael Magers / Havana, Cuba — Cuba is on the verge of something big. It’s not just the normalization of relations with the U.S., but a..
VISUAL STORY

Shokunin: Japan's Vanishing Masters

By Michael Magers — It’s been said that in Japan objects are born not made. In a society that increasingly values speed over..
Join us
for more access