Adeyinka Yusuf

Photographer and Filmmaker
     
Faces at a Rally
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Nationality: Nigerian
Biography: Adeyinka Yusuf is a photographer and filmmaker from Lagos, Nigeria. In 2013, he started Street Shooters NG, a street photography collective and the following year, he was selected to lead a photowalk as part of the Nigerian Photography Expo and... MORE
Public Story
Faces at a Rally
Copyright Adeyinka Yusuf 2023
Updated Apr 2021
Topics Africa, Audience, Belief, Community, Documentary, Dreams, Editorial, Elections, Emotion, Emotions, Essays, Faces, Hope, Leadership, Nigeria, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics, Senior Citizens, Spectators, Voters, West Africa, Yearning
Here's a fact I learned covering the last elections: If a politician moves her audience with words and gestures, the audience listens with its face. Consternation, comprehension, amusement, surprise, agreement—a face at a rally is a mosaic of reactions.

Each of the faces I've captured reveals its owners age, class, mood. Each face is its owners story. Sometimes, having waited hours for the politician to arrive, some potential voters gave a welcoming speech. Their faces, however, frequently conveyed a different message: We know you are here to lie to us, but we hope you will not.

The photos in this series represent a departure from my previous work, as it used to be my practice to focus on speakers, on politicians. This changed over the course of the last election because of I've come to see that it is the listening part of the political equation that possesses the power—or ought to.

And if currently, politicians wield too much power, then the spotlight should be shared by their people. In other words, Faces at a Rally is a step towards the democratisation of coverage, the photo-equivalent of the political process.

In these photos, the people are looking at their potential leaders. Take a look at the people looking: what do you see?
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