Marco Longari, AFP's head of photography in Africa, has lived in Johannesburg since 2014. Marco started out as a photographer in his native Rome. He then went to Kosovo as a freelancer in 1998, an assignment that resulted in his first book "Neighbours at War". Two years later, his story with Africa began, when he became AFP's stringer in Rwanda. He went on to become the agency's chief photographer in Nairobi and Jerusalem. His work during the Arab Spring prompted Time magazine to name him Best Photographer on the Wires in 2012.
When the COVID-19 lockdown began in South Africa on March 27, he decided to tell the story in a different way. Instead of using a digital camera with which he usually works, he decided to go back in time. He bought a LinhofTechnika III, a large format camera that first came on the market in 1946. It required him to move slower, which somehow fit right in with the quietness of the city.
Marco could only find two boxes of black and white film. The images he produced captured the spirit of the city, devoid of its habitual hustle and bustle... it was if the city had lost its color. A narrative to read and hear.