The Forest of Cameroon

While Alfredo spent almost three months in the Eastern regions of Cameroon, he stumbled across the massive exploitation of forests for commercial purposes. On a daily basis, dozens of trucks carried huge tree trunks from the bush to the border or to Douala, the main port.

The Cameroon forest covers an area of about 20 million hectares, which represents about 40% of the national territory. The forests are home to nearly four million people of Bantu ethnic groups and the last indigenous populations of the African rainforest, the “Pygmies”. For them, forests represent a kind of huge free “supermarket” providing food, medicines, construction and equipment materials, as well as ceremonial elements. Commercial logging in Cameroon (legal and illegal) is seriously affecting the ecosystem and therefore the above-mentioned indigenous populations living in the forests. 

  • 01B(1)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/160sec, f/8, ISO 400

    A Villager wood-worker is sectioning with a chainsaw the trunk of a huge already abated tree while his colleague is taking a break.

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  • 02(6)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/250sec, f/4.5, ISO 400

    Raphael, a villager uses a chainsaw to cut a huge Padouk tree trunk. As he works for a unofficial company, he was not provided with mechanized working tools and therefore he needs to rely on his physical strength and his experience to achieve the scope of getting proper wooden slides.

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  • 03(7)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/8sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

    Blessed and Achille carry one of the hundred wooden slides cut from the logging place to another one closer to the main road where a truck will be loading and transport them to Bertoua, the biggest city in Eastern Cameroon. They need to open up a small path within the bush to reach the road.

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  • 04B(1)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA 1/50sec, f/11, ISO 400

    Constant, a young worker coming from a Western province of Cameroon, is posing for a portrait during a intense working day

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  • 05(6)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/80sec, f/5.6, ISO 400

    A man is carrying a padouk slide over his head to the truck. In the meanwhile, other workers are loading the slides to the truck, which will transport them to the closest city, Bertoua, where slides will get planed in a carpenter shop. Finally, the planned slides will be transported to Douala port for exportation abroad.

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  • 06B(1)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/60sec, f/5.6 ISO 400

    At the end of the working day, before the sunset, villagers leave the place where they collected the wooden slides to go and rest in their tents.

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  • 07(6)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/10sec, f/4.5, ISO 400

    As the working day is bringing to the end, Blessed is taking a break while Achille is preparing something to eat under their tent. Their tents are not enlightened at night as they are not provided with generator. As such, their working days do follow solar time.

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  • 08B(1)

    Alfredo D'Amato

    Cameroon

    Sony α7II FE 28mm F2 1/250sec, f/11, ISO 400

    An overview of the 'parque du bois', wood storage in the port of Douala.

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Alfredo D'Amato

Introduction

In my view, photography is a visual language and a personal way to express emotions and perceive people, environments and events. Therefore, a photographer is someone who re-represents reality in his own language.

Alfredo is a photographer who believes in the emotional power standing behind any long-term project which stems from a personal interest, a deep inner thinking or, rather, from a touching external event.

A graduate of the Documentary Photography degree course at the University of Wales in Newport, he has mainly worked on long-term projects focusing on both western and eastern Europe, Africa and South America, with a particular interest in Portuguese speaking countries. Alfredo has had his work published in many international newspapers and magazines and has worked for many NGOs in Europe and further afield.

Alfredo has won the prestigious Observer Hodge Award and received the first prize in photojournalism at the One Media awards and UNICEF Photo of the year. In 2005 he was selected for the World Press Photo Masterclass and was granted the Marco Pesaresi scholarship in Italy.

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