The Photographic Journal

My Grandfather’s House

Essay 16 • Aug 13th 2015

My desire to document my grandfather in this piece came to life about 3 years ago when I went to visit him in Nairobi. I was a growing photographer and in my heart had committed to photographing before I had my own camera. I traveled to Kenya and all I had was an iPhone, so I used that to photograph everything. At that point, I hadn't been to Kenya in five years, and being in my grandfather's house awoke so many childhood memories. My sister and cousins used to sit in his living room and play, talk, watch TV. We just were so young and joyful.

So I put together a little iPhone photo series called my Grandfather's House, and I vowed to reshoot it once I had a 'real' camera. In the meantime, I discovered that foreign developers had bought much of the land surrounding his home and were pressuring him to sell. He was determined to hold his ground and keep the house, but in the face of a completely changing neighborhood and better prospects elsewhere, he began to consider selling. At this point, I knew I had to go document the house and keep those memories - for myself, but more broadly for my family and my grandfather. Luckily, I had recently acquired a Rolleiflex 2.8Gx which is what I used to shoot these images.

–Bee

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Bee Walker
Bee Walker is a photographer living and working in New York City. Her primary work consists of documentary style portraiture. Recently, she traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to document the effects of foreign development. The resulting photographs are the beginning of a extended piece to be continued in Fall 2015.

beewalker.com