Thursday, 16 December 2010

Dazed Digital, Lagos and the Mama's

Last week I headed up to Lagos Nigeria with the editor of Dazed & Confused magazine Rod Stanley to cover a story on the MTV mama awards. The first little bit of the story is up on Dazed Digital.

I have pasted the text by Rod Stanley and the pics with it below. If you wanna see it on the dazed website please visit DazedDigital.

There is more to come with the print issue in a couple of months where we will release the full story with all its images.

Fally Ipupa who one Best of 2010 at the MTV Africa Music Awards in Lagos. Here he is with our two appropriately dressed body guards in the streets of Victoria Island, Lagos. 

Chuck D  (Public Enemy) hung out with us at the EKO Hotel where the event took place to do a very thought provoking interview. 

Yeni Kuti, Fela Kuti's first daughter hung out with us at the 'New Afrika Shrine', which is the replacement for the famous original shrine where Fela spread his positive wisdom to his followers.

Sasha the 'First Lady' of the Nigerian music scene performed an interview for us hours before the event kicked off.  


Text by Rod Stanley 

There ain’t no party like a Lagos party, or so they say. This weekend, Dazed flew out to Lagos, Nigeria for the third annual MTV Africa Music Awards and spent a few days and some late nights meeting rap, R&B and kuduro superstars from across Africa: names like Banky W, Fally Ipupa, Daddy Owen, Cabo Snoop and Radio & Weasel, from Angola to Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond, all huge stars in their own countries, selling truckloads of records despite rampant piracy and a rickety music industry. These guys are kind of the Jay Zs and Snoops of Africa, basically.

In our brief time in Lagos, we managed to get chased off the red carpet after walking out behind some stars as they posed for the TV cameras, incoherently advise the boss of MTV Worldwide on his business strategy (a man who had just arrived in a blacked-out 4x4 with two AK47-toting police guards), accidentally start a game of musical chairs with Public Enemy's Chuck D, and find ourselves abandoned by our hosts in a packed Lagos nightclub at 3.30am with only a bottle of tequila and our new friends the Angolan kuduro kings Cabo Snoop for company.

Our hotel seemed to have been lifted from the pages of a JG Ballard novel, featuring an impressive split-level outdoor pool with multiple water slides that absolutely no one was using, surrounded by razor wire and rusty freighters rumbling past in the rubbish-strewn lagoon. Inside, escorts touted for business in the main bar – one thoughtfully pressed her boobs up against the terrace window for us to admire as we choked on our burgers. To change money, you had to take your dollars down to the main gate, where a gang of ‘bookies’ would come over to your car and conduct business through your window. Beyond the gate lay a hooting, seething bedlam of motorised madness: weaving and honking cars, trucks and motorbikes rattling over potholes, while the street vendors selling everything from cold drinks to electric shavers risked life and limb twirling from window to window amid the roar.

Our time in Nigeria also coincided with Wikileaks revealing Shell’s insider dealings with the unimaginably corrupt Nigerian government. No one we spoke to, from street vendor to television presenter, seemed to be very shocked, sadly resigned to high-level corruption as a way of life in a country that is oil-rich but unforgivably spends next to nothing on its people. As Afrobeat legend and political revolutionary Fela Kuti's daughter Yeni said when we visited her at The Shrine nightclub she established in his honour, "If Fela was alive today, he would not be surprised."

When we sat down with visiting hip hop preacher Chuck D, he was similarly condemning and offered a slightly baffling analogy: “Wikileaks is the extension of the the digital monster not ever going back into the bottle. Governments now are falling to the leveling of the playing field. Africa is like a refrigerator. The world’s just been taking what it wants out of it for a long time, and now it is time to refill it with some soda.” Despite being a soda-less refrigerator, the good people of Lagos did not kidnap us or blow us up as we had been warned they would, and instead were funny, friendly and generous with their booze, even on the utterly terrifying Air Arik flight we took back to the UK: a 16-hour ordeal that involved a giant Airbus A340 being re-routed around Nigeria like a domestic shuttle, dumping 40 tonnes of jetfuel in the air so it could land, while a plane riot almost kicked off as they left us to bake without air-con in the African sun for two hours as it refuelled. Certainly it’s the only flight we’ve been on where a passenger committee was formed and read out its demands over the intercom. Arik? Air-Wreck, more like.

The awards themselves were entertaining in that stop-start way that performances for television are, aided by our drinking of pints of Hennessy in the local manner – the guest performances from Chuck D, Rick Ross and T-Pain were energetic and genuine, while host Eve threw herself into it with gusto. The finale with them all on stage together with the various African performers was oddly moving, while the final image of one of our boys Cabo Snoop leaving the stage with Rick Ross’s meaty paws draped over his shoulders is one to cherish. Many of the people we had met and interviewed over the two days picked up awards, including both Banky W and Sasha from Nigeria, Congo’s Fali Apupa ("These are men's leggings! Men's!"), Kenya’s Daddy Owen and Cabo Snoop from Angola, so we celebrated our surprising acuity and foresight at the ridiculously brilliant after-party by dancing and drinking more pints of Hennessy all night in a razor-wire surrounded club with all of the above and the beautiful people of Lagos getting wild by the poolside. Keep an eye on Dazed mag and Dazed TV in the coming weeks for interviews, photos and films. 

Article from Dazed Digital. 

All Photo's by Chris Saunders

CT 2010

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Goodbye Fabrica, Blessed be your soul.

So after an exciting year of politics, amazing shoots, traveling and damn right good fun, Im heading home. Back to the green pastures of Johannesburg (Oooh wait that sounds silly, ahhh who cares). Fun times have been had and some of the best friends ever made.

On that note, I thought I'd stick up a image which epitomizes as much emotion as possible. Thanks Paulo for your inspiration in this one.

Long live the Fabricanti!

CT 2010

Lost in Amsterdam

About a month ago, myself and my flat mate at Fabrica headed to Amsterdam. I was there to see my friend Murray Turpin & Catarina Dahms, as well DOP a music video with Murray (who directed and wrote the script), for Catarina's band Skip and Die. Didn't shoot too many pics while there but here are two memories I'd like to remember. 

CT 2010

Good Friends Murray & Catarina at breakfast in Weste Park, Amsterdam. 

This was the most over the top 80th Birthday party I have ever seen. The camera man carried the couch on his back up the road before plonking the people into it. It was almost near 0 degrees which seemed insane to be doing a shot like this. The Dutch are special. 
The view from a thai restaurant in the heart of the city.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Mama's in Lagos, Nigeria

I recently had the pleasure of attending the MTV Africa Music awards (The Mama Awards) in Lagos In Nigeria. I went up to do a story for Dazed&amp&Confused magazine and was accompanied by the editor of the magazine Rod Stanley.

Adjusting our internal clocks onto African time we hit the streets doing features on the over 8 African musicians from around the continent who where nominated for the awards, Yeni Kuti (Fela's daughter) who we shot at the Shrine which is based on the original one built by Fela in the 80's and another on the organiser of the event and MTV Africa director and creator, Alex Okosi. 

It was a crazy experience with most of the dust still settling in side my head. 

I thought I would post 3 pics from the trip.

Ct 2010.

With a exchange rate of 150 to the dollar we had a pile of 1000 Naira notes.  You exchange your notes with guys called Bookies on the side of the road. 

Horrific traffic is an understatement when it comes to Lagos. Its busy polluted and the roads are full of potholes. Many business's have been created due to it though and you will find all kinds of products from food to books to DVD's been sold on the side of the road. 

Cabo Snoop and his producer and manager where one of our subjects for the Dazed Shoot. Other artists we shot where Chuck D (USA), Banky W(Nigera), Sasha(Nigeria) and Radio and Weasel (Uganda) to name a few. 

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Music Madness 1. Die Antwoord Live in Sweden.

Earlier this year I travelled to Sweden to watch some of the most amazing muscians I have ever seen. I only took shots of some of them but wanted to post some of the images over the next couple of days.

I have also put a track with each of the blog posts of the band in shot.

Today I have put up the Die Antwoord, the South Africa superstars who made it big in 2010. It was amazing to see tons of Swedish kids in Gotteborg singing the words to, 'Fish Paste.'

Die Antwoord - Fish Paste

CT 2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Colors Magazine 78 'Dance' Tear Sheets

If you haven't seen the magazine or the images posted about the Colors dance issue, here are the tearsheets in PDF so you can see the magazine and experience the written word.



If you'd like to see the earlier posting and see the images solo, then go to this link: for Kuduro for Pantsula

CT 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Dubai for a day.

Earlier this year while returning from South Africa to Johannesburg, I got delayed in Dubai for a day and had nothing better to do than go shopping, taking the new metro train and seeing the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world). It was truly amazing seeing it from the train window.

Thats all.

CT 2010

Monday, 8 November 2010


Earlier this year, I worked on collaboration between Colors Magazine ( and Good ( The intercontinental collaboration between colors which is based in Italy and Good which is based in the USA all about my home continent Africa. We where given a open brief and almost no budget so we decided to use what we had and make friends with the people we needed work from.

Ending up with something I am very proud of, it was also co-conceptualized by myself, Carlos Mustienes (Writer, Spain) and Josh Levi (USA, Designer). It was also my first Photo editing job.

I have included the Issuu link here where you can have a look at the magazine. There are some of my own images featured in the magazine. As well as this I also hit the streets of downtown Johannesburg (Bree Street) where I tried to find as many products from around Africa as possible. Some of these products where photographed in Italy for the magazine.

If you would like to see the mag you can see a digital copy below, if you would like to download the magazine supplement then it is available on the Colors Magazine website and directly at this link:

I would love to hear some feedback on the mag.

CT 2010

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

And the Winner is...

Just found out that I have won the ACP Courier competition Best Photograph in Belgium. Good news. I will be jetting up there in December to receive the prize.

The image that won the prize is from Colors magazine 78 'Dance' and is available at the moment. The interesting thing is that the image that won the prize is one of the un-published images. You have to love the irony in that.

Anyway. Check out the ACP Courier magazine website here  and Colors magazine here:

If you would like to see the other images from the shoot and the video that was made check out my blog update on the Pantsula story here:

Ct 2010

Monday, 25 October 2010

Super Secret, Tshe Tsha Boys.

Just spent 3 weeks in South Africa creating an array of different work.

One of the projects was on the Tshe Tsha boys, a Shangani Electro Dance Crew from Giyani Limpopo, the heart of the Shangaani people, we met up in Soweto Johannesburg at their manager Producer Nozinja (Dog) for the shoot. More info will come when its out and about. (Electronic Beats, Berlin, is where it'll be)

Ct 2010

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Colors 78 'Dance' Kuduro MC Custuleta

In the current issue of Colors, Dance, the team was sent on a wild researching goose chase to find stories on youtube to do with the theme. One of the gems that we came accross was a video of a guy with one leg dancing on top of a car about 8 years ago in Angola to Kuduro music.

After weeks of hunting him down we discovered the one legeed prodigy from Angola, MC Custuleta, in Paris living a life of relative fame and fortune. He is the top of his game when it comes to the niche Kuduro scene in Europe.

I got to spend 4 days with him, experiencing his day to day life of training, practice, signing autographs and one powerful performance in Metz 3 hours east of Paris. It was priceless.

The magazine is available in stores around the world at the moment and the videos from the issue can be seen on Colors Magazines Youtube channel which I shot two of. I have also included the video in this post.

Ct 2010

One of the aims on the job was to re-create a scene from the original video that we found on Youtube. Together we found a scrapyard next to the highway where we got permission to shoot on top of one of the scrapped vehicles.

On the first day of shooting the first thing I noticed was that the scenes look to out of location, it looked as if I had shot them somewhere in Angola and not in Paris where we were. So I decided to take Custuleta and his crew of dancers up to the Eiffel tower. A ton of other dancers where around as it was a meeting spot where dance crews come to show there moves and practice. The building which over looked the Eiffel Tower is called Le Palais de challiot

At the live performance in Metz.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Colors 78 'Dance' Pantsula

I have been dying to put this story up on my blog and now that the new Colors magazine is hitting the shelves its a pleasure to do so. I researched, photographed and produced a video on the 'Real Actions' Pantsula dance crew.

The story is about a group of dancers from Orange Farm South Africa called 'Real Actions'. They are a Pantsula dance crew from one of the most infamous townships in Johannesburg, South Africa, Orange Farm. The dance itself comes from Tsotsi (South African township gangsters) culture which has very negative stereotypes attached to it. The groups founders decided to use the dance form in a positive way and initiated a community uplifment program where they gave guys from the area the opportunity to use their dance skills in a public sphere (generating income) as well teach more kids from the area how to Dance.

I headed off one day into the township with Millisuthando Bongela (local writer) to meet the guys. We took a taxi off into the township where I was shown the ropes and allowed to view an area I had always been to scared or naive to enter previously. The following shots and video where created.

One of the dancers shows me the inside of his tin shack in the backyard of someone elses house. 

Outside his house with his mother. 

The beauty of the dance is it is performed on the street anywhere and anytime. 

The guys prepare themselves for practice in the local community hall.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Colors Magazine on Youtube

Colors Magazine launched their Youtube channel yesterday. It features two of my videos as well as an erray of other video makers and photographers from around the worlds amazing work. The theme for the new issue was Dance and I flew to South Africa (Pantsula) and Paris (Kuduro) to shoot two documentaries and videos.

The first one is about a group of Pantsula dancers from Orange farm South and the other about a one legged Kuduro Dancer originally from Angola but now living it up in Paris.

I will post the full stories and tear-sheets soon once the magazine has hit shelves.

CT 2010

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The New Colors Magazine on the Vogue Italy Website

This morning I noticed that two of my images are featured on the Vogue Italia website featuring the launch of the all new Colors magazine, which should hit shelves worldwide within the next two weeks.

I have included one of the images featured, aswell as the link to the Vogue Article.


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Canedicoda Video Piece

My first edited video piece which I film in Collaboration with Silvia Boschiero and edited myself. Quiet a chore. But Im happy with the results. See the photos in the last blog post which go with the video piece.

Ct 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Lave by Canedicoda Photographs

I decided to put up all the images from the Canedicoda shoot. I thought they looked better in Black and White. 

Below is what I wrote on the exhibition blog spot last week : 

'Recently I finished a collaborative project for Canedicoda, a hand screen printing specialist I met in Treviso. I collaborated with local friend and photographer Silvia Boschiero (Treviso) who introduced me to Gio from Canedicoda.

We did the shoot and video in the mystical mountain locations close to Vittorio Venetto where Gio from Canedicoda lives.

The project is meant to give a visual representation of a personal emotional response to his creations and the place that he creates them in. When I first met Gio inside his enoviroment, it was  quiet and meditational. I wanted to portray this to the viewer.' 

The Project was a collaboration between Silvia Bosciero and myself.

Ct 2010 

Monday, 13 September 2010

Canedicoda Milano.

Recently I finished a collaborative project for Canedicoda, a hand screen printing specialist I met in Treviso. I collaborated with local friend and photographer Silvia Boschiero (Treviso) who introduced me to Gio from Canedicoda.

We did the shoot and video in the mystical mountain locations close to Vittorio Venetto where Gio from Canedicoda lives.

The project is meant to give a visual representation of a personal emotional response to his creations and the place that he creates them in. When I first met Gio inside his enoviroment, it was  quiet and meditational. I wanted to portray this to the viewer.

Three of the images which will be printed on large postcards are with this post below. There will also be a large scale print element to the installation in Black and White.

A 3min long video will be projected onto the fabric from this range.

Ct 2010. 

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The Circus is in town.

Cycling to Fabrica this morning I noticed that the circus was setting up in town. This little caravan was parked next to it.


Symmetry on the way to Fabrica

I have been trying to document my life here in Italy more. This is a house that I cycle past everyday on the way to Fabrica. Everything here is so symmetrical, I love it.


Thursday, 2 September 2010


I was going through my images from the past couple of months of traveling and came accross two that fitted perfectly together. One was shot in Coney Island, New York City where I went when I got stuck after the Benetton Campaign (Stuck because of the Volcano). I was walking past one of the most famous spots on the promenade when I came accross this group of photographers (rather large fellows too) shooting a girl in front of the shoot the freak sign. I don't know if I was shooting the freaks or if they where shooting the freak but regardless we where all shooting.

The second image was taken on a trip to Paris a couple of months after New York to visit a friend I had met on the Benetton Campaign and one of the winners of the Its My Time competition, Magali Berthon. Its strange because she was with me in Coney Island when I shot the other and I regard her as a muse, how else can I explain the shots. This situation was on a bridge a sweltering day (if I could remember the name of the bridge I would use it), close to the main public library. I thought the two shots worked together because in the next one she was shooting a freak and it needed no signage.

Ct 2010.