Under a cloak of darkness, our most true – or most fake – selves often come out to play. Escapism is universal and typically accompanied by a cabinet of vices like booze, drugs and promiscuity – all of which go hand-in-hand with a desire to seek out freedom once night-time descends. That’s what Italian-born photographer Michele Sibiloni, who now lives in east Africa, found when he visited Kampala in Uganda, encountering street-walkers, vagabonds, Rastafarians, drunken locals and tourists, hustlers, beggars and more.
Sibiloni recalls meeting a Ugandan local who offered to show him around on the flight over, leading to his first brush with the nightlife he’s been documenting for four years now. “I wanted to shoot the nightlife that was happening along the streets because (it) was very different from where I come from,” he explains of his work, which will be collected in a new photobook, Fuck It, this month. “Everything happens fast here: birth, death, relationships, affairs, life, everything happens at a fast pace but in a relaxed manner, and nobody worries about it too much.”
The title comes courtesy of one of his subjects – whose leg is tattooed with the words ‘Fuck It’ – and is an authentic nod to the sense of nihilism that runs through the book’s pages. “I hope (readers) will get dragged into the journey,” Sibiloni says. “I hope they will see a place which they never imagined existing.”
Fuck It (published by Edition Patrick Frey) is launching at London’s The Photographer’s Gallery this Thursday (March 10). Event details here