Once upon a time in Mauritius

Mauritius is a mélange of cultures on a tiny speck of an island in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. In a world increasingly divided, Mauritius is an island that is indiscriminate and colorful. I like to think of it as the primordial form of cosmopolitanism. We are from all over the world and yet rooted to this little island.


I was admiring these vintage film photos of Mauritius that I had encountered. It was shared online by someone called, Nilesh Boodhun, who discovered them in a deteriorating state and had taken the trouble to salvage and restore them.Unfortunately, the photographer's identity is unknown.

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There was something about these images that I found to be earnestly personal. It beautifully captures the everyday normality of our island life. The grainy quality that is so idiosyncratic of film photos lends them a quality of intangible retrospection, like as if they were a part of my own memory. 

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As I scrolled through the pages, I was engulfed by a sense of never leaving home. I was looking at reality but really, it was just a version of it. A breeze wafts in through the open window and I am suddenly just able to hear the sound of the ocean above the far away din of the people going about their calm days by the sea.

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I hope these photos will show the world that there is more to Mauritius than meets the eye. As you peruse through them, take a moment to allow the grain of each image to inspire you in their simplicity.

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