Christian Bobst (b. 1971, Switzerland) originally studied graphic design. For almost 15 years, he worked as an internationally awarded creative director for major advertising agencies in Switzerland and Germany. In 2010, he decided to focus working as a freelance documentary photographer.
Since then, he has covered stories in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America. His pictures were published in magazines and newspapers such as Stern, NZZ, die Zeit, The Guardian, The New York Review of Books, Six Mois, Huffington Post and Geo. In 2016, he was named a winner in the World Press Photo Awards—the resulting exhibition was shown in 100 cities in 45 countries around the world.
I took this picture in the early morning in a fishermen's village in the Philippines. I remember exactly how those two small boys, who jumped in and out of the water like dolphins, made me forget my miserable conditions for a moment.
I was in Mindanao on assignment for an NGO, documenting the struggles of small farmers and fishermen to claim their rights to their own land. For security reasons, I was not allowed to sleep in the villages. I had to sleep at the only hotel in the area, which located one hour away. As I wanted to take some images in the village at first light, I had to get up at 4 AM. Normally, that would be fine, especially if you did not expect that people in the poorest and most remote areas in Mindanao have big karaoke-machines which they use every night to practice their vocal skills till midnight or longer. But they do. Not to mention that the local food played some tricks on my stomach and I had to get up every thirty minutes that night. So, when the alarm went off at 3:45 AM, I really, really hated being a photographer!
But standing on the shore, as the sun was rising over the ocean, and I saw the two giggling boys climbing on each other's shoulders to jump back into the water—well, I couldn't help smiling myself. Every time I look at this picture, it seems to me I can hear the sound of one of those (awful) karaoke machines; someone is singing "What a Wonderful World."
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