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WHERE YOU’VE BEEN AND WHAT YOU’VE SEEN

¡Viva la fiesta!

PASTO, COLOMBIA

Carnaval de Negros y Blancos is the largest carnival celebration in southern Colombia and one of the country’s oldest festivals; it takes place in the city of Pasto from 2–7 January each year

I was in Pasto, Colombia, earlier this year for the annual Carnaval de Negros y Blancos. The Black and White Carnival is an awesome festival with native Andean roots and an intricate history. It celebrates Colombia’s immense cultural and ethnic diversity and is Unesco protected. People from all walks of life daub themselves and each other with dark grease or face paint one day and flour, foam or talc the next, and throw a completely wild street party to celebrate cultural difference. It was fantastic! In the finale on the last day, black and white gave way to lots of colour, singing and dancing. Since I’d already been ambushed a number of times, I was decked out in protective gear when I managed to get this, my favourite shot of the day. I feel lucky to have captured this brief moment during the five-hour-long parade.

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