Photojournalist Dan Eldon left behind much more than the astonishing illustrated journals that would form The Journey is the Destination when he lost his life at age twenty-two while on assignment in Somalia.
"Africana": One of the earliest and most synchronously arranged of our journal works, the chronological page one of book one, already steeped in our obvious favorite spirits: girls, maps, Africa, space, bugs and liquor (also, dorky graphs and illustrations from outdated science text books, usually purchased on the streets of Monrovia for about 50 cents apiece).
"Greenville": We never made it south down the coast of Liberia, here folded over itself to produce a suitable canal for a floral biome, something like the dubious rivers down which one can float if beers are ready-to-hand and antibiotics after. Surf naked and leave no trace.
"Ladies Night" (a companion piece to "Legs"): Further north in Liberia and Sierra Leone, slightly more overflown and troublesome, in support of bees, generosity and furniture innovations. Sending goodwill in forms that do not collapse the local textile industry, nothing whatsoever dropped from choppers. Everything planted grows.
Legs (a companion piece to "Ladies Night"): Robertsport on the bottom quarter of a large UNMIL map, given zebras, minerals, legs, a moonshine of sorts and sent love in the hopes of a reunion and increased performance across all development indicators—except for the twisted ones that make imaginary short-term progress after a filthy port for iron ore extraction is breakwatered onto the headland to destroy Lake Piso and her charms.
Robertsport: Pilfered from a UN repository of maps by a keen surfer and talented photographer, this tactical map entirely downplays the centrality of Robertsport the town and even excludes, by millimeters, Cotton Trees the wave. The fruitful interior is what it is and the legend fills with occult bluster. A vulgar octopus surveys everything as they usually do until they are turned inside out, savagely. Let them be.
The nation’s most widely circulated map receives decoration from Ngor Island. Waves, fans, flies, broken lights, stray cats, fitness ninjas and some popcorn encircle a tapeworm, the bonkers tyrant of the oppressed Gambian people. Senegal is glorious; go visit.