Xavier Aaronson introduces us to his “volcanic” granny, Carmela, in this charming photo series

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Xavier Aaronson introduces us to his “volcanic” granny, Carmela, in this charming photo series


“I like to think of Carmela as a volcano.” Xavier Aaronson tells It’s Nice That. “Most of the time she’s dormant, low in energy and spirit, but on rare occasions, with the help of the camera, she lights up and welcomes some playful antics.” The Copenhagen-based photographer and filmmaker only gets to see his grandmother a few times a year, since she lives in Copenhagen. But when he visits, he usually spends a few weeks there. After a few days of hanging out together, Xavier admits that things can get a little monotonous: “She can get bored with me, the same way I can get bored with her.” So he began a little experiment to see if it would “spark a small flame” in Volcano-Carmela.

Xavier began taking photographs of his grandmother, capturing everything from the small mundane moments of her daily routine – doing her hair up in rollers or going for a little stroll – to the more mischievous moments, like when she plays with her food at an Italian restaurant or shows off her collection of Maasai spears. “The more photos we take the more joy and levity come out of hibernation”, Xavier says.

The bizarre range of props which pop up throughout the series are “not random”, the photographer tells us. Carmela collected many of these objects from when she lived in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Angola. When Xavier visits they give these artefacts a good “feather-dusting” and he asks Carmela to tell him about them. “This sets her off on a long story and nostalgic trip down memory lane. And sometimes it makes for a fun photograph of her and this object that brings her back good memories.”



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