Becoming Salt by Dario Calmese

Editor Shenyah Webb, Photography, November 9th, 2017

"At what point do we move beyond redemption to condemnation?"

Dario Calmese Photography Nailed Magazine


A photo essay by Dario Calmese.

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DARIO CALMESE: Alexandra Township – one of the oldest and poorest of South Africa’s apartheid-era townships – is commonly referred to as “Gomorrah” by its residents, in reference to the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the tale, a vengeful god can only find one man, Lot, worthy of saving, and allows he and his family safe passage as their village burns to a cinder. His wife, longing to view what became of her compatriots and homeland, looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt.

Alexandra Township lies adjacent to Johannesburg and borders Sandton, “Africa’s Richest Square Mile.” From the dusty and hilly roads of Alex one can view the glistening Sandton City Mall, a bustling retail palace dedicated to the nouveau riche nobility of Johannesburg; a capitalist vision within view, but out of reach.

But what of those left behind? The value of some lives over others is the cornerstone of oppressive structures. Is man not worth saving? At what point do we move beyond redemption to condemnation?

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Dario Calmese Photography Nailed MagazineDario Calmese is an artist and writer based in New York City. Classically trained in the performing arts, he uses photography, video, and text along with his knowledge of movement, gesture, and psychology to create characters and narratives that explore history, race, class, and what it means to be human.



Shenyah Webb

Shenyah Webb is the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. She is originally from Detroit; she studied Psychology at Michigan State University, and later finished in Industrial Design with an Art Therapy minor at The College of Creative Studies. She lives and works in Portland with her husband and son. She is a visual artist, and musician under the name Lithopedion. Her self-titled EP was released in 2013.