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 a Portland-based visual artist and musician. She has been with NAILED Magazine since its inception in 2012 and has served as the Arts Editor and a Contributing Editor since its launch in 2013. A Detroit native, she attended The College for Creative Studies, where she focused on Fine Art and Industrial Design. She is currently enrolled in a Somatic Expressive Arts Education and Therapy training program, studying under Lanie Bergin. You can learn more about Shenyah here. (