21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Bokassa in the death sentence of the central prison of Douala

This photo is shot inside the central prison of Douala in Cameroon. Bokassa has been in prison for the last ten years, he lost his legs in a car accident a long time ago and he doesn't have the money to pay for a wheelchair so he relies on friends and fellow inmates to transport him around the prison. I asked him where he would like to be if he was free, and he answered that he wanted to be in the nightclubs of the neighbourhood of Douala where he was born and grew up. Bokassa is a great dancer and loves clubs and dancing more than anything else. When he starts dancing the crowd goes crazy and gives him lots of money. Together with a group of inmates I painted a backdrop with the interior of his favourite nightclub and took his portrait in front of it.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2023
Date Uploaded: 09.2023
Photo Location: Douala, Cameroon
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Copyright: © Dione Roach