Celebrated primarily by the Malinke people of West Africa, the Fête de la Mare (Pond/Marsh Festival) coincides with the beginning of the rainy season in Guinea’s Haute region. The festival is celebrated in different locations throughout the region, but the most prominent takes place in the village of Baro, the birthplace of Guinea’s current president, Alpha Condé. Guinea’s history, traditionally passed down orally from generation to generation through village historians called griots, upholds that the festival has existed in Guinea since at least 1600. In days preceding the festival, individual sacrifices are made to forest spirits for the promise of secure marriages, healthy births and bountiful harvests.
Cappy Phalen is a freelance photojournalist focused on telling stories that emphasize connection between humans and the world around them. Her interest in compassionate symbiosis is the core of her approach to storytelling, and she works to encompass respectful intention in every frame. Cappy is currently documenting the experience of small farmers and laborers across the United States.