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Photographer and filmmaker Malte Wandel hails from Munich, Germany, but has passed much of the last eight years of his life traveling several African countries. He spent time in South Africa, Mozambique, West Africa, Ghana, Togo, and Burkina Faso, photographing the style, beauty, and personality of the people he met in each locale. His work taken in Mozambique was published by Kehrer Art Books Heidelberg in 2012. More recently, he shared “Please Don’t Smile,” a collection of portraits he shot with just that direction. In the series, Wandel’s unsmiling subjects range from a young man with a wall clock bound to his leg to a girl standing before a fishnet that happens to match her bathing suit. Without a grin, the people in these images seem to focus their attention outward, as if they are looking back at the world, the photographer, and, at times, the viewer.

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