The image was taken in Plaza de la Trinidad near my hotel in the oldest part of Cartagena called Getsemani. Away from the tourist trap areas of Cartagena, Getsemani felt like the real heart and soul of this Caribbean city. Although most of the buildings were decaying such as the church in the photo (built in 1643) there was so much vibrancy and life. Barbers would set up their antique chairs in the street, families would set up their dining tables outside, all to enjoy the warm Caribbean breeze and to interact with their neighbours.
Returning to the hotel one day with my friends, we passed these guys jamming in the square and drinking Aguardiente (an anise flavoured liqueur). I stopped and took out a camera, indicated that I wanted to photograph them, I received an approving nod. Eventually the eldest, who was also the most drunk, approached me and asked me where I am from. I engaged in a conversation with the help of my Colombian friend Nury. He then went on to tell me that he is the best drummer in Colombia and has performed internationally, perhaps that was the Aguardiente talking. After taking a number of photos I noticed that their Aguardiente bottle was running low. I thought it was only polite to offer to buy them another bottle so I went to the corner store and bought one. They then invited me to drink it with them, which I did.
It was one of the most enjoyable part of my trip to share this moment with these locals who were not busking or asking for money, they were simply there to enjoy their music, each others company and the company of whoever wandered past.
I Captured this image with a Bronica ETRS medium format camera (analogue) and Kodak New Portra 400 film. Upon my return to Australia the photo lab managed to get my negatives jammed in their machine. I thought the images I took with my Canon 5D would be my saving grace but I actually prefer the film shots. Although there is evidence of some damage I think it actually adds to the decay and organic nature of the place where the photo was taken.