It's equal parts travel and sartorial inspiration.

By Siobhan Reid
April 21, 2018
Shoulder Exposed for the King, Ghana 2014
| Credit: Jessica Antola

Many people in North America only dream of visiting destinations like Benin, Senegal, and Ethiopia. But just because you don’t have a plane ticket, it doesn't mean you can’t experience the beauty and allure of these African countries.

“Circadian Landscapes,” a new photography book from Brooklyn-based shutterbug Jessica Antola, takes readers to wanderlust-inspiring locales around sub-Saharan Africa, from the street markets in Ghana to the tropical forests of Togo and the river banks of Côte d’lvoire. Equally as captivating as these vivid backdrops, though, are the fashionable locals who take center stage in Antola’s photographs.

“The project was inspired by the people I encountered on my travels,” said Antola. “I was most interested in the ways people create and define their identities through dress and other everyday rituals.”

The result is a nonlinear collection of photographs of various locations in seven different countries, featuring people carrying out everyday activities — doing laundry, wrestling on the beach, taking part in religious ceremonies, and selling their wares on the street.

Credit: Jessica Antola

It’s these quotidian moments that inspired the title of the book, which references the Circadian rhythm, the biological process that recurs naturally on a 24-hour cycle.

“Life in many of the places I visited revolves around the hours of the day between sunrise and sunset,” said Antola. “‘Circadian Landscape’ is my way of honoring those quotidien but wondrous moments.”

From left: Flute Player, Ethiopia 2013; Entering the Omo Valley, Ethiopia 2013
| Credit: Jessica Antola
Cassava, Togo 2014
| Credit: Jessica Antola
From left: Zangbeto Temple, Benin 2014; The King's Warrior Dance, Ghana 2014
| Credit: Jessica Antola
From left: Washing Day, Senegal 2011; Tofinu Girls, Benin 2014
| Credit: Jessica Antola
From left: Important Day, Ethiopia 2013; Daasanach Girl and Goat, Ethiopia 2013
| Credit: Jessica Antola
Blue Dress, Senegal 2011
| Credit: Jessica Antola