Danny Kresnyak’s book is part photo-essay, part human-rights journalism, part road story, and entirely engaging. Different Drummer Vol. 2 is a visually striking odyssey through what is essentially a year in the life of one intrepid man with a camera and the drive to find the untold stories of the lost, the repressed, or the just plain peculiar people of the world.
It starts, where else, with an eventful road trip to the U.S. Beard Championships in Pennsylvania. A run in with customs, more than a little alcohol and some fabulously bewhiskered gentlemen create an unforgettable tale that sets the theme of information gathering through risk taking that permeates this adventure in print.
Quickly moving through Paris, some Regina history in the form of a farewell to Vassil Zaharik (the 11th Ave. archivist), it is then on to Ghana in West Africa where our venturesome journalist’s stories are focused for the rest of the book.
Stories of struggle, betrayal, exploitation, and personal ruin abound, but interspersed throughout these harsh realities are stories of hope and not only the unwavering will to survive, but to thrive in an environment that seems to thwart success at every turn.
Different Drummer Vol. 2 closes with Kresnyak’s personal reflections and accounts from his time spent working in Ghana. Moments of terror are recalled with a distinct and dark humour by Kresnyak and his own tale is marked by first experiences and touching human connections.
Kresnyak’s singular work appeals on many levels. His photographs are captivating, and his stories are immersive with just the right amount of hope and humour mixed in with the heartbreaking human rights issues.
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