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Boabom, New York and history of a picture


Many are the students of Boabom, especially in the US, that identify the Boabom School with a picture that has been extensively used for the publicity of the classes, whether on postcards, posters or in the train stations.

Every picture is a moment of life that is frozen and stopped to delight and make the imagination work toward the future.

This picture had its moment: it was a hot summer afternoon in New York: Amlom (the main character), Yemado (Teacher at the School in Boston) and myself (Asanaro) walked the streets of Manhattan after a meeting at Penguin/Tarcher, the editorial company that had already published the books of Seamm-Jasani and Boabom, and is currently working on Bamso, the Art of Dreams.

We were enthusiastic and decided to take a stroll around The Big Apple; Yemado had his old Leica camera and began taking pictures in black and white, old style. As a matter of fact, several of these are still in use in our current publicity and also in the websites. I had an old but noble Olympus digital camera with not-very-good resolution, but that was very effective. I had the Subway in mind, a symbolic element of the city, of something temporary and of continuous movement… the idea swam inside my head; on the other hand, Amlom, with patience and accumulating strength perspired trying to show a good Boabom technique for her demanding photographers: “one time…one more time… and again, it can be better!”  Then she would inhale and exhale and would look at me as saying “alright… alright… it’s already great”. Our photographical walk continued through the crazy city.

After some time we went underground in search for the subway, since we wanted to go someplace else. There, sitting and waiting for a few minutes the idea of the picture with the train car came back to my head: it had to be done quickly since we did not know if we were allowed to take pictures in the subway station, especially after 9/11. In less than 10 seconds and with the train running at full speed, she took the position and I took the picture, it was that simple. My short experience with photography has taught me that one has to take a large amount of pictures to get one really great shot, but once in a while an extraordinary photograph happens… it just happens, and it only takes one try. It was the moment, with Amlom all sweaty on a hot New York afternoon, the subway, the light, many things came together and it just clicked.

Today, years later, Yemado comes back to New York with a new generation of Teachers and assistant-teachers of Boabom to begin a new School. The summer is coming to an end, a new cycle of introspection and study is being born, Boabom opens new frontiers… and maybe it’s all because of a picture.