out past warships that are there to prevent piracy, and
come back to the market with seafood to sell.
According to the magazine’s editor-in-chief, there
was never any doubt that the image would run on the
cover. “As a supplement, we can always choose the
best picture for the cover because we don’t have to
think, ‘Is it going to sell on the newsstand?’” Klotzek
says. “But the interesting thing about this cover is
that it would work on the newsstand … it’s a very clas-
Klotzek acknowledges that it was a bit of a risk for Süddeutsche Zeitung
Magazin to commit to such a big story about Africa when so many publications
are focusing on news from the Middle East. But it ended up being a hit with read-
ers. He says the magazine still receives e-mails about the article, and that many
people were so inspired by the mayor’s story they’ve inquired about how they can
help support his cause.
Obert and Grarup, who didn’t receive payment from Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin
but did have all expenses covered, have benefitted from having other publications
pick up the article. They agreed not to pitch it to any German language media outlets. However, GQ France, The Sunday Times Magazine in London and other European
publications paid to run the article.
For Grarup the story doesn’t end here. Despite the improvement of life in
Mogadishu, famine and war continue to threaten the rest of the country. Refugees
flee as a result, and Grarup will be returning to Somalia to continue documenting
Opposite page: A guard
watches as refugees arrive
from Al-Shabab territory. This
page: A man brings a shark to
the fish market (above) and
citizens of Mogadishu wait
for the mayor and president
to arrive at a festival (right).
that story. He says it’s likely that the work will end up as an exhibition or a book.
“My [feeling] is that a lot of magazines are not really that interested in the story
unless you get into an extreme famine situation where it’s kind of headline news
for a week or ten days,” he says. “I do understand that Afghanistan or Iraq or other
places, from a political point of view, might be more interesting. But this is actually
a place where we could make a difference.”