Africa Direct

Mechanic Sea: Diving for scrap metal in Cape Verde

Metal waste from the sea bed is a source of income for Bruno – but mainly he loves the peace he finds under the water.

In the waters off Mindelo, Cape Verde Islands, 27-year-old Bruno Henrique Lima de Brito dives for scrap metal on the sea bed every day. It’s tiring work, and his efforts yield little reward, yet the sea is Bruno’s happy place. Bruno contemplates his life, both under and above the water. He hopes for a good “catch”, enough metal debris from wreckage and waste, carefully weighed and sold, to buy some fish for his family. Then he returns to his beloved sea, where he finds a sense of peace that he cannot get on land.

Carlos Yuri Ceuninck is a filmmaker from Cape Verde. He has directed numerous short films and his second feature documentary, “Omi Nobu,” premiered at IDFA, Hot Docs and FESPACO, where it was awarded the Etalon d’or for best feature documentary.