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Story: This article appears in Volume 25: The Pioneer Issue

I can’t tell you a story about Madagascar. Stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. There tends to be some sort of message in them and a clear trajectory towards uncovering it. But the days I spent on this island nation adrift off the coast of Mozambique cannot be chronicled or distilled. They are a matryoshka doll of tales, a patchwork of encounters.

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Most destinations come with a preformed narrative that shapes your expectations – you’ve read the bumf, seen photographs plastered all over Instagram and your colleague visited last year. However, I had few preconceptions of Madagascar. Unlike Kenya with safaris or Bali with beaches, it has not been neatly pre-packaged for tourists but is instead raw, rough around the edges and unabashedly true to itself. As a result, I find myself clumsily clutching at memories: there is no map on which to plot my coordinates or skeleton on which to hang my words…

Read the full the story in print.
Photos by @mdleaver, www.mdleaver.com
Words by @indiadowley

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