We Are Still Here
"If you are a maid or a gardener, you are still dependent on a master. That kind of mentality ruined us. For the last many years, we have been colonized by our own. It is our generation's challenge to change that", says Stanley, a young entrepreneur and farmer from Harare.
A country is known for Victoria Falls, Safari Parks, decades of economic hardship and political oppression under Robert Mugabe's 37 years of dictatorship, one of the last countries in Africa to gain independence in 1980. "We are still here" is a visual investigation of the collective spirit - zeitgeist - of a young nation highly underreported due to a tightly closed media space. In July 2018, after Mugabe's fall and recent death, a new government took over, giving hope for change. However, the latest economic development, resolving in hyperinflation up to 500 percent, has challenged this belief.
This project is driven by the curiosity to understand the postcolonial legacy and identity by diving into the world of everyday life in urban parts of Zimbabwe.
Brandon, 21, is a swimming coach from Harare jumping from the 10 meters high seesaw in Les Brown Pool. The pool was built under British colonial rule, and it is one out of 13 outdoor swimming pools in the capital. Any large town in Zimbabwe holds at least one outdoor swimming pool.
Les Brown Pool, Harare. September 17, 2018
Man on the street in the centre of Mutare. The unemployment in the formal working sector is approximately 95 percent. Most people work in informal jobs, like street vendors. The recent increase in food prices due to high inflation makes it difficult for many people to make a sustainable living.
Mutare, October 8, 2018
Like many other young couples in Harare, Yolanda, 17, and Tapiwa, 19, often meet in Harare Gardens to spend time together.
Harare Gardens, Harare. September 10, 2018.
Employes at the University of Zimbabwe. The university was initially built under British rule by the white minority government in 1952.
Harare, September 13, 2018
Boys are warming up to their cricket match at a local competition in Harare. Cricket was introduced to Rhodesia (the British colonial name of modern Zimbabwe) by the colonial rulers in the 19th century. Today, cricket is still one of the most popular sports in Zimbabwe, particularly among the white minority.
Harare, September 22, 2018
Students are cheering at the annual swimming competition at Hillcrest College.
Mature, October 11, 2018
Thursday evening training session in progress at Harare Sports Club Rugby. The Rugby team meets twice a week and have matches on the weekends. Both men and women train together, and people of diverse backgrounds come to play the game.
Harare Sports Club Rugby, October 4, 2018
Doud, 69, is a war veteran who served the Rhodesian Army from 1969 to 1980 during the Rhodesian Bush War (Zimbabwe War of Liberation). The Rhodesian administration and Army represented the white minority who fought against native leaders, including Robert Mugabe, who opposed foreign rule. When talking about the old days over a beer pint, Doud says, "We should have finished the job when we had the chance. Zimbabwe would be in a better place if we did so.
The Legions Club, Mutare. October 7, 2018
Spectators are watching the football game between the home team Dynamos FC versus Black Rhinos at Rufaro Stadium in Mbare. Dynamos FC had just scored the winning goal (2-1). Mbare is the oldest high-density area in the Capital of Harare. Simba, a young man from Mbare, says, "We are the walking dead. The guys on the top are killing us".
Rufaro Stadium in Mbare, Harare, October 21, 2018
A young couple from Harare is celebrating a friend's birthday on Sunday afternoon at Lake Chivero. They often come here with their friends at the weekends to drink and party.
Lake Chivero, September 23, 2018
Mr. Jeffrey, 47, is a local gardener. Jeffrey is attending his Apostolic Church on a field in Harare on a Sunday afternoon. Jeffrey works for a Swedish family where he also lives on the property. He has been working for the Swedish family for three years, and before them, he worked for another European family for more than ten years in the same house. Jeffrey has a wife and two young daughters, but they live in a small village 200 km away. He tries to visit them once a month.
Harare, September 9, 2018
An old commercial sign in an industrial area on the outskirts of Mutare is empty. Mutare is the fourth biggest city in the Eastern part of Zimbabwe, with a population of around 189,000 inhabitants. Due to the economic issues since the late 1990s, many fabrics are closed, and industrial buildings were abandoned.
Mutare, October 9, 2018
Paul, 72, is sitting on the night train on his way to visit relatives. He is retired now but used to work as a train conductor for 38 years. Once a year, he gets a free train ticket from the state. "We have learnt a lot from the British. When I was young under British rule, the trains were running much faster and better. Nowadays, the train is not working very well." This trip from Bulawayo to Harare can take up to 24 hours before it was only 6 hours.
October 15, 2018
The Cross covered by the cloth in the back room of a local tennis club in Harare. Every Sunday, the room is used for church services.
Harare, October 3, 2018
Michaela, 19, (to the right) participating in the annual swimming competition at Hillcrest College. She dreams of becoming a photographer after high school graduation.
Hillcrest College. Mutare. October 11, 2018