Zimbabwe in Focus (4 of 5)

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This is part four of a five part assignment for IOM International Organization for Migration on the rebuilding of Zimbabwe after an unprecedented economic and civil collapse. Photos Copyright ©2009 Austin Andrews / International Organization for Migration (IOM) except where noted. Not to be reprinted or reproduced without permission.

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Last August, Will van Engen (blog link) and I visited Zimbabwe on a photographic assignment for IOM International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to promoting safe and humane migration in high-risk nations. Few countries recently have been in the headlines as much for migration issues as Zimbabwe, a failed state wracked by economic implosion where one third of the population now lives abroad, much of it illegally in neighbouring South Africa.

As a photography trip, it was ill-conceived: IOM organised an itinerary that compressed an entire country’s worth of far-flung project sites into one week of shooting. A Land Cruiser sent us tumbling down some of the worst roads in the world, chasing light and perpetually behind schedule. For every ten minutes spent travelling we’d be lucky to have a minute shooting. But as an experience it was one of the richest and most worthwhile trips of my life. I look back on the photographs below with rose-tinted fondness.

Part four takes us to IOM’s two Safe Zone activity sites for children at risk for trafficking, one in Bulawayo and the other in Chiredzi.

Rules.

At the Safe Zone in Chiredzi, a local volunteer runs through the rules of a tire track obstacle course.

Contender.

Contender.

Pokemon

Winners' circle.

Fleet footed.

The Chiredzi Safe Zone, one of two IOM-sponsored youth activity centres in Zimbabwe.

Point / Shot

Point / Shot

Counterpoint / Reverse Shot

Counterpoint / Reverse Shot

Brick columns.

Primed.

Blue on target.

Blue on target.

Story of a football.

Story of a football.

Sliver.

Mirrored sliver.

Author

Austin Andrews is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and occasional filmmaker with a penchant for finding the fantastic in the everyday. Contact him at austin [at] disposablewords [dot] net

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