Female Photographers Capture Zimbabwe Elections

July 30, 2013

The Zimbabwe Association of Female Photographers (ZAFP) has launched a project to document the sights and scenes of the 2013 Zimbabwean elections and how the process will affect the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

ZAFP is a Hivos partner under the Human Rights Fund, which is supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

The organisation was started in 2011 by four young female photographers from Harare and has grown its membership to over 20 photographers.

The organisation’s mission is: “To create a platform for female photographers in Zimbabwe to work together and support each other as a means of furthering their professional careers.”

ZAFP’s core aims include supporting photographers in marketing, publishing and exhibiting their work, defending the rights of access for all photojournalists in Zimbabwe, encouraging collaborations between female photographers both locally and internationally and establishing community programmes as a means of giving back to the people who are the subject of their photographs.

Their official launch and first exhibition was held in May 2013 and was officiated by Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, Hon. Jessie Majome, who highlighted the importance of photography as a tool for documentation.

For their electoral process documentation project, ZAFP have launched a blog on their website (www.zafp.org/blog) where their members have already started documenting the political campaigns by the various parties taking part in the elections set for July 31. The blog is titled ‘Inside Out Every Day’.

The photographs range from trailing the work of journalists covering the elections, to activities by ‘foot soldiers’ in the campaigns who stick up posters, mobilise crowds to attend rallies and lead the singing of songs to support their parties.

There are breathtaking shots of thousands of supporters at campaign rallies and a series of images that documents the sheer quantity of campaign material used in awareness campaigns. This includes t-shirts, caps and posters that have been put up on walls, lamp posts and various other surfaces around Zimbabwe.

On election day the blog will stream a series of photos as Zimbabweans go out to vote in what must be the most anticipated, spoken about and debated election in the country since independence in 1980.