Behind the Lens
Why did you want to tell Zimbabwe’s story?
This is a country that once fought for Robert Mugabe’s promise of a free Africa. Instead of getting freedom, its people have been oppressed by a dictator. The idea of my project was to document the lives of people on the front lines of Mugabe’s efforts to stay in power. It was important for me to show how their lives continue, even with the intimidation and political volatility.
How did you report while staying covert?
I became accustomed to 4 a.m. starts, when there would be fewer people and thugs around who might interfere with my work. Once news got out that a white man with a camera had been seen, the security agents would come looking for me.
How did you persuade people to let you photograph them?
I promised I wouldn’t use their last names or be specific about where I met them. Some people declined out of fear, but many more welcomed me. It seemed easier to talk to people who had been victims of Mugabe’s party because I am white. They knew I couldn’t be a secret agent.