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Monday, 15 February 2010 02:00

Limbo on Nyerere Road

By  Dawid Wapenaar
The image was made during a trip to Tanzania in July, 2009, on the Arusha town square. The image portrays a Masai couple coming in from the dark and trying to walk down Nyerere Road, but facing a technological divide to overcome before they can do so. It's 11:50 pm and there is a sense of urgency and despair.

The image was created with the Masai situation in mind. The prevailing drought forced record numbers of the traditional herders from their land as they face declining stock numbers. They moved to the cities where they face an even bleaker reality. The lucky ones are limited to prospects as security guards on construction sites or hotels. Historically, the Masai have resisted westernisation and refused to be gathered into urbanised collectives for better health care and education, as was the primary agenda of socialist president, Julius Nyerere. Now that the arid land is rejecting their nomadic ways, they face an even greater challenge in order to be incorporated into mainstream and modernizing Tanzania. They are literally and metaphorically left on the sidewalk wondering, "?"

The image was created in one exposure, shot on medium format Pentax 645 on long exposure and hand lit with 2 flashes from the front and back
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