A recycler is seen scouring Richmond sanitary landfill for material in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Plastic waste remains challenging waste management issue due to its non biodegradable nature, if not managed properly plastics ends up polluting water ways, wetlands, and storm drains causing flash flooding around Zimbabwe’s cities and towns.
In January this year, I was getting lost in the twists and turns of the busy streets of Amsterdam, roaming from museum to gallery to further creative spaces. Through my discoveries I visited the Huis Marseille museum for photography, who were holding an exhibition titled ‘Recent Histories – Contemporary African photography.’ The collection of artists and variance in photographic interpretation from across the African continent really tugged at my heart strings, especially with the imagery from my home country and the southern countries. As I moved from room to room examining the collection my mind was thrown back to my final major project at university and one of the driving forces for inspiration and imagery, Zinyange Auntony.
I stumbled across Zinyange’s work during the tumultuous time in Zimbabwe towards the tail end of 2017 with the downfall of Robert Mugabe. His imagery and ability to capture focal content that felt real and personal to the viewer, had such an impact on me that I changed the subject matter of my project to focus and this period of revolution in Zimbabwe.
Zinyange’s photo library allows its viewers to be present in that moment that the camera shutter clicks, and as the western world moves forward with its own internal issues whilst mainly forgetting about their ex-colonies, the imagery he captures brings that missing connectivity.
The image chosen for this post draws to the very topical point of climate change, and how the strain and responsibility of dealing with the disastrous impact we are having on this earth isn’t confined to country boundaries. Where first world countries have the infrastructure to tackle certain issues like single use plastics and landfill, Zinyange captures the need for support in the developing countries who do not have this infrastructure. The composition of this photo caries forward so many underlying points that require focus; the single worker trudging through a sea of plastic hauling a load that is far to heavy to be dealt with alone, the larger group of workers in the background undertaking manual intensive labour due to the lack of suitable machinery to assist and clearly seen the line between plastic and nature as it continues to cover more of nature.
Zinyange’s portfolio creates a viewing of the intricacies and issues we face in this day and age, and his art has the ability to stir and engage emotions much more than a well worded article might. With his work and subject content, Zinyange Auntony shows the power and force that we within the creative industry have, and how when targeted correctly can cause discussion and engagement.
To view more of his work, visit his website at:
And his Instagram at: