Main Exhibition Site
The exhibit was about Zimbabwe and how the previously beautiful country had been forgotten and devoured by Robert Mugabe’s restless thirty-year dictatorship. The people of Zimbabwe suffered from police brutality, poverty and were dying from disease.
Photojournalist Robin Hammond of New Zeeland took the risk of going and becoming a witness to the tragedy and putting Zimbabwe back on the map so it could get some help in rebuilding and reconstructing a new life. He brought the case back into the spotlight by listening to the cries and the protests of the people suffering during that time. Hammond put himself and those who helped him in high risk, however, the sadness from the exhibit allowed people to be lured to the pain and more willing to understand the situation.
During this exhibit, there was “music” of the cries of the people and sad sorrowful songs they sang. The songs were very emotionally grasping, because one could hear it from a distance,allowing you to be curious yet afraid of what lies ahead. The photos showed injured men and women and sad and lonely children. He also showed the dying land and dying people from the crisis.
In taking the images, one has to learn about the culture and take time to learn about the situation taking place, otherwise the audience will not be able to feel the emotions in front of the lens. You really need to dive in and live the situation to fully understand it.
I learned about how much worse what happened in Zimbabwe really was despite what was told in the news. Two images that caught my eye most were; the one of the man with the damaged skin (possibly from acid burning the skin), and that of a crying toddler. These images showed that there was no hope for Zimbabwe during this time. The elders were dying and so were the children right along side their parents. The images really put a face to the voices behind the cries that viewers could hear while approaching the exhibit. My emotions were being dragged across the floor as I walked through. Hammond did a wonderful job portraying the sadness he felt and witnessed behind and in front of the lens.