In January I filed a story about resistance to gender-based violence in Tanzania.
Reporting the story was a privilege. I met police officers, nurses, lawyers, activists, mothers — all of whom inspired me with their advocacy, their devotion to realizing women’s rights. In a country where men dominate the public agenda – from government press conferences to roadside coffee shop banter – it was encouraging to see so many women at the microphone throughout the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign.
I captured many of these women with my camera, intending to post a photo essay. But then my computer crashed (for the second time in three months! Rant, rant, rant…) and I had to wait for nearly a month to get my computer back – and with it access to the photos I took.
Now my incorrigible MacBook Pro is back home, all shiny and spotless like a freshly washed beast of a used car. And I’m feeling fresh too after visiting Dar es Salaam’s Alliance Francaise where I saw Pierre-Yves Ginet’s photo exhibition, Women in Resistance. The French photographer has spent more than a decade trolling the globe for women who are fighting for democracy and gender equality.
We show women as victims, mothers, or models – and occasionally politicians, he told a packed crowd at the exhibition launch. But that’s about it. His collection of photos and the accompanying stories seek to expand the narrative. He’s challenging the shallow or stereotypical representations of women in mainstream media – and asking other journalists to do the same.
The next day I worked with journalists at Clouds TV/Radio to do a story about Ginet’s photos and the representation of women in Tanzanian media. It reminded me that I’ve yet to post the photos I took during the 16 Days campaign.
And so here they are, Tanzania’s own women in resistance: