My name is Robson Murambiwa and I’m a Photographer and Filmmaker based in Bulawayo. I’m a 100% certified cinephile ! I have always loved Photography and film and feel that there are a lot of Zimbabwean stories that are yet to be told and would love to do that through my art.
I have been doing film and photography since 2008.
We need the resources to be able to realise the outcomes of the project we have in mind, especially in terms of the reach and scope that we envision. The grant will assist us in carrying out our project objectives more effectively.
We want to create more works that tell stories of the community of Bulawayo. Short films as a follow up to this project are already in the works.
Our final product is a photography blog site found at www.athousandwordszw.com. A Thousand Words is a creative photography blog project which focuses on exhibiting images captured during and after the lockdown in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe whilst offering both professional photo journalists and less established novices an opportunity and independent platform to show case their works and tell their stories.
The project started off with 3 photowalks that happened in our target area. A bulk of the images that made it onto the site were captured during these. The photowalks were an interesting mix of both drama and adventure as we got to interact with some of the residents of these two suburbs in our quest to capture their stories. Besides the fact that we were able to capture the images we wanted, this experience also cemented in our hearts and minds the fact that we can achieve a lot more through collaborative works than as individuals.
As we carried out the activities of our project, it was apparent that the scourge of Covid-19 had ensured that life would never be the same again. As one of our captions from the project states : “With the rise of the global pandemic, Covid-19, a lot of social gatherings have been restricted, people can no longer freely move, meet, work and interact as they used to. People have been encouraged to isolate themselves as much as possible ; to avoid ‘unnecessary’ human interactions. All of these measures have been put into place to save human lives from the virus ; but what happens to the human lives and society whose core fibre has been moulded by social interactions and contact. How are these people expected to survive and shift the long-time narrative of gathering to celebrate and mourn, fight, eat, drink and play together ? These conflicting fundamentals have left a society in distress, defying the set rules and at the same time staying true to who they really are, ‘abantu’.” Despite the difficulties and the changes that people now have to adjust to, it is also clear that some positives for our future societies have been born. Communities have once again rediscovered and learned the importance of togetherness and family.
The residency was an exciting period for me because it gave me something to do that would not have been possible had I not received the help that I got. I was very happy with process and the journey that got us this far. The residency kick started a dream and although it is at an end, I am happy to say that the project lives on and will continue to grow as a platform to tell stories through photography. The team that I put together also contributed a lot to our success and I am happy that we were able to show fellow creatives in our country that there is definitely power in collaborations. Although the website itself is still work in progress, I am happy so far with what we have achieved.