Thursday, March 4, 2021

Photographing street culture in Zanzibar

Carl Van der Linde  is a 27-year-old South African photographer from Cape Town, who gravitates towards subjects “whose strong individuality, style and pride” radiate from within. 


Travelling across the continent — and occasionally overseas to South America — he likes to wander the streets of different cities for days, finding subjects to shoot collaboratively and organically. 

To shoot the following series, Carl travelled to Zanzibar in 2020, curious as to what day-to-day life was like on the Tanzanian island, particularly during a quiet period when the usual glut of international tourists weren’t present.

The resulting series has a gentle ease to it; no heavy or forced messaging, or attempts to create a particular narrative.

 Shot between the island’s high streets, pier fronts, boda boda motorbike taxi ranks, and beaches at dusk, these images take a particular focus on what growing up on the island from boyhood to manhood is like.

“There is a vibrant youth culture spanning from the island's capital, Stone Town, to smaller villages like Paje, a kite-surfing destination on the east coast,” he says. “But with this series, I set out to really explore what it means to be a young man in Zanzibar.
 I noticed a real diversity amongst the Zanzibari young men with regard to culture, religion and ideologies. Zanzibar has a long heritage of being one of the most fluid nodes of the Global South, where different ideas and views have intermingled for centuries.”

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