Archive for May, 2010

light corner

“Dar’s street scenes tell a story of the city’s history, its people and their livelihoods – of the original inhabitants of Mzizima, the Sultans from Oman, the Germans, the British, the Indians, waves of immigrants from rural Tanzania and its surrounds.

Like the rings in a tree’s trunk, the fortunes of the city are signified by successive layers of change, visual layers now in danger of being erased.”

from the TEDxDar presentation (One of the most inspiring days I have had in Dar es Salaam – a huge hongera to all involved!)

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street justice


The dull thud of wood on flesh solicits little response from the men around me. Another thwack, and the boy stumbles, struggling not to loose his footing as he lurches out of the back of the lorry. 

The truncheon, polished smooth by years of prodding and more strenuous exertions, is poised over the next boy who drops quickly to avoid a blow. Several more follow, some avoiding the blows, others not so lucky.

Their wares follow them over the tailgate – bandanas, phone chargers, cd cases, gaudy stickers, an assortment of ‘made in china’ goods form a bright pile in the dust.

More militia shove the sun dazzled boys into the cramped courtroom, more sticks at the ready for any unwarranted moves. Squeezed on to a bench, their heads lowered in submission, the street vendors await the day’s justice. 

an excerpt from ‘Street Justice’, by sm

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Sidewalks swarm with women wrapped in black, men draped in white, and a rainbow of harmony in between.
This Dar embraces.

A luminous moon pulls swollen tides onto rocky shores while residents revel in weekend freedom.
This Dar celebrates.

A briny perfume lingers in the air like the inherited memory of ancient ship holds.
This Dar remembers.

Excerpt from ‘This Dar’ by Amy Gautam

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