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Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue


In the fall of 1998 I spent three months in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where I taught photography at a local institute.

During this period, I collided with the enormous differences between the Tanzanian and my own culture. These differences unfortunately make it very difficult to achieve a mutual understanding and comprehension of each other. Nevertheless, I dare say that after the three months I understood that these cultural differences are not invincible.
With the support, the patience and the courage of several Tanzanians who guided me into their culture, I discovered we are all basically the same, regardless of colour or race.
Only the circumstances we live in -which largely determine us- differ enormously, reinforcing the impression we inhabit different worlds, not one.

As a result of this new understanding I asked a large group of people in my neighbourhood in Dar es Salaam to pose for the camera with a favourite object. I then asked them why they chose this specific object. A selection of these photographs is shown here, for those who are interested and for those who want to learn something about life, assuming they are fortunate enough to have access to the Internet.

I here by would like to express my utmost gratitude to my guides, especially Andrew, Sandile, Mary and Bwana Mzee Sir John.

Barend Schweigman
Dar es Salaam /
December 1999