Zimbabwe

For Bernard (top left), supporting the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) came at a high price. Elected as a village Councillor for the MDC on March 29 2008, he was repeatedly threatened and beaten. He says, ‘One night eight soldiers with guns came and broke down my door. One soldier put a bullet in my mouth and said next time we will use it.' Bernard is holding the meticulous record he keeps of all those who have been beaten in his area.

Andrew (top right), a local MDC official, was a victim of the political violence that swept throughout the country in the run up to the June 2008 Presidential run-off election. He says 'I was collected from my house by a gang of 15 and they brought me to the command centre. I was beaten very hard more than once.’

Despite their age, or perhaps because of it, both Bernard and Andrew refused to give up their dream of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. 

Masvinga, Southern Zimbabwe

Details

Photographed in 2008, at a time when British journalists were not welcome in Zimbabwe, the pictures were taken with a small Leica camera. The men were incredibly patient in discussing and setting up the photography which relied on small hut entrances and smoke holes to provide light. 

Photographed whilst on assignment for Tearfund, a UK based charity, the pictures were also published in the UK press, spontaneously raising £50,000 for the organisation's development work in Zimbabwe.