Coffee Table Book

This unique bilingual (Swahili and English) coffee table book features 50 women and their stories alongside outstanding photography work of both the women and Zanzibar. The book amplifies the voices of women engaged in diverse sectors such as fashion, politics, beauty, public health, tourism,  sports, community development, recycling and environmental protection, agriculture, arts, education, fitness, activism, women’s reproductive health and rights, journalism, air aviation, agriculture, media, and much more.

The below sample from the book displays examples of the photography and stories of three of the women featured in the project:

Children’s Book

Zanzibar has an oral culture, where storytelling plays a strong role. Available and affordable literature in Swahili, especially by, about and for Zanzibari people, are scarce. This is especially true for children’s books. It is widely accepted that children benefit immensely not only from reading but from books with characters that they can identify with.

Literature in general, and children’s books in particular, are predominantly centered around male characters and protagonists. In addition, people of color in general and Africans in particular are heavily underrepresented. There is a pressing need for more literature for Zanzibari children and youth that provides Afro-positive representation and messages that inspire girls and boys and support progressive conversations about gender equality, female empowerment and structural injustices. Our Children’s Book is inspired by “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” will be in easy to read Swahili and suitable for the age group 7-16 years. With strong and clear messages about gender equality, children and youth will be exposed to the stories, lives, achievements, struggles and courage of Zanzibari women, learn about the history of their island from female perspectives and provide strong female role models to look up to and identify with.

For each sold book, a Children’s Book will be donated to a Zanzibari school in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

Both the Coffee Table- & the Children’s Book will be available in bookshops around Zanzibar and Tanzania, in hotels, tourism hotspots and online. The books will be sold with the Buy-1-Give-1 model, where each sold book finances the donation of one children’s book to a school or student. The children’s book will be distributed in partnership with Zanzibar’s Ministry of Education, who have agreed to partner in the project’s 4th phase. Part of the proceeds will be re-invested in projects and activities that empower women and girls.

Travelling Photo Exhibition

With the explicit aim to make the project accessible to the public, our travelling photo exhibition will display the photographs and stories of the 50 women for one week at an initial 10 locations around Zanzibar. In combination with community outreach activities the exhibition aims to spark critical discussions around gender equality. Local authorities, leaders and schools in each location will be actively involved.

Depending on demand and available funds, we hope to display the exhibition at additional locations and during cultural events around Zanzibar, mainland Tanzania and internationally. Led by Pamojaföreningen, the exhibition will be displayed in Kiruna, Sweden at the annual Pamoja Festival.

These stories need to be told,

These voices need to be heard,

and the World needs to listen!

Permanent Photo Exhibition

Inspired by “Welcome to My Hometown” permanent exhibition that displays photographs of inspiring Swedes at Arlanda Airport since 2005, we will install permanent Female Footprints exhibitions at Zanzibar’s two entry ports; the airport and the ferry port.

Tourists and visitors often have outdated prejudices about Zanzibar as a whole, and Zanzibar women in particular. By making sure each person that enters Zanzibar is greeted by fifty female Zanzibari change-makers we will not only contribute towards challenging tourists harmful stereotypes but also provide a powerful message that women are the future of Zanzibar.