my moldy wall project

Today I found a fantastically moldy wall in Stone Town, Zanzibar, where I am working on a photo project about shellfishing. It was such a wonderfully textured wall–really like a painting more than a wall–that I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I decided to stay there for a while and photograph the wall as people passed by.

Stone Town is a beautiful old town built by the Omanis a long time ago when they ruled Zanzibar. It has a wonderfully old-world quality to it, full of tiny twisting stone alleyways and massive wooden doors. Old men drink coffee and argue politics while children bicycle wildly through the narrow streets.

The Omanis used limestone to build the town just a they did back home but apparently they didn’t count on the fact that Zanzibar, unlike Oman, is very wet. As a result, over the years water has seeped into the walls of Stone Town and the walls are slowly disintegrating. Hence my beautiful moldy wall which I felt was the perfect canvas against which to capture some of Stone Town’s people as they went about their day. I will probably have to go back to my moldy wall for a follow up shoot.

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