I forgot to vote

Diana Motsi/ Mpalume Mentorship Recipient

The Mpalume Mentorship

The Mpalume Mentorship is a pilot project created by the Zimbabwe Association of Female Photographers (ZAFP) and funded by ProHelvetia’s ANT Adaptation Fund. Named for a founding member, Annie Mpalume, who battled the odds to become one of the Zimbabwe’s first female photojournalists, the mentorships took place over three months in 2021. 

Diana Motsi is a Zimbabwean artist and self-taught photographer focused on stories surrounding African women and their health, sexuality, education, and human rights. Her art practice uses photography and storytelling to construct visual critiques of Zimbabwe’s socio-political state drawing from current events and social development programs. Diana was mentored by documentary photographer and ZAPF co-director, Cynthia Matonhodze.

I Forgot to Vote

I forgot to vote is an exploration of young Zimbabwean identity and how it informs voter participation. The project investigates each subject’s individuality, highlighting how political involvement or indifference is guided by childhood memories, political and religious ideology, economics, or personal experiences. The majority of young people interviewed choose not to vote despite recognizing its value, and this political indifference is expressed through the title, “I forgot to vote.” The intention of the work is to reveal the diverse realities of young Zimbabweans by detailing their political or non-political activity. In so doing, the images complicate the simplistic narratives that have traditionally dominated the media in regard to Zimbabwe’s political and social history.

To protect subjects’ identities, all names used in captions are pseudonyms.