EAST AFRICAN PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD STORY WINNER 2023Sleeping Queens
A series of portraits from the "Women of the Dump" project, which tells the story of women and their families who survive thanks to the largest landfills in Bujumbura. Most are either widowed or abandoned by their husbands. They earn their living by collecting charcoal, bones, plastic bottles, basins, plastic seals, and scrap metal, which they resell and earn around 2,000 Burundian Francs or about one US dollar per day. On the other hand, they feed directly from the landfill (if they are lucky, of course). They are queens. Strong in their tenacity in the face of adversity, they survive the ups and downs of everyday life on their own and manage, for better or worse, to take care of their children and their families. Managing to live on nothing is a miracle, and women in the dump do it every day. These are queens who are asleep at the moment.
All the photos in this series were taken on February 7, 2023. Inside the largest landfill in the city of Bujumbura, located in the localities of Mubone and Kinyankonge (located northwest of the city of Bujumbura), in the Buterere zone, in Ntahangwa commune).