It was all going so well. I was going to finish off my UnitedHealthcare Global commission (see part 1 here) with a short stop over in Africa before embarking on the journey back to London. The air traffic controllers, however, had other plans. Storms chasing across the USA meant that two of my flights got cancelled there and then just to top things off we heard that my flights in Tanzania were also cancelled. Time to reschedule. So it was a few weeks later that I reunited with UHG with the same objective in mind - to photograph the company’s people and work as part of their rebranding.
I arrived in Tanzania and was completely struck by it. I had never been to this part of Africa and was amazed by how busy, chaotic and mad Dar Es Salaam felt. In order to show the global aspect of UHG’s work I headed to the local market and was quickly the most popular Westerner in the vicinity. The stall owners realised I could be a great source of income and soon I had a string of people following asking to be photographed for money. Usually it works the other way, but not in Dar Ee Salaam’s market, it seems! The market itself is ripe with photography opportunities: the spices, the fruit and most importantly the people.
Following a night in the capital, I headed to Mtwara - one of Tanzania’s biggest ports where UnitedHealthcare Global provide a whole range of health services to a conglomerate of oil companies. After a chilling health and safety meeting (I will never look at a mosquito in the same way again) I headed out to the port to capture the impressive work taking place there. Mtwara hardly has running water and a quarter of the houses do not have electricity. After driving along dirt roads past mud huts the port was the stark contrast - organised by the oil companies with strict health and safety it was ultra-modern. We set up numerous scenarios for me to photograph such as helping an injured employee and a rather exciting rescue mission in the bush.
Tanzania fascinated me, it's visually stunning and Mtwara in particular was incredible. Its people wore bright colourful dresses and rode the most tassled-up fancy motorbikes I have ever seen. Plus the light there has a dusty, desaturated quality to it that I haven't witnessed anywhere else. It is certainly on my list of places to return to.
Thank you UnitedHealthcare Global for this most incredible commission. You can see my work on their newly launched website: http://www.uhcglobal.com/
As mentioned earlier - this was the second part of my shoot for UnitedHealthcare Global. The first part is an earlier blogpost.