This project is dedicated to the historical, contemporary and future women of Zanzibar!
Help us realize the Female Footprints Project which aims to challenge harmful narratives by putting the spotlight on 50 female Zanzibari change-makers that are paving the way for the future! The project is implemented in four phases:
Phase 1: Project Design, Building Project Partnerships and Creation of Front Page & Sample Pages of the Book - COMPLETED
Phase 2: Creating the Content of the Coffee Table Book & Childrens Book - ONGOING
Phase 3: Printing, Publishing and Marketing
Phase 4: Exhibitions, Outreach & Advocacy
This fundraiser aims to raise initial money to enable us to complete the second phase of the project. We are simultaniously applying for grants to meet the remaining project budget. Please contact us if you are interested to provide additional support to the project.
The Female Footprints Project is a collaborative initiative implemented jointly by AshGallery , Tanzania Media Women's Association -Zanzibar (TAMWA), Pamojaföreningen (the Pamoja Association), WomenFuture Books and the Ministry of Gender & Education in Zanzibar.
Our stories need to be told,
Our voices need to be heard,
the World needs to listen!
Coffee Table Book
Our unique coffee table book features 50 Zanzibari women whose stories are told through written text (English and Swahili) and unique and outstanding photography. Our project takes a wide and inclusive grip on what it means to be a female change maker, and includes women that are making a difference, challenging norms and standing up for themselves and others at all levels of society. The project features the footprints that women have left within in diverse sectors such as fashion, politics, beauty, public health, tourism, sports, community development, recycling and environmental protection, agriculture, arts, education, fitness, activism, reproductive health and rights, journalism, agriculture, media and not least women's roles as mothers, sisters, wifes, neighbours, grandmothers and humans.
The book will also include additional photography depicting Zanzibari culture, society and environments as well as short texts written by Zanzibari women on a number of topics related to the contemporary and historical role of women in Zanzibar! Individually and as a collective the stories told by women in the book provides outstanding, inspiring and one-of-a-kind content that will wow audiences around the world.
The project goes beyond celebrating women, by uplifting and empowering female creatives in the process of making the project. To do so, up and coming female journalists and photographers will be mentored throughout the project implementation as they play a leading role in creating the written and visual content.
Our project is important, as are our footprints!
Available and affordable literature in Swahili, especially by, about and for Zanzibari people, are scarce. This is especially true for children’s books. Many Zanzibari children read their school material but have little or no access to additional reading materials, especially in Swahili.
It is widely accepted that children benefit immensely not only from reading in and of itself but from reading books with characters that they can identify with, that look like them and in whom they can mirror themselves and their lives. 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 therefore 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 version of the Coffee Table Book features photography and written stories adapted to be suitable for and appeal to the age-group 7-16 years. The Children’s Book will be printed in easy to read Swahili, have strong and clear messages about gender equality and expose children and youth 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.
All books will be sold with the Buy-1-Give-1 model, where each sold book finances the donation of one children’s book version to a Zanzibari school or student. Part of the proceeds from book sales will be redirected and re-invested in projects and activities that empower Zanzibari women and girls.
Travelling Photo Exhibition & Community Outreach
Our travelling photo exhibition will display the photographs and associated stories of the women in the project as well as additional photographs in communities accoss Zanzibar.
This project component explicitly aims to make the content of the project accessible to the Zanzibari public and will be carried out in combination with community outreach activities that aim to spark critical discussions on gender equality and female empowerment. Local authorities, leaders and schools in each location will be actively involved and engaged in public outreach activities and the exhibition.
The exhibition will be displayed for one week at an initial 10 locations around Zanzibar, starting with Mapinduzi Square in Stone Town.
Permanent Welcome Exhibitions
This unique project component will make a real and lasting impact on how both Zanzibari people and foreign visitors view Zanzibar women in particular, and Zanzibar as a whole. The project has drawn inspiration from “Welcome to My Hometown” a permanent exhibition that displays photographs of well-known and up and coming Swedes in sport, music, fashion, design, art, culture and business at Sweden’s largest airport Stockholm Arlanda since 2005.
The Female Footprints Project will replicate the core of the Swedish airport exhibition - by providing a positive and progressive first impression of Zanzibar to visitors and returning residents through installing permanent Female Footprints exhibitions in large formats both at the airport and the ferry port in Zanzibar. Many tourists that visit Zanzibar unfortunately hold outdated prejudices about Zanzibar as a whole, and Zanzibar women in particular as African women in general often are portrayed in media and popular culture as passive, victims and without agency. By making sure each and every person that enters Zanzibar, through air or water, is greeted by fifty impactful and outstanding Zanzibar women will not only contribute towards challenging tourists harmful stereotypes but provide a powerful message that women are the future of Zanzibar and that Zanzibar actively works towards gender equality and female empowerment.
BACKGROUND & PROJECT AIM
As a tropical Island located on the Swahili coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is well known globally as the “spice island” and for its paradise beaches. Beyond tourism marketing, the stories told about our island and our people are predominantly told by others and portrays and conveys narratives of poverty. The reproduction of outdated, harmful and neo-colonial stereotypes often narrated through a western gaze heavily influences how Africans and the African continent are framed by and in international media and popular culture.
Simultaniously, Zanzibari women are the cornerstones of Zanzibari culture, art, tradition, history, politics, business, economics and development. At the centre of the stage and behind the scenes Zanzibari women are innovating, breaking boundaries, nurturing their communities, upholding their cultural heritage and creating change for themselves and Zanzibar as a whole. The Female Footprints Project aims to celebrate and put the spotlight on female role models in the Zanzibari society. This, in turn, is expected to have many ripple effects such as increasing the self-worth and pride of the women who are included in the project, inspiring others to take leadership in their own lives and communities, spreading positive stories about (Zanzibari) women and in general promoting the idea that women in leadership, female empowerment and gender equality is beneficial to all. Beyond this, the project also contributes towards challenging outdated stereotypes of African women by celebrating the diversity, agency and power of Zanzibari women and their achievements.
Any and all donations towards the project will go towards project implementation. All funds collected on GoFundMe will be transferred to the organisational bank account of Pamojaföreningen (the Pamoja Association), which is a registered non-profit organisation in Sweden. The funds will then be transferred to Zanzibar to cover project expenses, where we have a designated project accountant, Salha Idrissa Makame and a designated project bank account. All donations and expenses will be reported with transparency.
Read more about the project & download the full project proposal at our website and social channels:
The project implementation is guided by our Advisory Board which includes the following distinguished members:
Dr Mzuri Issa Ali Director, Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) - Zanzibar
Dr Rukkaya Wakif Muhammed - Head of Department – Public Administration, Zanzibar University
Asya Mohamed - Human Resources and Education Officer, ZANREC Ltd.
Dr. Saada Mkuya Salum - Former Minister of Finance, Tanzania
Lutfia Ramadhan Muombwa - Entrepreneur
Jasmine S.A. Lyana - Lawyer & Head of Departmental Policy Unit, Zanzibar High Court & Office of the Second Vice President of Zanzibar.
Hafith H.H. Ameir - Consultant & Senior Citizen of Makunduchi
Mohamed Muombwa - Assistant to the Second-Vice President of Zanzibar
- JOHN BRUSETH
- Anne Sturesson Auoja
- William Spetz