Photographer's Note

On my last day in Paje, I got up early in the morning to see the sunrise, like usual. But the day was cloudy and I went back to my hostel, disappointed. Then, I thought that I would go to the beach once more, just as a farewell. What I saw was incredible. I was going in the shallow water of the low tide and was delighted to see the sea fields of algae.
From BBC:
Seaweed has been hailed as a new superfood, and it's also found in toothpaste, medicine and shampoo. In Zanzibar, it's become big business - and as it has been farmed principally by women, it has altered the sexual balance of power.
Just after dawn, a group of women carrying ropes and sticks on their heads walk to the beach to plant seaweed at low tide.
Knee deep in the water, they drive the sticks into the sand. Small pieces of seaweed are then attached to rope strung out between the posts. In just over six weeks, these seedlings will grow tenfold and be ready to harvest. Some will be eaten but most will be dried, sold to a local broker and exported.
Raucous laughter mingles with the sound of wet skirts flapping in the breeze. The women crack jokes and exchange gossip - it's like a watery neighbourhood allotment.
When seaweed farming was first introduced in the early 1990s, men thought it wasn't worth their while. They preferred fishing or jobs in tourism. But some didn't want their wives to farm either.
Seaweed farming has proved a liberating force on the overwhelmingly Muslim island. Until recently most women in the villages only left their houses to go to a funeral, a wedding or to visit a sick relative. Their isolation was even reflected in the architecture - many houses have stone benches along the outside wall to allow men to receive visitors at home without compromising the privacy of their women indoors.
Two more photos in the Workshops.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13114 W: 141 N: 33926] (154430)
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