Watch Joanna Lipper’s multimedia slideshow
About the series:
Joanna Lipper traveled to Zanzibar in the summer of 2009 to photograph women of diverse religious, ethnic, and economic backgrounds in both urban and rural settings. While in Zanzibar, Joanna Lipper visited Jambiani, a rural village on the east coast of Unguja where some women work as Seaweed Farmers. On a global level, the import and export of seaweed is a $200 billion business, with the United States importing nearly $50 billion worth each year. Zanzibar is at a disadvantage when it comes to profits derived from Seaweed cultivation because the islands lack the large‐scale infrastructure and hardware needed to process seaweed and extract valuable algae. Therefore the raw materials are shipped abroad. Without microfinance loans, improved education, and community organization amongst laborers, there can be no further growth for seaweed farming as a cash‐generating economically empowering occupation for rural village women and this form of labor runs the risk of becoming obsolete in Zanzibar.