Born in Uganda of Indian descent, Bhimji has lived in London after her family sought refuge from the regime of Idi Amin who compulsorily expelled all Asians from Uganda. Her recent work has been concerned with revisiting the country of her childhood and engaging with the experience of exile, political and social destruction, and deprivation. This photograph, which belongs to the series "Love", was shot by Bhimji during her journey in Uganda in 2001, but was only edited in 2006.
Zarina Bhimji's films and photographs result from prolonged research in the field. Over the past few years she has traveled to Zanzibar, India and East Africa (including Uganda where she was born), retracing the path of the former British colonists. However the artworks produced from her enquiries are not in the documentary genre: she is interested in evoking human presence in places where it is absent, but where an atmospheric tension resulting from previous tragic events is still felt.
Notwithstanding the manifestation of an acute political awareness in her work, Zarina Bhimji does not neglect the visual aspect: architecture is put to good use in her meticulous compositions, walls being a recurring motif of her visual vocabulary. Her landscapes are sometimes close to abstraction, yet one can feel in them the power of past violence. The beauty and poetry emerging from the images evince a feeling of wonder mixed with a profound melancholy, in the romantic tradition.
Zarina Bhimji was born in Mbarara, Uganda in 1963. She now lives and works in London.