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Lindsay Mackenzie April 22, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Algeria.
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Legislative elections, Algeria 2012

Lindsay Mackenzie (b.1984, Canada) is a freelance photo and multimedia journalist from Vancouver, Canada, currently based between Tunisia and rural Catalonia. After completing a BA in Geography in 2005 she received a Watson Fellowship — a one-year grant for independent study and travel. Lindsay completed an MA in Journalism in 2011 and spent the last two years covering the Arab Spring and transitions in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. She works regularly for The National and has also had work published in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, El Pais and elsewhere. In 2012 Lindsay was named a Emerging Photographer by the Magenta Foundation and received an honorable mention in the General News category from the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC). Lindsay currently contributes to Milan-based LUZ photo.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was made during elections in Algeria in May 2012. Shorty after the Tunisian Revolution in January 2011, I moved to be based in Tunis and followed the course of the Arab Spring there and in Egypt and Yemen. Being based in Tunisia, Algeria was always close, and yet far away. It was fascinating to me how during a time of so much regional change it managed to stay the same. I finally had the opportunity go there in May 2012, when Algeria held legislative elections and the government was eager to show that it was being more open to journalists. After five trips to the Algerian Embassy in Tunis, I received a 15-day visa and permission to cover the elections in Algiers.”

“The visit to Algeria was fascinating, but the elections turned out to be a non-event – especially for a photographer. Most people took the extra day off to go to the beach. The polling stations were nearly empty; a person or family trickled in every 10 or 15 minutes. It was the exact opposite of the first free Tunisia elections that I’d covered a few months earlier, with so much energy and anticipation. At one of the last polling places I visited, this family walked in – it looked like a grandmother, mother and daughter. They were waiting for a while for the grandmother inside the polling booth on the right to vote, and seemed to forget that I was there. The young girl was bored and began to play with the curtain of the adjacent empty polling booth, and I managed to get this image before the sound of my camera made them notice me again. I like the frills of the girl’s dress and her white tights peaking out from behind the curtain, making what would have otherwise been a dull photo lighter and more interesting.”

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