Tadej Znidarcic September 14, 2012Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Uganda.
Mormons in Kampala, Uganda 2012
Tadej Znidarcic (b. 1974, Slovenia) is photographer based in Uganda. After graduating from the International Center of Photography in New York City in 2007, he received a Global Fund for Children/ICP Fellowship, which took him to India, Bangladesh, and Romania to document the impact of local nonprofits on their communities. He also photographed various stories in Nigeria, Kosovo, and Rwanda. He works with NGOs and has published in The New York Times, The Guardian, Economist, D Magazine, FAZ, Die Zeit and The Observer among others. His work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States including at Moving Walls/Open Society Foundation in New York City, He is a contributing photographer for Redux Pictures.
About the Photograph:
“It was six pm and Elder Dangerfield from USA and Elder Chiromo from Zimbabwe were on their third visit of the day. They’d attended service in the morning and had another two families to visit before going home. As they finished studying scripture with the family, the Elders knelt down to pray. Elders Dangerfield and Chiromo are Mormon missionaries in Uganda, both just one or two years out of high school. I took this photograph while on assignment for The New York Times covering the lives of American Mormon missionaries in foreign countries. We were in a small, one-room house in Kwamokja, a working class neighborhood of Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The Mormons plow this poor section of the city, and others, looking for converts.”
“Six days a week, 52 weeks a year, from morning to evening, young Mormons hit the road in pairs, visiting homes of potential converts, explaining the Mormon religion, and making follow up visits to recent converts. They try to visit each family once a week. The visits are mostly oriented towards reading from scripture and answering questions related to their faith. They begin and finish every visit with a group prayer. When they pray, they usually thank God for the people they’re visiting and for the day, and they pray with intensity. The Mormons follow a rigorous rhythm of study, proselytizing and follow strict rules during the course of their two year missionary posting. But they also discover a lot about themselves and their values in their time abroad.”