Sometimes I make money one day of the week
Until its recent digitisation, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) was one of the last remaining manual, call-over stock exchanges in the world. It was a contradictory and anachronistic place in which, each day for forty-five minutes, twenty traders haggled across wooden desks, dealing mainly in agricultural and mineral commodities. Although the ZSE seemed to have been left behind by the rest of the world, some argue that its traders are the unsung heroes of the Zimbabwean economy and can be credited with keeping things afloat during the extraordinary years of hyperinflation.
Lisa King photographed at the ZSE from 2011 to 2014. Her project is a reflection on the physical and symbolic space that it occupied in Zimbabwe, and a portrait of the people who participated in its rare form of exchange. Her photographs, and Sean Christie's incisive essay, suggest that the rise and fall of the stock exchange is indicative of the transformations in the country's sociopolitical landscape, and of the resourcefulness and resilience of the traders and Zimbabweans in general.
Author Lisa King
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