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Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo

Words and images by Cameron James Cope

By June 8, 2021June 30th, 2021The Collective

It was a proverb more eloquent than ‘snooze you lose’ for a victim made chairless. He said it swooping on my spot by the fire, quick–grinning in the flickering light and clutching his rusted prize with tight, tiny knuckles.”

Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo (PZPG) is a photobook that builds on an expression in Zimbabwe’s Shona language and translates as ‘where the owl left the eagle comes to sit.’

The work visually allegorises the legacies of colonialism, civil war and mass emigration present in Zimbabwe amongst fragments of my experience as a de facto ‘mukwasha’ (son in law) visiting family towns and villages across the central plateau.

PZPG was a finalist in the Australian Photobook of the Year Awards 2017.

PZPG is available for purchase now.

Published 2017

Edition of 200

Printed by Blueprint Dynamic Print Services

Soft Cover

Extent: 72 pages

Size: 14.85cm X 21cm

Cameron Cope

Cameron James Cope is a photo burglar, purveyor of words and frequent stowaway based in Narrm (Melbourne), Australia. He has a background in travel editorial and holds a Master of Fine Art at RMIT University, where he also runs original photography workshops.

Cope’s projects and photobooks explore how the past is embedded in the present through visual allegory, narrative form and expanded documentary. Critical to his approach are literary devices placing stories within stories. His photographs explore narratives carried within objects, places and personal ancestries, leveraging the ‘truth claim’ of photography to serve as both anchors to and starting points for broader historical arcs.

In 2014 Cope was named Australian Travel Photographer of the Year, was twice a finalist in the Sydney/Australian Life national photographic prize (2013, 2016) and was a finalist in the Australian Photobook of the Year awards in 2017. In 2020 his work was shortlisted in the Documentary and Travel categories of the Australian Photography Awards. Cope’s early documentary work is held in the permanent collection at the Melbourne Museum.

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