Earlier that day, film-maker Kaja Kraska had accompanied her new friend Muanauru to the market to buy a chicken. Now, it was sitting on Muanauru’s head.
It was summer 2020 and Kraska was with her husband, Mateus, in Mambo, a village in Tanzania’s Usambara mountains. They create documentaries across the world for their YouTube channel Globstory. After a first Covid lockdown that had confined them to Poland, they decided to visit Tanzania, in part because of its unusual response to the pandemic.
“The president of Tanzania at the time, John Magufuli, declared that prayer would cure the country of Covid. When he then died, there was speculation that the virus had killed him.”
They spent three months of their trip in Mambo, a village in the mountains, where they met Muanauru, who worked at the eco lodge where they were staying. “We wanted to cover the village healer; he is the first person some people go to before they go to a hospital.” Muanauru “is a kind, generous lady and speaks English, so she agreed to act as our fixer”. The healer asked if they could bring along a chicken to diagnose any ailments or issues in Muanauru’s body. Kraska was mostly focused on filming with her digital camera, but she took this shot on her iPhone 11, inside the healer’s home.
“First he applied a dark paste to parts of Muanauru’s body, then he put the chicken on her head and performed a ritual. Usually, he’d then slaughter the bird and check its innards to find out what was wrong, but we stopped before we got to that part. The chicken lived for another day, at least.”
The post ‘The chicken lived for another day, at least’: Kaja Kraska’s best phone picture appeared first on The Guardian.