Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira city in central Mozambique on the night of March 14th 2019, bringing with it torrential rainfalls and winds with gusts of up to 280 km/h, leaving about 90% of the city and its surrounding areas destroyed and flooded. It is considered the second deadliest tropical cyclone on record in the southern hemisphere and it has caused a humanitarian crisis in the region.
The photo was shot in Buzi, one of the hardest-hit areas around Beira. Access by land was completely cut off due to the flooding. In Buzi a total of 12,280 people were affected by the cyclone. With only 1 accommodation center to provide shelter, many people slept on roofs for days on end without any food.
The photo shows a woman with her baby scrambling to get to the dock where Indian Navy rescue boats are waiting to evacuate. Many women were carrying babies and small infants with them, adding another layer of stress onto their already dire situation. Although the premise was “women and children first” there was still a frenzy since everyone was anxious to get back to land and the boats had very limited capacity. Often the women with infants weren’t able to push through the masses as easily as their male counterparts.
The Indian navy started boat rescue missions to Buzi and surrounding islands on March 20th. During this mission on the 21st of March, 7 days after the storm, a total of 64 people were rescued, 24 of them children.
Tina Krüger, born in 1988 in Germany, is a photographer, multimedia artist, documentary filmmaker, visual anthropologist, and graphic designer with an MA degree in Visual Anthropology. Since 2008 she lives and works in Maputo, Mozambique.
In her work, she is interested in topics around identity, corporeality, sensory knowledge, feminism, unusual perspectives of everyday life, environmental issues, and the intersection between anthropology and art.
She is the co-founder of the creative production company Aguacheiro Design & Multimédia, where she works as director, cinematographer, producer, sound, editor, photographer, and communication consultant since 2013. For two years (2017-2018) she was a lecturer in the BA Film and
Multimedia program at the Arts and Culture University in Maputo. She is the director and co-founder of emptyroom.art, a creative and arts hub in Maputo.