iamjonoterry iamjonoterry

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Jono Terry  Journalist | Documenter | Photographer | London | Zimbabwe | Other| Primarily focused on identity and the post-colonial.

Scouting for rhino in Matopos National Park. Part of the logic behind reintroducing rhinos back into the park was the discovery of centuries old rock paintings depicting them. These paintings could have course also resulted from oral tradition, trade and migration but it is still encouraging to know that wild populations of both black and white rhino are currently calling the Matopos UNESCO World Heritage site home.




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Back to Zimbabwe for work/research for the next three weeks. #blessed

My continuing body of work exploring the notion of white Zimbabwean identity centres heavily on sports clubs and leisure activities. One of the primary attractions to emigrate to the colony of Rhodesia at the time was the attraction to and allure of 'the Rhodesian way of life' which involved a considerable amount of outdoor time swimming and playing tennis, golf and lawn bowls. These areas were central to white Rhodesian identity and I felt returning to them offered a commentary not only on our own past (as white Zimbabweans) but also of the current social, political and economic environment of Zimbabwe.





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John, next to his swimming pool in his front garden. In colonial Rhodesia owning a swimming pool was seen as the pinnacle of the Rhodesian dream which was characterised by a large amount of leisure time. Khaki clothing was also particularly symbolic of colonial Africa and remains a popular choice of attire in current Day Zimbabwe. Whilst undertaking work for my most recent project I found myself drawn to only photographing men, as I felt of all colonial legacies masculinity and a masculine orientated society is perhaps the least documented bi-product of the colonial system. Over coming hardships, initially frontier country, then much later international isolation following the Unilateral Declaration of Independence and finally the Rhodesian Bush War/Zimbabwean War of Liberation the system relied heavily on traditional characteristics of masculinity- toughness, bravery as well as an unquestioned loyalty to the white minority state.






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Whilst awaiting for necessary repairs to be made to the main swimming pool, lane dividers lay dormant in a nearby shed of Les Brown Swimming Pool. Opened in 1915, Les Brown is the oldest and probably most well known public swimming pool in Zimbabwe. Most schools had their own swimming pools and the public pools were a key aspect to Rhodesian life. Returning to them offered insights into the changing priorities of Zimbabwean society but also in many ways, as a colonial legacy, reflecting the economic disparities between different groups of Zimbabwean society.





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As a continuation of one of my previous bodies of work which aimed at tracing and documenting non-indigenous trees and fauna which were planted by early colonisers to make the colonies feel more like home, I have become increasingly aware of the prevalence of Boganvillea around Zimbabwe. They, like the Jacaranda, Acacia and Flamboyant have become so intertwined with the Rhodesian/Zimbabwean landscape that we no longer register that these are non-indigenous (arguably similar to the white population in Zimbabwe). Working on my recent project about white identity and how important sports and sports clubs were to the formation of white Rhodesian identity I photographed this tennis court at Greendale Sports Club, and there in the background, a perfect intersection of these two projects, was a beautiful pink Boganvillea in full bloom. •




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A couple of weeks ago I had the most wonderful pleasure of meeting my little niece, Riley. I took photographs of her because as a proud uncle I wanted memories of this moment in time but also because quite naturally I would imagine that this documentation is going to continue throughout her life and this is just the beginning, the first photograph. Although she won’t realise it at the moment, especially not at this particular moment because she had just woken up, I often feel like taking someone’s portrait goes some way in getting to know someone intimately. The more I think about this photograph of her I’m drawn more towards my own work and my own interests in post colonial identity. Here was my Welsh niece, born in Swansea to two Zimbabwean parents, one a British citizen, being held by her gran, a Zimbabwean who was a daughter to British father and an Afrikaans mother. A technicolour of identity and influences, with her whole life to develop an attachment to home and a sense of belonging, wherever she decides that may be. •





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I’ve just finished reading the most beautiful book by Lee Laurie called ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’. It details how as an 18 year old he walked from his home in a Cotswold village with just a blanket and his trusty violin to London and then later into Spain before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. He writes prose with the most wonderful sensitivity, full of charm and humour that really made me envy the adventurous innocence of 18 year old Lee. As I walked along the Welsh cliffs I couldn’t help but imagine that these sleeping legs belonged to him and maybe when he woke, the sun starting to dip below the horizon, he would write as he does in the book: “the hills turned purple and the valleys flooded with heavy shadow. The jagged coastline below now dark and glittering looked like the sweepings of broken glass...Only the sky and the ocean stayed alive, running with immense streams of flame. Then as the sun went down it seemed to drag the whole sky with it like the shreds of a burning curtain leaving rays of bright water thy went on smoking and smouldering along the estuaries and around the many islands”.





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