Skip to content

Improve your Gippslandia browsing experience by using Chrome or Safari.

A quarterly newspaper for
Gippsland and beyond.

Shop GippslandBecome a member

A quarterly newspaper for Gippsland and beyond.

Photo FeatureCulture

Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo

Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo is the title of Warragul-born, now Melbourne-based, photographer Cameron

Cope’s upcoming photobook, which is to be released in early 2017.

Jan 28, 2017


Words: Gippslandia & Cameron Cope
Images: Cameron Cope

Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo is the title of Warragul-born, now Melbourne-based, photographer Cameron Cope’s upcoming photobook, which is to be released in early 2017.

The title references a Shona language expression that translates as, “Where the owl left, the eagle comes to sit.” As Cameron explains: “I first heard the Shona proverb, ‘pabva zizi pagara gondo’ used in Zimbabwe as a rough equivalent to, ‘you snooze you lose.’ I was visiting my girlfriend, Tazi’s, grandmother in a village called Chevecheve, southwest of Harare.

When returning to the fireside I found Tazi’s young cousin, Malcolm, had stolen my seat. That’s when he said it. But after everyone’s laughter faded and the embers turned cold, the metaphor took flight.

In my imagination, Tazi and I became the eagle and the owl. Our diff erent backgrounds and modes of seeing, crossing in the dark, trading places over continents. We had flown to the former industrial hub of Redcliff , Zimbabwe, where Tazi grew up. And though we landed on the same perch, for each of us the view was different.

Cameron, who has documentary work held in the permanent collection of Melbourne Museum, and in 2014 was awarded Travel Photographer of the Year by the Australian Society of Travel Writers, believes his forthcoming publication leans more towards the poetic than the documentary. Although the aesthetic borrows from mid-20th century documentary style, as it was all shot in black and white and using a 35mm lens.

To view more of this ‘image conjurer and travel fiend’s’ remarkable work, and to attend Cameron’s photographic presentations and workshops, please visit camcope.com and follow @camcopephoto on Instagram for updates.

Cameron Cope Photo Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo
Cameron Cope Photo Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo
Cameron Cope Photo Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo
Cameron Cope Photo Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo
Cameron Cope Photo Pabva Zizi Pagara Gondo

More in

    Baw Baw Shire

Share this article

FacebookTwitterEmail
FacebookTwitterEmail

Read this next

Artist FeatureCulture

A deeper imprint.

A fascination with birds has been a seam running through Martin King's work since the very... Read more


More in Culture

ArticleCulture

Never tear us apart.

Let’s hear it for Gippsland’s Mass Online Band and their cracking collaborative musical project... Read more

Support Gippslandia: Become a member

Support from our readers is what keeps the lights on and the printing presses running.


Get Gippslandia in your inbox

Get fresh updates from your favourite periodical.... periodically.

Browse topics

Food & Drink

Explore regions

East Gippsland Shire

Partners

Gippslandia is made possible thanks to our supporting partners. They are businesses that believe in the value of sharing optimistic tales from our great region. We encourage you to support them in return, as without them, Gippslandia wouldn’t exist.

About Gippslandia

Gippslandia is a community, non-profit publication. We curate an ever-optimistic take on regional, national and global issues, in a local context. Leaving you feeling like a Gippslandia local, no matter where you’re from. Read more

© 2020 Gippslandia, All rights reserved