This group of pictures from Saturday’s New York Times showed Zimbabweans on their election day where they were forced to vote for the only candidate, President Robert Mugabe, for fear of punishment unless they could produce a finger colored by red ink as evidence they had cast their ballot.
According to the newspaper, the subjects agreed to be photographed and interviewed on the condition that their faces not be fully visible while the pictures ran uncredited for fear of reprisal against the photographer.
Given the information provided - the first name and age of each subject as well as in many cases, enough of the person pictured to make them identifiable - I'm not sure the story holds together in quite the way the front page treatment suggests. However, as testimonial to the freedom we often take for granted, as well as a creative use of photography, they were a striking group of pictures.
"I put an X on both candidates to spoil my ballot because the result will be the same. M.D.C. has withdrawn, so the result is obvious: ZANU will win. I just wanted ink for security reasons. I fear victimization from the ZANU-PF militia. It is obvious they will come door to door. If they see you don't have ink, they will know you are M.D.C." --MacDonald, 33