The free exhibition will show pictures, taken by award-winning South African photographer Paul Weinberg. of Zambians struggling to survive as market traders after many lost their jobs due to overseas financiers’ pressures.
Weinberg travelled to Zambia to document the lives of market vendors in a country where 70 per cent of the population must get by on less than $1 a day.
Zambia was once among the wealthiest African countries. But unemployment soared when in return for loans the International Monetary Fund made the government privatise industries and open the economy to unfair foreign competition. Many people now toil to make ends meet through small-scale trading in the markets.
Weinberg - together with the charity’s partner organisation, the Alliance for Zambia Informal Economy Associations - visited market vendors to reveal another side of contemporary Africa.
The exhibition is entitled Trading Place - Life in the Markets of Zambia and runs from 20-30 July. It offers a rare glimpse of people working on the margins of society, trying to make a living against the odds.
The show takes place at the Spitz Gallery at 109 Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market in east London. Its nearest Tube stations are Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. Opening times are: Monday-Friday 12 noon-5.00 pm. Saturday 12 noon-5.00 pm. Sunday 11.00 am-5.00 pm.
The free debate, also in London, will feature Zambian market traders Lameck Kashiwa and Florence Lishika. Kashiwa, a grocer with a wife, six children and five other dependants, is general secretary of the Alliance of Zambian Informal Economy Associations. Lishika, an auctioneer assistant, is a former nun, now with two children, and a member of the AZIEA women's committee.
This seminar – called The Challenges of Organising in the Informal Economy - will come amid a rising number of casual, insecure and unprotected workers. Almost one in three workers in Europe undertake non-standard employment. In Latin America the proportion is over half (51 per cent), in Asia 65 per cent and in sub-Saharan Africa almost three-quarters (72%).
The event is arranged for 4.00-6.00 pm on 19 July in Shoreditch town hall at 380 Old Street. The nearest Tube stations are Old Street, Shoreditch and Liverpool Street. Other speakers will be:
Guillermo Rogel, international programmes director for War on Want.
Owen Tudor, head of the European Union and international relations department at the TUC.
Dave Spooner, general secretary of the International Federation of Workers' Education Associations.
Barbara Caracciolo, the Decent Work, Decent Life project officer at Solidar, a global alliance of non-government organisations which campaign for social and economic justice.