Christoph Gödan, Germany

Tanzania: Brave water carriers

Water, for us a matter of course – available anytime. We drink it and use it for cooking and washing. Rarely do we feel grateful for this everyday luxury. But in places where clean water does not simply run from the tap, the value of this elixir of life increases dramatically.

Tanzania: Brave water carriers
Bild 1 von 6 © BRD/Agentur Laif
Tanzania: Brave water carriers
Bild 2 von 6 © BRD/Agentur Laif
Tanzania: Brave water carriers
Bild 3 von 6 © BRD/Agentur Laif
Tanzania: Brave water carriers
Bild 4 von 6 © BRD/Agentur Laif
Tanzania: Brave water carriers
Bild 5 von 6 © BRD/Agentur Laif
Tanzania: Brave water carriers
Bild 6 von 6 © BRD/Agentur Laif

That is exactly what German photographer Christoph Gödan has witnessed in Tansania. When he saw Elenius, Athanael, Dezdel, Jasintha, Anicias, Kelvin and many other children carrying their empty water containers to the Kagera River in the early morning, they appeared quite carefree. After filling their containers, however, their heavy but valuable load took its toll on them. Gödan’s impressive portraits show the children’s fatigue. Seeing them carry water every day without complaining not only raised the photographer’s respect for them but also made him admire the children’s way of coping with this daily strain.

According to UNICEF, millions of girls and boys share the fate of children like Elenius or Jasintha. About 884 million people worldwide have no access to clean drinking water. 125 million of them are children under five years of age.

Curriculum Vitae: Christoph Gödan

Born in 1963 in Southern Germany.
Christoph Gödan is specialized in portrait, feature and industrial photography for well-known magazines, customer magazines, annual reports and public relations for companies and NGOs. Since 2005 he has done several trips to Central and South Africa on various topics, like violence prevention in townships around Johannesburg or the nationwide campaign "Water for Africa" (Lions Club, Vodafone, German Red Cross and others), a three-week motorcycle trip from watering place to watering place near the border of Tanzania and Rwanda.

In a two-month-long trip through Tanzania and the Townships around Durban/South Africa in 2006 and 2007, the photographer has portrayed and interviewed more than 50 families, who are massivlye affected by AIDS & HIV. The destruction of traditional family structures by the AIDS pandemic was captured in his the work "The grand mothers". Old women were brought here in the focus, who have to educate a large number of Aids orphans in extreme poverty. Since 2007 this exhibition is touring almost without interruption through Germany and Switzerland and has been shown to over 15,000 people.

"The grand mothers" documentary was nominated in 2008 for the Unicef Photo of the Year Award. In 2010 this serie was selected on the shortlist of the Henri Nannen Prize and won First Prize at Mediaprize of German Kindernothilfe.

In spring 2011 C. Gödan will start a serie with interviews and portraits about township juveniles in and around Kapstadt, South Africa. Documenting their daily life.


  • Study Visual Communication (Photography and Media) at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld (1990-1996)
  • Degree dissertation "The death in the present" about the war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia realized by a grant of the DAAD and contract works for the magazine "Stern".


  • Numerous journeys through the war and post-war areas on the Bbalkan on behalf of magazines such as "Stern", "Greenpeace-Magazine", "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" and freelance projects. (1992-1999)
  • Member of Agency Laif / Cologne since 1999