Hub Cymru Africa and SSAP are delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Photography Competition, part of the “Reframing the Narrative” project.
This year’s theme was “Solidarity” and the winning photographs demonstrated solidarity within families, communities and globally. It was judged by professional photographers with links to both Wales and Africa: Takura Aldrige, Glenn Edwards and Justice Kalebe.
The winning image, “No One Knows Tomorrow”, was taken by Nigerian photographer Nseabasi Akpan as part of a project ‘’Camera for Change’’ which delivered photography and computer training for the children in Ibadan. Judges felt that the narrative accompanying the winning image was a warm story of positive relationships and the power of photographic skills and storytelling for young people.
The image which won second place, “Learning”, was taken by Richard Outram, a professional photographer from Caernarfon. The image was taken at Antananarivo, Madagascar and is of a scene in Akany Avoko Faravohitra, a residential school for young women. Richard said of the image “The school provides support and education for young women who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to receive essential skills for their future. The school community works together in a positive environment which is supportive and nurturing. I could see that the school was providing a bright future.”
The two joint runners-up are “One Small Change” by Malumbo Simwaka and “Mother Daughter Solidarity” by Cordelia Weedon.
“One Small Change”, depicts the programme “Breaking the Barriers”, partly supported by Christian Aid supporters in Wales and the European Union alongside 875 women in Malawi. The women are increasing their incomes and are engaging with local authorities to meet their needs.
“Mother Daughter Solidarity” depicts Ireen and her mother, Rose, sitting outside their home in Uganda in 2020. Cordelia, the photographer, said of the image “Mother and Daughter painted their home together. They live alongside the ancient Nyero Rock Paintings World Heritage Site, which inspired their design. Ireen likes being creative and wants to become a teacher, so Rose tries to give her as much support as possible.
Two key criteria in this competition that were discussed at length by the judges were narrative and consent. The judges felt that the narrative within each of the winning images was positive; depicting Africans acting in solidarity with their family and community, and the photographers had represented the changes they were witnessing with dignity and respect.
The winning two photographs unfortunately cannot be displayed online. They will travel Wales with the Hub Cymru Africa summer summit series – #SummerUndod2022 – and can be viewed there as the photographers had informed consent from the children within the images, and the photograph depicted the subject with kindness and respect, free from judgement.
However, as the children central to both images were attending juvenile correctional institutions, the photography judges decided that, in the future, one or both of the children may change their minds about having their image connected to juvenile correction institutions.
Images displayed online are easily duplicated and then difficult to remove. As such, to protect the identity of the children in the future – giving them the option to easily remove consent should they choose to – their images will not be published online. This issue highlights the importance of informed consent in photography and storytelling and its complexities.
Following this competition, three case studies will be produced on informed consent which will discuss the photography competition and share the experiences of photographers in ensuring the values and principles of solidarity are included in informed consent and how they overcame barriers or challenges to putting that in place.
The winning photographer, Nseabasi Akpan said:
“My aim is to educate, entertain, empower and inspire with my images and bring awareness to issues that can elevate public understanding and compassion and give voice to overlooked issues. I’m so honoured to win this photography competition. A big thank you to the organisers.”
Cath Moulogo from Hub Cymru Africa said:
“This photography competition aimed to promote positive images and perceptions of Africa and Africans.
“We’re aiming to reframe the established narrative surrounding the aid sector from one steeped in problematic post-colonial assumptions to one of solidarity, respect and centring people’s dignity.
“Fundamental to this process is the recognition that there will be no positive change unless we do things differently at the individual and collective levels. This photography competition has been an excellent opportunity to demonstrate best-practice in global solidarity and celebrate wonderful photographers and storytellers in both Wales and Africa. Thanks to the participants and judges, we have new resources to share our learning and support the Wales and Africa community to make positive changes.
“Congratulations to all our winning images!”