World Press photo exhibition makes its mark in Dar es Salaam
‘A picture paints a thousand words’; this is a statement that many artists and visual enthusiasts have begun to identify with in recent times. This is one of the many reasons, the World Press Photo exhibition 2018 made its mark in Dar es Salaam to offer Tanzanians a rare opportunity to see the winners of the 2018 WORLD PRESS PHOTO contest, presenting the best visual journalism of last year.
In a photo exhibition held at the Alliance Française from 24 January – 6 February 2019, some of the best photos in the world highlighting general news, human rights, the environment, sports and wildlife were displayed. The anchoring messaging in the event conveyed the traits of an evolving landscape globally: chaos, fractured democracy in many countries, citizen’s resistance to repressive powers but also messages of hope, such as a rescued rhino and Zanzibari women receiving swimming lessons without compromising their culture.
The photo exhibition jointly organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tanzania and World Press photo in partnership with Hivos East Africa and the Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA) also featured a dialogue about the state of photojournalism in Tanzania.
During the panel discussions, experts urged government, the media and academic institutions in Tanzania to prioritise photojournalism as a predominant tool of propelling social change in society. While photography was noted as a relatively young field in the country, young professionals were encouraged to use their tools to share Tanzanian stories with the world. The panel also deliberated what it means to be a professional photographer and what makes a good photograph.
Speaking during the event, Lianne Houben, Deputy Head of Mission of the Netherlands Embassy stated that the inspiration of the photo exhibition emerged from the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ commitment to promote freedom of expression as a key pillar to democracy. ‘’We hope that this exhibition will inspire more photojournalists in Tanzania to tell their stories not just locally but on a global scale,’’ she added.
Marinke van Riet, global programme manager of Voice (jointly executed by Hivos and Oxfam Novib) also noted the need for photographers to be more inclusive in their work by documenting the stories of marginalised and discriminated persons. ‘’Based on our tag line, ‘nothing about us without us’ Voice seeks to amplify unheard voices. Photography needs to be diverse to give room for adjacent and powerful voices whose stories must also be told visually,’’ she said.
The exhibition culminated into an award ceremony where two photographers who submitted their photos for a Call for Proposals called Picha Halisia, Uhuru wetu (meaning ethical images and freedom) were awarded each 5,000 euro grant by the Voice programme to work with the Voice partners around the country to feature inclusion and diversity in action.
Meet the photographers
Imani Nsamila is a young independent documentary and social photographer with interest in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). His work has seen him undertake photography tours in Tanzania, Germany, Netherlands, France, Czech Republic among other countries.
Aika is an experienced photojournalist whose work spans from media outlets in Tanzania to advocacy in development sector organisations such as TAMWA.
Voice is an innovative grant facility (jointly executed by Hivos and Oxfam Novib, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands) that supports the most marginalised and discriminated people in ten countries in Africa and Asia. It aims to amplify and connect thus far unheard voices in efforts to leave no one behind.
The Resource of Open Minds (R.O.O.M) is a Hivos program that supports the creative work of a new generation of artists, makers, musicians and critical content producers around the world who strive for openness and lead the resistance to shrinking civic space.