Twelve emerging photographers selected for World Press Photo Foundation Masterclass West Africa

Above: Photo by Yagazi Emezi. Copyright 2016 by Yagazi Emezi

The Masterclass West Africa is the foundation’s third satellite masterclass and is organized in collaboration with Accra-based Nuku Studio and Noorderlicht Photography from Groningen, the Netherlands.

The Masterclass West Africa will take place in Accra, Ghana, from 8 to 12 March 2017, and will support the most promising young visual journalists in their professional development. The Masterclass West Africa is the third in the World Press Photo Foundation’s series of satellite masterclasses, after previous editions in Mexico and Kenya. The satellite masterclasses are based on the annual Joop Swart Masterclass, which is run annually for the world’s most talented emerging visual journalists, and designed to support and enhance diversity in visual journalism.

All photographers who have worked on visual stories about daily life, nature, politics and society were encouraged to apply for the Masterclass, West Africa. In total, 116 portfolios were submitted. The following 12 photographers—4 women and 8 men of 5 different nationalities—were selected by a jury consisting of OFF the wall founder and creative director Anna-Alix Koffi, and representatives of the World Press Photo Foundation and Noorderlicht:

Laeïla Adjovi (F, Benin)
Apagnawen Annankra (M, Ghana)
Ogungbe Ayobami (M, Nigeria)
Adrien Bitibaly (M, Burkina Faso)
Yagazie Emezi (F, Nigeria)
Yannick Folly (M, Benin)
Rahima Gambo (F, Nigeria)
Eric Gyamfi (M, Ghana)
Francis Kokoroko (M, Ghana)
Teresa Meka (F, Ghana)
Baudouin Mouanda, (M, Republic of the Congo)
Tom Saater (M, Nigeria)
Member of the selection committee Anna-Alix Koffi reflected on the entries:

“I have been very pleased to discover the scope of work, the talent, and the undeniable will of the applicants. I am always moved to see the emergence of photographers, to witness their gaze on their environment, especially because it is about Africa. Often the limitations of funding and the difficulties of traveling mean the subjects are close to the photographers’ homes, so I hope that this excellent initiative of World Press Photo will continue and will be emulated on the continent as a way to improve on this.”

The World Press Photo Foundation is pleased to welcome the following masters: François-Xavier Gbré (France/Ivory Coast); Malin Fezehai (Eritrea/Sweden); Nii Obodai (Ghana); Nyani Quarmyne (Ghana/Australia); and Whitney Richardson (USA).

The masters were chosen to meet the learning needs of the selected participants. The masterclass curriculum is structured around thematic photo essays that participants are required to work on in advance of the masterclass. The masterclass week also includes lectures by, and individual instruction with, all masters.

Additional activities have been organized during the workshop period, including a forum discussion at Alliance Française Accra on Thursday evening 9 March, entitled “Photography: the crossroads of cultural exchange.” This forum will discuss the opportunities and challenges of cross-institutional cooperation and how photography can be used as a tool to communicate within and between cultures. A portfolio review session is also organized at Nubuke Foundation on Saturday, 11 March, from 10.00 to 16.00, with Noorderlicht’s Marc Prüst, Ghanaian photographer Nana Kofi Acquah, and architect Joe Addo.

Participation in Masterclass West Africa is free for those selected, and all travel and lodging expenses are covered by the World Press Photo Foundation.

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