Climate Change and your Community
Africa Soft Power Photo Essay Prize 2023
Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time. As our younger generations’ futures are impacted by the actions of the past, they are often the ones passionately at the forefront of innovation. Inspired by the drive and resilience of young people, Africa Soft Power, in association with African Women on Board, launched the Climate Change Photo Essay Prize. The theme for the inaugural edition of the prize is Climate Change and Your Community.
Budding photographers from across the continent of Africa and the global diaspora community entered over 200 photographs to the prize. The finalists’ work demonstrates how photography can be a powerful tool for climate literacy and amplifies African perspectives on the conversation around climate change.
In his winning series, Misty Morning of Changes (The Climate and the Life in the Field), Doux Free captures silhouetted figures carrying their farming equipment to work on a foggy morning. The pensive atmosphere leaves room for optimism, however cautious, when considered in the wider context of global climate change.
As those featured in Doux Free’s work face the day ahead, Mama Alabo, the subject of Eiseke Bolaji’s series The Old Woman and the Sea also starts her day with uncertainty. This tender look into Mama Alabo’s life demonstrates how the effects of climate change are already impacting the day-to-day lives of people in our communities. If the climate emergency can interfere with our daily lives, it can also turn our lives upside down.
Abubakar Sadiq Mustapha’s series Things That Went With the Water presents sensitive portraits of individuals whose livelihoods and dreams were upended by devastating flooding in Northeastern and Northwestern Nigeria. What will become of our future communities if we don’t tackle climate change? Emerson Lawson’s dystopian series AMEWUGA imagines a chilling fate where breathable oxygen is a luxury. However, he does leave us with a positive affirmation — the series title, AMEWUGA, means human beings are worth more than money.
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