We are very proud to announce the winners of the 11th edition of the annual Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA), as well as the fifth edition of the East African Photography Award (EAPA) and the seventh edition of the Young Photographer Award (YPA).
The East African Photography Award steadily grows its engagement with creators in the region. This edition has also opened its doors to citizens of South Sudan and Sudan as well as Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The top prize goes to Amanuel Sileshi from Ethiopia for his story ‘Searching For Peace Amidst Chaos’, documenting the civil war between Tigrayan separatists and the central government of Ethiopia and its Eritrean allies which continues to grip the northern part of Ethiopia. Sileshi’s visual account of the war reminds us of a conflict often forgotten by the international media.
Sileshi is a photojournalist based in Addis Ababa, documenting the changes and effects caused by humanity regarding conflicts, wars and political reforms. In 2016, Sileshi started experimenting with the medium of photography by taking pictures of his community. Since then, he decided to become a full-time photographer and began freelancing for NGOs and music concerts. In 2020, he started working for Agence France-Presse as a stringer. ‘Searching For Peace Amidst Chaos’ was awarded an Honourable Mention at the World Press Photo contest earlier this year.
Amanuel says, “I wanted to show that in wars there are innocent people involved and I was focusing on showing these lives affected by the conflict. It’s a great opportunity to win the East African Photography Award. I think that it shows that any photographer can do these kinds of stories and tell them to the world. I believe it is important to use photography to show the human aspect of life.”
Sileshi takes home a Canon EOS R6 with a kit lens, Canon TS 3140 printer and other prizes.
Ammar Abdallah Osman’s “Man with Nobody” was chosen as the winning single image in the East African Photography Award and was also selected as the winner of the Human category.
Ammar is based in Wad Madani in Sudan. He started photographing three years ago. He loves to tell stories through his images and dreams about being one of the best photographers of his time and making photographs that go down in history.
He says “I took this photograph to reflect that feeling of loneliness from the sadness within you even if you're surrounded by people. It is the first competition I joined and I submitted a picture I took on my phone. I don't have a camera, so starting with what you have and succeeding feels great! No matter what, circumstances don't make a person; it's the other way around.”
Ammar takes home a Canon EOS RP and TS 3140 printer along with other prizes.
Badru Katumba (Uganda) and Margaret Njeri Ngigi (Kenya) were recognised as the winners of the Planet and Imagine categories respectively.
This year’s Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA), saw a new format introduced to engage with photographers and their audiences in a new and exciting way. Ugandan photojournalists and photographers were invited to submit a body of work responding to the theme of New Realities. It is often said that change is the only constant, but in recent years changes seem to be happening faster and affecting more people. Digital culture is displacing traditional cultures, the pandemic upended lives and livelihoods, and climate change and the rising cost of living seem to change our very realities every day.
Andrew Kartende’s response to this theme, a story titled “Next Life”, was chosen as the best effort to picture New Realities in Uganda. The photo essay explores how up-cycling done by makers such as his protagonist, Robert, forms the basis of a micro-economy for people living around Kampala and how it allows them to earn a living while helping to reduce waste and protect the environment.
Kartende is a freelance documentary photographer based in Kampala. His experience comes from working with people from different industries and backgrounds and understanding meta-narratives. He finds it a privilege to be able to pass through areas few people ever get to see, soaking up the sceneries from hidden perspectives and bringing that to the public through his lens constantly pushed by the urge to tell the story.
Andrew says, "My story, “Next Life” is very special to me because it’s native to my country, Uganda. I wanted to approach the upcycle movement that is taking over the world right now. I choose to do documentary photography because I believe that the stories we tell live on and can and will still matter 10 or 20 years from now. Photography helps me to see the world and different perspectives".
Kartende takes home a Canon EOS RP and TS 3140 printer along with other prizes.
The Young Photographer Award (YPA) is an educational award geared towards passionate emerging photographers looking to cultivate a career in documentary photography or photojournalism. The winner of the competition together with the runners-up gets the opportunity to participate in an intensive Mentorship Programme. The programme is designed to give young photographers a chance to learn more about photography through a boot camp-style course and to develop a documentary photography project under the guidance of an industry professional.
This year Isaac Henry Muwanguzi, a graduate of the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts at Makerere University was recognised as the winner of the YPA.
Isaac is a photojournalist currently working with Next Media where he leads a team of three other photographers. He receives a Canon M50 MK II body with kit lens, and Canon TS 3140 printer as well as an invitation to participate in the Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme, during which he will have the opportunity to develop his project further and exhibit his work during UPPA 2023.
Isaac says, “I am very excited to be the winner of this year’s Young Photographer Award. I can’t wait for the opportunities that are going to come up with it, including the mentorship as it will allow me to create a much bigger impact. The story I want to tell that is close to my heart and that I’m passionate about is about people living with disabilities.”
Congratulations to all the shortlisted photographers!
An exhibition showcasing all the winning images from this year’s East African Photography Award, Uganda Press Photo Award and Young Photographer Award will open on Thursday, October 20th, at MoTIV in Kampala and will be open to visitors until November 20th.
The show will also include work from last year’s winner of the Young Photographer Award Timothy Akolamazima and runner-up Martina Nalunkuma, who will both present their outcomes of this year’s Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme.
A small exhibition honouring the work of our dearly departed friend, photojournalist Sumy Sadurni, will also form a part of this year’s showcase.