Contest: VICTORIES AND VIOLATIONS, The Struggle for Minority Rights in Africa, OpenPhoto Photography Contest
Cross-posted from OpenPhoto: http://open-photo.org/
VICTORIES AND VIOLATIONS
The Struggle for Minority Rights in Africa
The second annual OPENPhoto competition aims to encourage analytical and critical thinking about society in Africa – and support the development of photojournalism across the continent. We are looking for strong, interpretive documentary work that has a voice.
While the inaugural competition focused on inequality in Africa, OPENPhoto II will look at the situation of Africa’s minorities: how they are struggling and succeeding in societies that often see them – and treat them – as ‘different’.
Across Africa, many people are marginalised and socially excluded because they are minorities. People are discriminated against because they are disabled or homosexual or indigenous or sex workers. Or because they are women living with HIV. Or men from a small ethnic group. Or children from a non-state religion. Or families fleeing persecution in another country.
Viewed as ‘different’ or ‘other’, these groups struggle each day to survive – to access decent health care and education, to secure real jobs, to participate in the governance of their lives. And to enjoy their basic human rights like the mainstream or majority of their fellow citizens.
But while life remains incredibly hard for Africa’s marginalised minorities, slowly but surely progress is being made. HIV+ women in Namibia won their legal case against the government after many suffered systematic forcible or coerced sterilisation. More countries are starting to take the fight for the rights of people with disabilities seriously. San groups have won a number of legal cases against the government in Botswana. Malawi has pledged not to prosecute gay men. And the list of incremental advances goes on…
However, there is still a long way to go. Most marginalised minorities are still more used to mourning the daily violation of their rights, than cheering progressive successes. They still live in a world of small victories and big defeats.
OPENPhoto II is looking for powerful photo essays that depict the reality of life for marginalised minorities – the good and the bad, their progress and their problems.
But this description is just a snapshot – a rough guide to the kind of subject matter that the jury will consider since ‘Victories and Violations: The Struggle for Minority Rights in Africa’ covers a broad range of possible issues and marginalised groups. Please ensure you motivate why your essay is indeed within the subject matter.