WIKI LOVES AFRICA : INTERNATIONAL WINNERS 2021
1st prize goes to the image Crazy Love by Ewien van Bergeijk-Kwant, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 4.0. Download link
The deep resonance of our vulnerability was magnified in this year’s Wiki Loves Africa prize-winning photographs, and within the collection of winning images is a clear nod to the wonders of science and medicine and the hopes it inspires.
Wiki In Africa (www.wikiinafrica.org), the international organisers of the Wiki Loves Africa (www.wikilovesafrica.net) challenges the global photographic community each year to respond to a call for photographs of life in Africa along a specific theme. Since the collection began in January 2016, over 72,300 images have been loaded to the platform under a Creative Commons licence and have been viewed 787 million times since.
In 2021, the Wiki Loves Africa competition called for photographers to contribute images that visually interrogated the theme of Health + Wellness within the African context but looking at the positive aspects within that sector of African life.
The 2021 Wiki Loves Africa winners across the six categories hail from six different countries.
The 1st prize of USD1000 goes to Ewien van Bergeijk-Kwant for the poignant image of a mother’s stoic persistent love: Crazy Love (featured above). Announced alongside van Bergeijk-Kwant are the two additional winners of the top 3 prizes as selected by an independent international jury. An additional two prize categories and one Special Collection award were selected by the organisers from the jury’s long list.
The 2021 competition called for photographers to contribute images that visually interrogated the theme of Health + Wellness within the African context. 2020 was a year filled with sickness, illness and loss. The 2021 theme, chosen by Africa’s Wikipedia community, was a call to focus on the more positive aspects of the Health + Wellness of people across the continent.
Van Bergeijk-Kwant spoke about why she took and entered this particular image:
“My husband and I travel through West-Africa to help out at hospitals, clinics and (bible) schools; helping out technically on access to (clean) water and solar energy. This hospital is one of the sites we often visit and ‘feel at home’. I would bring my camera from time to time and wander through the hospital corridors to talk and play with some of the kids/patients.
“This image of a mum spending days faithfully sitting next to her very sick son – day in day out – just hit me. She had a certain calm and determination to her. Despite (hospital) life being hard in West-Africa, she envisioned a certain dignity and hope I could not take my eyes off.”
Ewien Van Bergeijk-Kwant
One of the jury members, Benoît Prieur said about the image:
“Crazy Love is a real artistic composition that is really successful, while being completely in the subject of this edition (health, etc.). The long wait can be seen in the image and in the gaze. The worry and hope for recovery. It’s very touching.”
The second prize (USD800) went to Malaria microscopy training (Nigeria) taken by Ozavogu Abdulsalam Khalid under contract to eHealth Africa EHA Clinics. The image was uploaded by Dr Nirmal Ravi who works at the eHealth Africa EHA Clinic in Nigeria after a training session in malaria microscopy.
“It was important for several reasons. I was surprised and amused to see her peering through the microscope with her baby sleeping on her back. The photo captures the enthusiasm for learning that I frequently see in Nigerians. They have to overcome challenges that we don’t face in high income countries, such as unreliable electricity, unreliable transportation, stifling bureaucracy, slow or absent internet, and inadequate child care as with this laboratorian. She beautifully demonstrates her resolve and ingenuity by bringing her young baby along to our free malaria microscopy training.”
Dr, Nirmal Ravi
2nd Prize is for Malaria microscopy training (Nigeria) taken by Ozavogu Abdulsalam Khalid under contract to eHealth Africa EHA Clinics and uploaded on their behalf by User:Nirmalravi2. Download link
Third prize (USD500) was awarded to Gabriel Joe Amuzu, a long-term Wikipedia photographic contributor and Wikimedia community member in Ghana. The vibrancy of his image ‘Pupil’ encapsulated a simple, yet life-sustaining truth:
“Seeing the little girl washing her hands in this COVID-19 era without anybody telling her to do so just made me understand how determined the girl is to live in this COVID -19 pandemic.
“And to not keep that action for myself alone, I took a picture of it to show to the rest of the world, so that we will all appreciate the life we are living, so we don’t die out of our recklessness. We should be willing to live a healthy life; a longer Life.”
Gabriel Joe Amuzu
3rd Prize goes to Pupil (Ghana) by User:Amuzujoe. Download link
The Traditional culture or practice prize went to Kgara Kevin Rack from South Africa for his image that captured the Giraffe Group Dance in the image Oldest Healing Dance that was captured during a trip to Botswana. Kgara Kevin Rack is a trainee Igqirha (African Traditional Medicine) on ukuthwasa to the Dlamini Clan and a wannabe Shaman:
“I have a strong belief that all our answers lie in the natural world, including healing, from which we copy most of our philosophy, engineering, science and medicine. We are the hollow bone or channel for the spirit and ancestors that facilitates the healing forces that lie within each of us. … I have felt the power of the San Trance Healing Dance, the healing of plants and this is why I submitted this image. Traditional medicine is the foundation of modern medicine.”
Kgara Kevin Rack
Traditional Culture Prize: Oldest Healing Dance (Botswana) by Kgara Kevin Rack. Download link.
From an ancient healing practice to a daily ritual that is as old as time, yet takes place in a contemporary setting … The video prize goes to User:Bouba Kam’s Santé et Bien-être réalisé par Bouba Kam’s that follows a daily exercise routine through the streets of Abidjan. The winning video was chosen by the competition organisers for its quality imagery and the simple, contemporary way of displaying health and wellness through a daily exercise routine.
Best video Prize was won by User:Bouba Kam’s for his Santé et Bien-être réalisé par Bouba Kam’s that documents daily exercise in Abidjan.
Finally, the organisers are excited to announce an additional prize category that has been sponsored by Ynternet.org. The Special Collection prize (USD500) has been awarded to three photographers who together collated an exceptional photo essay depicting the everyday professional and personal experiences at the Laquintinie Hospital in Douala, Cameroon during the COVID-19 pandemic. The collection is a series of images from Max Mbakop, Happi Raphael, and Destiny Deffo, coordinated by Minette Lontsie (User:Serieminou).
Every year, Wiki Loves Africa provides a platform for thousands of Africa’s photographers to take back the visual narrative by celebrating Africa’s cultural diversity and contemporary reality on Wikipedia. This year the competition coincides with the 20 year birthday celebrations of Wikipedia and ran from the 15th February to 30th April 2021.
Jury facilitator, Isla Haddow-Flood, was moved by the range of experiences shown through the collection of entries submitted:
“Almost every one of the 8,319 images and 56 video files that were contributed by 1,149 photographers display an incredible range of those precious moments that add to the delicate complexity and universal experience of living – from heart breaking pain to unfettered joy, from stoic determination to unrelenting hope, and from the necessity for sterile, clinical procedures to the wonder of a newborn’s very first breath. As a collection it is an exhaustive expression of what it is to be human, all set against a myriad African backdrops.”
Isla Haddow-Flood, Wiki Loves Africa Co-lead and jury facilitator
After an initial review of all the entries by a volunteer team of Wiki Loves Africa organisers and Wikipedians, the international jury of twelve professional photographers from across Africa and Wikimedia photographic specialists from around the world considered and deliberated on the collection. The quality of images was a key criterion in the selection, as was the encyclopedic value of each image, and whether an image was visually arresting and well framed. It was equally important to unearth the unexpected.
ABOUT WIKI LOVES AFRICA
At its heart, Wiki Loves Africa is a drive for Africans to document Africa. Both amateur and professional photographers and filmmakers are called to share the world that they view every day; life recorded and observed from within their own communities. Their contributions form a collection of royalty-free images about Africa, a continent that is often subject to a condemning external gaze and many subsequent stereotypes.
Through the competition’s seven editions 72,375 images have been added to Wikipedia’s media library, Wikimedia Commons, by 9,269 photographers from across the continent. The images have a life beyond the competition, with these images being placed in articles on Wikipedia, and thus being viewed over 787 million times since 2016; with 23 million views of the images in July 2021 alone.
Wiki Loves Africa is activated by the Wikimedia community that created Wikipedia in support of the WikiAfrica movement. The competition was conceptualised and is managed by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow-Flood of Wiki In Africa as a fun and engaging way to bridge the digital divide by rebalancing the lack of visual representations and relevant content that exists about Africa on Wikipedia. The competition is funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported in-kind by UNESCO and a host of local partners in individual countries. The images donated are available for use on the internet and beyond, under the Creative Commons license CC BY SA 4.0.
A ‘Wiki Loves Africa: Meet the Winners’ programme will take place during WikiAfrica Hour on the 3rd September 2021. More information on the live online interview here.
IMAGES AVAILABLE AT WIKI LOVES AFRICA 2021/WINNERS
For further information, please contact:
English: Isla Haddow-Flood
Cell: +27 76 077 3135
Email: isla @ wikiinafrica.org
French: Florence Devouard
Cell: +33 645 60 62 77
NOTES TO EDITORS
The international prizes are:
- 1st prize: US$1000
- 2nd prize: US$800
- 3rd prize: US$500
Additional categories are:
- Culturally specific or traditional representations of health and wellness : US$500
- Prize for best quality video: $500
- Special Collection: $500 (sponsored by Ynternet.org)
Each winner will also receive a pack of goodies (proposed: a hat “I edit Wikipedia from Africa”, a branded battery, stickers
- Press Kit
- Winner quotations
- Full Jury Report 2021
- International winners page on Wikimedia Commons
- Meet the International Jury
- Wiki Loves Africa Information
WIKI LOVES AFRICA LINKS:
- Contest page on Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Wiki_Loves_Africa_2021
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WikiLovesAfrica
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/WikiLovesAfrica
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wikilovesafrica/
- Local events organised by the Wikimedia Community across Africa
7 YEARS OF WIKI LOVES AFRICA
Wiki Loves Africa is an annual competition that crowdsources photographs, videos and recordings of Africa to form an open licenced archive of materials that tells the story of Africa on Wikipedia through the eyes of its people. Each year the contest is held, it has had a different theme that is universal, yet culturally rich.
Over the last 7 years, Wiki Loves Africa has achieved the following:
- Over 72,300 images have been entered by 9,269 competitors from up to 55 countries under a free licence (CC-BY-SA) ;
- The images entered to Wiki Loves Africa are viewed 23 million times each month (July 2021);
- Wiki Loves Africa’s images submitted over the 7 years have been viewed 787 million times (July 2021) altogether since Jan 2016;
- Wikimedia communities from 24 African countries have hosted over 300 participation events, information sessions and training workshops since 2014;
- A Wiki Loves Africa winning image was included in the Journeys Through Our Fragile Heritage exhibition at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris; and
- Wiki Loves Africa’s ISA tool was the winner of the WikiData award for Best Multimedia Tool in November 2019.
ORGANISATIONS INVOLVED IN THE COMPETITION
About Wiki In Africa
Wiki In Africa (www.wikiinafrica.org) is a South African registered NPO whose work across the continent focuses on bridging the digital divide by encouraging the contribution of African content to global educational platforms, such as Wikipedia.
The programmes Wiki In Africa creates are specifically aimed at skills transfer and community building to bridge the content and contribution gap that perpetuates the digital divide that plagues Africa, thus decolonising knowledge and the internet through the online celebration and contribution of the information, cultures and histories of Africa under free licenses.
Wiki In Africa programmes address the following key areas:
- Taking back the visual narrative : looking at contemporary society and cultural heritage across Africa through the annual Wiki Loves Africa photographic competition which, over 7 editions, has seen the contribution of 72,000 images to the Wikipedia media library, Wikimedia Commons, by 9,277 photographers from across the continent. The images have a life beyond the competition, with these images being placed in articles on Wikipedia, and thus being viewed by over 713 million times since 2014; with 25 million views in April 2021 alone.
- Gender gap through its groundbreaking Wiki Loves Women programme that has been rolled out across 14 African countries, in partnership with 78 civil society organisations;
- Youth and education through WikiChallenge African Schools and WikiAfrica Schools; Since 2017, the francophone and primary school-focused WikiChallenge African Schools has rolled out in 9 countries, involving over 100 schools that has resulted in 139 articles and 600+ photos being submitted to Vikidia.org, 17 schools received prizes.
- Technological solutions to Africa’s challenges by creating the offline editing solution WikiFundi (with offline resources) and the award-winning ISA tool.
- Volunteer development and community support through all of the projects and the 2021 launched WikiAfrica Hour.
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit charitable organisation that is dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, a top-ten internet property. 2021 celebrates the first 20 years of Wikipedia, and the Wikimedia Movement. Read more about Wikipedia here.
- Wikipedia has more than 55 million articles across over 300 languages.
- Wikipedia is edited by more than 280,000 volunteer editors every month around the world.
- Wikipedia is edited 350 times per minute and read more than 8000 times a second.
- Wikipedia is accessed by 1.5 billion unique devices every month and read more than 15 billion times every month.
- Roughly 89% of articles on Wikipedia are in languages other than English.
- Most vandalism (edits that do not meet Wikipedia’s reliability and neutrality standards) is addressed within five minutes on Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia is supported by nearly 7 million donors, with the average donation being about $15 USD.