The 100 winning works selected for POPCAP 2013 were initially presented as large-scale posters at Münsterplatz in Basel, Switzerland between June 2013. The exhibition was visited by roughly 500 people daily, making a total of more than 10,000 viewers. POPCAP 2013 reached a broad audience via the PhotoIreland exhibitions in three exhibition centres in Dublin, Limerick and Cork. The open air exhibition in October 2013 comprising 43 large-scale prints at LagosPhoto Festival concluded the POPCAP 2013 exhibition cycle and was very well received by the Lagosian audience.
The POPCAP 2013 Winners
Imagine you are nine years old and you live in a small country called Uganda. Every night, all children in your town play the same game. When the sun sets you hide among the high weeds and in holes dug in the earth. The objective is for them not to find you if they come, because if the catch you…
Rebels of the Lord´s Resistance Army have been kidnapping children for over 25 years in the border between Uganda and Sudan, where they are trained as soldiers and taught how to use light weapons to fight the Uganda Army (UPDF). Their trademark is to cut the lips and ears of those getting in their way. Girls are used as sex slaves. Joseph Kony Himself, the leader of the guerrilla fighters, encourages his soldiers to get pregnant as many girls as they can, to supply the LRA with a new generation of “fighters”. Deprived of education and brought up in a culture of extreme violence, they are forced to kill and abduct more people.
John, Margaret, Grace, Nighty are just a sample of the state of terror in Uganda in the last quarter of a century. Although the LRA has moved recently to the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, the few that manage to return are rejected by a society who blames them for the deaths of their relatives and friends. They are rejected for what they symbolize: the thousands of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters who are still in Kony’s hands (the notorious leader of Uganda’s rebel guerrilla The Lord’s Resistance Army) and many never come back.
Future Plan is a project of diverse NGOs for LRA’s children soldiers in which they share their experiences and plans for tomorrow. Imagine your life was a great plain wall. Imagine you have a piece of chalk. What would you do with it?
A selection of images from Landmarks is available for sale at Edition POPCAP.
Landmarks is a selection of photographs from four landscape series that I completed in recent years. In these series I seek to find things that are out of the ordinary, picking them out of the landscape where they might otherwise blend in.
The relationship between humans and the natural environment plays an important role in all these series. However, rather than advocating strong environmental messages, I prefer to show the subtle and curious manner in which this relationship often plays out. In my two more recent series, ‹Limbo› and ‹A Matter Of Course›, socio-political factors also play an important role as I try to offer a new perspective on the complex identity of Cape Town.
In 1964, still leaving the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first african on the moon catching up the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race.
Only a few optimists supported the project by Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambicious program and getting its necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, as the United Nations declined their support, and one of the astronauts , a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit.
That is how the heroic iniciative turned into an exotic episode of the african history, surrounded by wars, violence, droughts and hunger.
As a photojournalist I have always been attracted by the excentric lines of story-telling avoiding the same old subjects told in the same old ways.
Now, with my personal projects, I respect the basis of the truth but allow myself to break the rules of veracity trying to push the audience into analyzing the patterns of the stories we consume as real.
“Afronauts” is based on the documentation of an impossible dream that only lives in the pictures.
In 1932 my great grandfather, Reverend A J Cook, bought a piece of land in Hogsback, a village nestled high up in the forests of the Amatola Mountains in South Africa.
Cloaked in mist and magic, it has been thought of as sacred ground by many the generations of people who have lived in Hogsback. Before the bloody frontier wars and before missionaries and settlers appropriated the land for homes and pine plantations, people would take their cattle up the mountain to graze, believing that it was in these ancient forests that their ancestors spirits resided.
Despite its beauty and charm, Hogsback holds a sad and complex history that in many ways mirrors the pain and contradictions that South Africa has faced. By the 1960s apartheid laws had rezoned Hogsback as an all-white area. Black people were no longer allowed to own land on the mountain and could only live in the village as temporary residents in the back yards of their employers.
Nineteen years after the fall of apartheid, the village is still a hauntingly beautiful but unsettled landscape struggling to come to terms with the ghosts of its past and the inequalities of the present.
This project explores the village now and searches for a glimpses of those spirits, including my own ancestors, who roam these ancient and haunted forests.
A selection of images from On the Other Side is available for sale at Edition POPCAP.
Since its first democratic elections in 1994, South Africa has been on an accelerated drive towards change. However, as the years have gone by, the realities and challenges of an evolving nation have emerged. It remains a juggling act to balance the challenges of a relatively new democratic dispensation with the country’s inherited apartheid past.
There remains an uneasy stasis as South African’s social and physical landscapes continue to shift. This state of flux is perpetuated by the mélange of real and perceived opposites; the present and the past, wealth and poverty, black and white, power and helplessness. The essay focuses on isolated, but telling facets of daily life within the country, in an attempt to mirror the complexity and fragmented nature of the process of transformation.
The photographs emphasize both change and the lack of change, while the essay as a whole becomes a commentary on the intertwined relationship between past, present and an uncertain future.
These photographs were taken in small towns, townships and cities throughout South Africa.