The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU collaborate with SDI and urbaMonde to launch a mobile phone photography competition

3 October 2019

The competition, #ChangeOurPicture, is open to anyone who lives in an informal settlement in Africa.


Dominant discourses and narratives generally portray informal settlements negatively and in ways that create stigma, often perpetuated by top-down media representations. However, citizen and community-produced media and communication practices can provide a tool for self-representation, to amplify voices, and create counter-discourses through which dominant narratives can be challenged. This can help to shape cities in ways that are more inclusive and socially just, and is central to the DPU's approach to civic urban media.

To change the image of informal settlements across the continent and document inspiring stories of participatory and inclusive city-making, the DPU have teamed-up with partners SDI and urbaMonde to launch a photography competition. #ChangeOurPicture is a mobile phone photography competition open for anyone living in an informal settlement in Africa passionate about storytelling and photography.

The initiative is supported by CoHabitat within its collaborative documentation approach, promoting community journalism and youth documenters, and the collaboration with SDI's KnowYourCity.TV initiative.

The competition runs from 1 October to 10 December. Weekly prizes will go the the best social change influencer (those most active with their shares and comments), best photographer and best caption writer. At the end of the competition in December, the DPU team comprised of Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Alexander Macfarlane and Etienne von Bertrab will join SDI to select the best teams with the most creative photography, the most interesting writing and the most likes and shares and invite these lucky winners on an international exchange. The teams will get to travel and share their experiences, as well as mentored and trained to take their media making to the next level.

Search for the hashtag #ChangeOurPicture on social media to discover the different entries. Share, comment and repost to help spread the word!

Learn more: https://sites.google.com/view/changeourpicture/home
Information in French: https://sites.google.com/view/changeourpicturefr/home