Africa Voices Photo Competition

12 October 2015


Illustrate your experience of contemporary Africa to win a tablet computer


UCL's African Research Centre is looking for photographs which capture personal stories and experiences of contemporary Africa. The winning selections will be exhibited in physical form and online as part of the AfricanVoices season at UCL and then displayed by the UCL African Studies Research Centre (Institute of Advanced Studies) on walls, online and at other events with the photographer's name displayed clearly in each case. The best overall entry will be awarded a tablet computer (worth £250) and there will be four runners-up prizes worth £100 each for the best photograph in each category. 

Photographs will be judged by a panel at UCL involving academics, students and African community leaders  in London. Details of panel members will be given on this website. Download a competition poster here.

What should the photographs show?

The competition is part of the UCL Grand Challenges. This initiative aims to address the key issues that face us all as global citizens: sustaining our cities, living together while recognising cultural differences, improving healthcare for all and increasing human wellbeing everywhere.  These are global challenges, and the worlds' most creative, insightful and inventive minds must address them if future generations are to be provided with the chance to flourish. We are looking for photos that engage with these issues in the current African context, but we are also looking for images that are fresh, distinctive, frank and lively. 

While Africans want to describe their own past and take control of the story of their future, the world's media still perpetuates the image of Africa as a troubled continent beset by disease and violent conflict. We aim to use this competition to challenge stereotypes of Africa without skirting around the challenges that people in and from Africa face. 

We are looking for original photos that address Africa's challenges without sinking back into the usual stereotypes. 

What are the categories you can use?

The judges are looking for photographs which document personal stories and experiences, in four categories:

  1. Cities
  2. Health
  3. Human Wellbeing
  4. Intercultural Interaction

Who can enter?

All UCL staff and students and staff members or students of any African university may enter. 

The competition is not open to professional photographers.

How to enter

Send your photographs - up to a maximum of 3 photos - to AfricanVoices@ucl.ac.uk

Images should be no larger than 2MB and provided in .jpeg format. If your image is chosen for exhibition, we will contact you for a higher resolution image.

Email an accompanying text document with your photographs (in Microsoft Word or similar) telling us: 

  • Your name, email address and university affiliation.
  • Your acceptance of the Term and Conditions of the competition.
  • If the image is of an identifiable person they must give consent for their image to be used (download a consent form here).
  • What is the story of the image? Who or what is in the picture? If the image is of an identifiable person they must give consent for their image to be used (download a consent form here).
  • Word limit: 100 words in Swahili, French or English.
  • Images without the above information will not be considered. 

Entrants must read and accept our terms and conditions to enter. 

Deadline: December 1st 2015