LLM/MPhil Photography Competition: Human Rights & Democracy through Photography

Posted on June 03, 2013

In the spirit of mutual exchange aimed at strengthening the links between the regional human rights master’s programmes, and following the positive experience of the EMA programme in this area, the African Human Rights Master’s Degree introduced an amateur photography competition on human rights and democratisation in 2009.

Students of the LLM/MPhil Programme took part in this competition, whose aim it is to promote the ideals of human rights and democratisation through still pictures. Only currently enrolled students of the LLM programme may take part in this competition; only photographs taken during the 2013 LLM field trip may be submitted.

The exhibition can be seen on the first floor of the Law Building, opposite the Centre for Human Rights.

Human rights students went on study visits from 7 - 15 April 2013 and the destinations included:

  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Swaziland
  • Venda
  • Zimbabwe

Students then had to submit one photograph (in colour or black and white) with a brief description of the subject and how it relates to human rights in Africa.

The winners of the competition are: Obiageli Oraka (1st), Precious Eriamiatoe (2nd) and Rahel Seife Hassen (3rd).


First Prize: Homeless and abandoned (Lesotho) by Obiageli Oraka

This homeless man looks ahead forlorn of hope. He is abandoned and dejected and has made this tree his home. His belongings include the small sack hanging on the tree and the small bag lying close to his sleeping mat. His country is democratic but socio-economic rights are not justiciable rights in the Constitution. Without a home this man has been stripped of his right to dignity, his health is threatened as a result of poor hygiene, lack of clean water and nutritious food. He needs us to give him a voice and hope.

Second Prize: Heels or wheels, we will go to school (Lesotho) by Precious Eriamiatoe

Primary education is a basic right. Children with disabilities can learn as much as non-disabled children in an inclusive educational system which caters for the needs of all the children. In this system, disability is viewed as a part of human diversity and an opportunity for enriched learning. While the non-disabled children actively support children with disabilities, both can learn the values of humanity, love and mutual co-existence. They understand that there is nothing wrong with a classmate who has a disability. Indeed, when a government commits to guaranteeing basic education, disability should never be a ground for exclusion.

Third Prize: Crawler (Mozambique) by Rahel Seife Hassen

NGOs and the government of Mozambique state that there are priorities that have to be addressed ahead of accessibility of infrastructure and socio-economic rights of persons with disability and that otherwise means of transport are adequate. In this accessible area of Maputo where the finest cars speed by, cabs swam the street, taxis are everywhere and three wheelers are cheap; this lady is on her hands and knees across the road to get to the other side unable to climb on any of the options. Until rights to equal access are realised, persons with disabilities remain ‘restreador’ Portuguese for ‘crawler’.

Top 10

These photos make up the rest of the top 10 (in no particular order)

Right to my childhood (Mozambique) by Tshepiso Seth Ndzinge-Makhamisa

The long wait for change (Swaziland) by Nadège Andrianasolo

The understanding of water (Lesotho) by children by Gatete Thierry

A patient wait (Botswana) by Nora Christabelle Ho Tu Nam

Ha let’s not celebrate my beginning, my future is uncertain! (Swaziland) by Prisca Ntabaza Akonkwa

Life and hope for a better day (Zimbabwe) by Solomon Tsiwah Cobbinah

Yes! Access to clean water in Lesotho is a challenge (Lesotho) by Tousy Namiseb

The exhibition can be seen on the first floor of the Law Building, opposite the Centre for Human Rights.

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