7 Of The Best Clips From World Press Photo Foundation Masterclass, West Africa

Masterclass West Africa, a satellite masterclass of the World Press Photo Foundation sought out to create a workshop for emerging visual journalists to work with masters of photography and hone their skills. This year’s edition held in Ghana over a 5-day extensive training for 12 of the region’s most talented emerging visual journalists. Following the end of the program last weekend, the participants shared some photographs from their ongoing projects.

The Process of Relearning Bodies by Yagazie Emezi

Photo by Rahima Gambo- Nigeria

Participants of the Masterclass West Africa, four women and eight men coming from five different West African countries, are sharing one picture of their Masterclass projects. This is a project by Rahima Gambo @rahimagambo from Nigeria. An increasing number of young people in the largely Islamic, conservative north of Nigeria are abusing medication that can be purchased cheaply in pharmacies across the region. This drug abuse has led to addiction issues in a generation of youth that is causing alarm in wider society. Growing drug abuse among young women and teenage girls traditionally and stereotypically seen as “good Muslim women” have been largely ignored in this conversation or cloaked in a sense of denial and shame. This yet to be titled project aims to tell a visual narrative that spans the categories of photojournalism, documentary and art about the experiences of these young women grappling with addiction in a conservative society that has socially excluded them and deemed them as defected in some way. #wppwestafrica

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Street preachers by Teresa Meka – Ghana

A Certain Bed by Eric Gyamfi – Ghana

Area Boys by Tom Saater – Nigeria

Participants of the Masterclass West Africa, four women and eight men coming from five different West African countries, are sharing one picture of their Masterclass projects. This is a project from Tom Saater @tomsaater from Nigeria. 'Area boys’ are synonymous with urban fear in Lagos, West Africa’s mega-city and Nigeria’s commercial capital. They have no allegiance to any ideology or creed, only to their locality and the young men they cohabit it with. Many are orphans or have been disowned by their families after joining the area boys or committing a crime. Others are just trying to get by. From a distance they are an ominous presence. Up close they can be terrifying. Area boys attacked me before I started this project, as I was shooting from a highway bridge in Lagos one night. I wanted to understand my attackers and the desperation that fuels their violence, to take a closer look at the individuals that live and perpetuate the myth of the area boy. Intimate portraits humanize these men, who are too often simplified as an urban menace. By spending time with the area boys and photographing them the way they see themselves I am exploring the truth and fiction of Lagosian gangsters.' #wppwestafrica

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Modelling Identities by Francis Kokoroko – Ghana

Participants of the Masterclass West Africa, four women and eight men coming from five different West African countries, are sharing one picture of their Masterclass projects. This is Francis Kokoroko @accraphoto from Ghana. 'Modeling Identities': established and emerging brands use the services of models to create the idyllic world consumers would aspire to. Using their bodies as mannequins to adorn these idealistic identities and 'perfect' characters, models generally become associated with these 'unreal' projections and are in reciprocity expected to play certain roles by the society. This photo project looks at the lives of fashion models living and working in Accra, Ghana and the complexities of the multiple identities they assume against the realities of living within and outside societal expectations. Caption: rising fashion models pose for pictures at the reception of a members-only rooftop bar. Alto Tower, Villagio Vista Complex. Accra, Ghana. February 18, 2017. #wwpwestafrica

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Dada by Ogungbe Ayobami – Nigeria

Participants of the Masterclass West Africa, four women and eight men coming from five different West African countries, are sharing one picture of their Masterclass project. This is Ayobami Ogungbe @bamiphotography from Nigeria. 'Dada is the name in the Yoruba culture given to children born with naturally matted or locked hair. Ancient Yoruba civilization believed that one’s hair is tied to their spirituality and destiny. The hair serves as a connection to the ‘Òrişà’ (deity) whom they serve and is seen as a proclamation of ones spiritual identity. And when the child is born, its hair must not be cut to avoid the wrath of ‘Olokun’. Allowing the growth of the hair signifies the strength of the child’s spiritual identity. There is discrimination towards people that wear dada hair mostly because of misconceptions. This project seeks to explore the identity of people that have Dada hair in relation to the stigma that they face in their own indigenous spaces.' Caption: Dada, 13, who has trouble being admitted into secondary school in Lagos, Nigeria not because he didn’t pass the entrance examination but because the administration of the school perceived children with his type of hair as “possessed”. #wppwestafrica

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