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Monday 29 June 2020

Renowned Sussex Based Photographer Chooses Nicky Quamina-Woo As Winner Of Her Annual FotoReportage Award

Sussex based photographer Marilyn Stafford has announced Nicky Quamina-Woo as the winner of her FotoReportage award.

Quamina-Woo, an American documentary photographer who divides her time between Africa & New York, has a fascination with the tenacity of the human spirit which deeply influences her approach to image making. 

As a black woman her work has been centered on exploring the transmogrified effects of trauma within communities. 

The winning work raises awareness for solutions and development around climate change in Senegal.

The winning project is As The Water Comes. Africa, with its abundant natural resources, is often overlooked when it comes to environmental issues though it suffers heightened effects of desertification, soil erosion, and insect infestations. 

One such issue is in northern Senegal, where hundreds of families have been evacuated as their houses have been destroyed by the rising sea levels and inhabitants forced to move to tent cities when their homes are no longer habitable. 

Efforts to deal with these problems are often ignored or severely handicapped by a failure to understand their nature and act on possible remedies that incorporate residents' needs. 

One such area, Doun Baba Dieye, had to be abandoned as the village was completely submerged in 2009 after authorities dug a channel through a small peninsula that initially protected the residents against the ocean's surge. 

The hope is that with a larger spotlight pointed at the government through these works, it will start to shift its response to climate change, which needs more public participation and an integration of local knowledge – particularly as it relates to key economic activities like fishing and agriculture.

Nicky Quamina-Woo said: 

"We can be so isolated as documentarians, putting days, weeks, or months into the work, endeavoring to share stories - often independently with no concrete idea if our creative and storytelling efforts will resonate with others. 

"This award is especially heart-warming for me, as the judges chose work highlighting climate change in Africa, with its abundant natural resources, which is so often overlooked when it comes to environmental issues, though it suffers heightened effects of things like desertification and erosion." 

Esteemed US born and UK-based photographer, Marilyn Stafford set up the FotoAward in 2017 to help support photojournalism's new generation of women.

Stafford herself shot to international acclaim after her work documenting Algerian refugees in Tunisia famously made the front page of The Observer in 1958, bringing their plight to the attention of the world. 

Marilyn Stafford said: 

"It was with great difficulty that the judges made their selections and we would have given a prize to everyone were that possible. 

"My heartfelt congratulations go to Nicky Quamina Woo, our 2020 FotoAward winner, and to Solmaz Daryani as runner up, for their beautiful photography and the sensitive way they approach their subjects. 

"May your projects see a most successful completion and reception. We are proud to have played a part in them along the way."

In recognition of the work women documentary photographers do to highlight important global issues, Nikon have supported the Award since 2019.

by: Mike Cobley




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