Community Photojournalism and DOCUMENTING DEMOCRACY
Masterclass with Edward Echwalu
19 - 21 November 2020
Election time is always a precarious time in Uganda’s democracy. Add to that the state of things, with the pandemic and the measures currently in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and the situation will likely get even more charged. The government’s decision to pursue so-called scientific elections, which means less in-person campaigning, means it will fall to the media to be thorough in their reporting, and to show a balanced and unbiased view of events.
This brings us to the role of journalists in preparing for the coming elections, as champions of photojournalism in Uganda. As an intervention Uganda Press Photo Award with Edward Echwalu hosted a masterclass which will not only help with preparations but also encourage participants to think about their role in the democratic process and critically address the meaning of the elections through their visual reporting.
Selected photographers were already actively covering topics relating to the upcoming elections. The training focused on helping them have a clear vision for their documentation of the elections, electoral nominations and campaigning.
An additional focus in the masterclass was citizen journalists following stories related to their everyday lives. A selection of students from Uganda Press Photo Award’s Photography and Visual Literacy for Active Citizenship (PVLAC) programme have worked on personal projects documenting how ordinary people are preparing for election season. Participants used mobile phones, emphasising the role of the camera and new media as a tool for accountability.
Both groups participated in joint sessions focusing on revisiting the ethics of photojournalism, personal and professional safety, discussions, practical tips and advice on working in a hazardous environment.