EAI-NATGEO PhotoCamp

Equal Access International (EAI) convened a 5-day Photo Camp in Kano, Nigeria from 3rd November to 8th November 2019, leveraging the active participation of world-renowned National Geographic (NG) experienced photographers and editors who led dozens of photo camps around the world. The participants were trained on media literacy, storytelling, digital and smart phone photography, photojournalism, creating a social media campaign, asset-based approaches to youth development and countering violent extremism, alternative narratives, and EAI’s empowerment methodology.

EAI-Nigeria advertised through various platforms a call for applications for participants. The call for applications gave preference to youth who have not participated in previous EAI activities. A total number of Four Hundred and Eighty-Four (484) applications were received, reviewed. The short-listed applicants were interviewed screened the twenty (20) finalists. 

PROJECT GOAL/OBJECTIVES

The Peace in Focus project, implemented by Equal Access International (EAI), with active participation by National Geographic (NG), is to train and catalyze Northern Nigeria youth to be engaged citizens, visual storytellers, and peacebuilders. Through a tested and innovative 5-day training curriculum and follow-on fellowship, 20 youth gained photography, digital media, and storytelling skills which they will use to address complex social issues that often lead to violence and violent extremism, and will amplify underrepresented voices and positive alternative narratives capable of shifting attitudes, behaviors, and social norms through campaigns, photo essays, digital stories, and peace promotion activities. By tapping into existing EAI media platforms and messaging hubs, youth will be channeled to powerful existing opportunities to develop their skills and amplify their visions for their communities.

Photography and media are among war’s most powerful weapons, both as instruments of violence and tools of peace. Recent history gives us many examples, such as the significance of the radio in fueling violence in the Rwandan genocide and the power of ISIS and Boko Haram to recruit and radicalize with compelling images, videos, and visions for transformative social change through violence. After a decade of programming, CVE remains too focused on drivers and grievances, and often lacks equally powerful and compelling narratives and creative visions that rival in size and scope those of extremist groups and can mobilize excluded and marginalized young people for positive social change. Technological advances and growing access to television, social media, and digital photography are raising the reach of visual media becoming an unexamined, dangerous tool often controlled by elites. Unfortunately, many groups around the world remain systematically excluded from the production of their own image and story. As the number of conflict images in the media continues to grow, the need for an inclusive visual discourse becomes apparent.

The Photo Camp will culminate in a Community Photography Exhibit in Kano (with an accompanying online gallery) which will include a gallery walk and celebration. This will be an opportunity for Photo Camp participants to share their work and visions with the community. The event will be highlighted on social media, White Dove media, and local news outlets will be invited to provide additional coverage. Graduates will be invited to become Visual Storytelling Fellows and return to their communities and continue their work with photography, storytelling, and peacebuilding. Fellows will receive a smartphone with built-in high-resolution camera to keep and develop their craft as visual storytellers and advocates. Fellows will also receive ongoing mentoring from EAI staff. As Fellows, the youth will have increased opportunities to grow into an influencer role within their communities and will join EAI’s network of fellows in Nigeria and around the world. EAI will provide further support including social media exposure on its popular White Dove platforms. Additionally, NG will feature photos in future exhibits and online official NG platforms. Images will also be shared with the US Embassy to use in their future exhibits, articles, and publications. 

Participants

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar Mohammed

Kaduna
Simon Peter

Simon Peter

Bauchi
Igebde Ogbole Umoru

Igebde Ogbole Umoru

Abuja
Usman Abba Zanna

Usman Abba Zanna

Borno
Umar Faruk Musa

Umar Faruk Musa

Kano
Hunokwaipwa Haziel Tonsan

Hunokwaipwa Haziel Tonsan

Adamawa
Kazeem Emeka Badmus

Kazeem Emeka Badmus

Jigawa
Muhammad Haruna Alhaji

Muhammad Haruna Alhaji

Yobe
Yau Alhaji Ahmed

Yau Alhaji Ahmed

Yobe
Abdulrashid Muhammad Gidado

Abdulrashid Muhammad Gidado

Taraba
Safiyya Ali-Daba

Safiyya Ali-Daba

Borno
Anita Jubilee

Anita Jubilee

Kogi
Vanessa Idoko

Vanessa Idoko

Benue
Zainab Nasir Ahmad

Zainab Nasir Ahmad

Kano
Imafidon Success

Imafidon Success

Adamawa
Regina Ojunogwa Alfa

Regina Ojunogwa Alfa

Kogi
Maryam Lerit Turaki

Maryam Lerit Turaki

Plateau
Mary Barnabas

Mary Barnabas

Gombe
Adamu Maryam Ndamudi

Adamu Maryam Ndamudi

Kaduna
Zulai Usman Salihu

Zulai Usman Salihu

Kano
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