This year’s Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA), continues the tradition of recognising and awarding some of the best photography and photojournalism within the country. This year Ugandan photographers were invited to submit bodies of photographic work responding to the theme ‘Beyond the Headlines’.
Through this theme, we hope to give a platform to photojournalists and documentary photographers across Uganda to introduce viewers to diverse stories through their work. Through their journalistic and creative voices, they will delve deeper into the critical issues of our age and bring to light thought-provoking photo stories of Uganda’s shifting economic, political, social and technological landscape.
Kuloba Peter Tera’s response to the theme, titled “Basani Barura (The Men are Getting Out)”, was chosen as the best effort to picture stories hidden beyond the headlines in Uganda. Going beyond the single image Imbalu depiction, Tera’s photo essay delves further into the different aspects of this centuries-old cultural practice of the Bamaasaba/Bagisu people in Eastern Uganda. It is the initiation of boys in puberty into manhood and officially starts in August after the sighting of the second full moon.
Tera is a passionate photographer with interests in documentary, travel, nature and lifestyle photography. He loves visiting and documenting rural communities with unique cultures and traditions. His journey into photography was ignited by his cousin who encouraged him to get some photography literature and magazines and give it a try. Tera often shares his photography skills and knowledge with budding and fellow photographers.
Tera says, "My passion for photography changed when I owned my first DSLR. I photographed and experimented as much as I could and I am still doing so. I love travelling a lot and making friends. I documented the Imbalu ritual to archive and create a visual reference of the centuries long tradition that is slowly losing its authenticity, uniqueness and importance due to many factors such as modernisation, religion, like loss of habitat, cultural sites, inter-marriage with other tribes and restrictions imposed by the government and through media, often creating misunderstandings. So through my ongoing (visual) research I'm optimistic there'll be a future reference to visit and better understanding of what Imbaul has been throughout generations."
Tera takes home a UGX 3,000,000 cash prize.
The UPPA 2022 was judged by a jury composed of regional photography professionals including Edward Echwalu, Documentary Photographer (UG), Grace Ekpu, Photojournalist (NG), Martha Kazungu, Independent Curator (UG), Ala Kheir, Photographer (SD) and Anne Nwakalor, Photo Editor (NG/UK).
The Young Photographer Award (YPA) is an educational award geared towards passionate emerging photographers looking to cultivate a career in documentary photography or photojournalism. The winner of the competition together with the runners-up gets the opportunity to participate in an intensive Mentorship Programme. The programme is designed to give young photographers a chance to learn more about photography through a bootcamp-style course and to develop a documentary photography project under the guidance of an industry professional.
This year Kampala Lookman, freelance photographer and photojournalist, was recognised as the winner of the YPA.
Kampala Lookman is a Kampala native and his photos have been featured on various online platforms and in publications by several media houses and the international press. He might already be known to the public through his long-term documentary project called "The Ugandans", capturing the diverse and vibrant people of his home country through portrait photography.
Lookman receives a cash prize of UGX 1,000,000 as well as an invitation to participate in the Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme, during which he will have the opportunity to develop his project further and exhibit his work during UPPA 2024.
This year’s edition was judged by Dennis Kimbugwe, Photographer (UG), Zahara Abdul - Photographer (UG), Martin Kharumwa - Photographer (UG), Giovanni Okot - Photographer (UG), Miriam Watsemba - Documentary Photographer (UG).
Congratulations to all the shortlisted photographers!