In 2018 Sara De Antonio Feu, a Future For Africa volunteer from Spain, who worked as a doctor in the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital decided to take her photography hobby to the communities and the people.
She captured some beautiful moments and later entered one of her photos for the 2019 Nikon Photo Contest which was initially shortlisted as one of the best works. It subsequently won her the grand prize of £5000 in Tokyo Japan on Friday, 23 August.
The winning picture featured Ayimpoka and her sister. Ayimpoka is a Six years old albino girl who lives with her parents in Sumburungu, Bolgatanga. Albinism has been a cause of discrimination and persecution during years， and murders have been committed against albino children because of the popular association with magic and witchcraft. At Ayimpoka’s house, everyone gives her love and protection. On the day the photo was taken, she was recovering from malaria and she had a lot of sunburns because she was in the sun all day.
The Future For Africa, a non governmental organisation based in Bolgatanga is taking care of Ayimpoka’s educational needs. Sara De Antonio Feu dedicated the Award to the little girl and will hand over all financial benefits from the award to her. She commented, “Two months ago, I went to Bolgatanga and I gave her this picture printed. Ayimpoka will know about this and she will be so happy. With the prize， I want to provide sun screen for her for the whole of next year. Is a pleasure for me this recognition.”
Neville Brody, the Lead Judge for the Nikon Photo Contest comments: “For me, this picture captures a human story so successfully and succinctly that we can all interpret and sense it directly. The context is clearly one of suffering, yet the subject is tinged with hope and humanity. The positivity and strength of the child showing support is palpable, we want to reach out ourselves and lend our own. The field of ripe crops falling into an infinite background, the blue sky framing the horizon, the warmth of the setting sun and the softness of the image as it drops away from us, all add to the sense of hope and optimism.
“The image is framed tenderly – the camera is at the same eye level as the children, who are positioned centrally in the frame, not raised, lending them a vulnerability, innocence and sincerity.
“This everyday story of superstition, difference and prejudice is shocking. We understand the difference love and protection make. A worthy winner, one that reminds us of our need to engage and open our sense of humanity and optimistic empathy in such a self-centered age.”