Canon Collaborates to Encourage and Empower Visual Artists in Uganda

Continuing to support education and youth under the umbrella of its flagship ‘Miraisha Program’, Canon – a world leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today of its sponsorship participation for the tenth-anniversary edition of Uganda Press Photo Awards 2021. Canon has been collaborating with UPPA for several years now with this year being the seventh consecutive year. Building further on the company’s corporate philosophy of ‘Kyosei’ that means living and working together for the common good, Canon first collaborated with UPPA in the year 2015 and has since been working in alliance to promote the spirit of creativity and visual arts amongst the budding talent in Uganda and East Africa.

“We are always delighted to support UPPA in their noble endeavor to make photography and photographic education accessible to everyone in East Africa. Our constant effort at Canon right from the start has been to ensure we engage in giving back to the communities that we operate in, this association with UPPA began with the same vision years ago and we are proud of what it has advanced into. We are excited about the numerous activities designed for the next few months for students to partake in, as it offers them a chance to interact with industry aficionados, try and test professional equipment as well as learn tricks of the trade from the experts themselves. It is truly a dream come true for any aspiring photographer to even stand a chance to win these amazing high-end cameras and equipment that is up for grabs. We wish all students the very best for their future ahead”, stated Amine Djouhara, Director of Sales and Marketing – Canon Central and North Africa.

Based in Uganda, UPPA will organize and host the awards ceremony in collaboration with Canon in Kampala on 21st October 2021. The Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA) initially launched in 2012, began as a competition for Ugandan photojournalists and photographers who go all-out to keep the public informed of the daily news, even in dangerous and unsafe situations. Over the course of years, UPPA has evolved into a platform that not only promotes the best of today’s photojournalism in Uganda but also supports a broad program of visual literacy and education for photographers in East Africa, thus creating opportunities for people to connect, learn, and grow…

Canon and UPPA will conduct several training workshops in the run up to the awards as well as in the month of the actual awards ceremony, for visual artists in the Ugandan community. The series will kick-start with a storytelling hybrid workshop with expert Georgina Goodwin from August 16th to August 21, 2021, where students have the opportunity to get their hands-on exclusive Canon camera gear for in-person practice and training. This activity will be followed by the ‘Canon & UPPA universities and media house roadshow’, a virtual workshop of four days starting on September 20th, 2021.

October will bring a series of power-packed activities for the students including panel discussions esteemed industry panels. The first panel discussion will be held on October 23rd and will involve a previous mentee and their mentors in the ‘Young Photographer Mentorship Program’ panel discussion, something Canon has been part of since its inception.

The hybrid webinar will focus on understanding from previous mentors and mentees how the initiative has aided their journey. The second webinar to be held on October 26th will give students an opportunity to indulge in a thought-provoking conversation on ‘DSLR vs Mirrorless cameras’ with Canon professional photo and video expert, John Wambugu. On October 22nd and 23rd, Canon users will also receive a chance to get their equipment checked and clean by registering online for the complimentary service.

The much-awaited 10th anniversary award celebration ceremony will take place on October 21st when the winner of the ‘Uganda Press Photographer of the Year’ category will be announced, followed by a month of visual arts workshops in November. Winners from the contest stand the chance to win elite Canon cameras and photography equipment. The winner of the ‘Uganda Press Photo Award’ will be taking home a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR with an EF 24-105mm lens, whereas the winner of the ‘East African Photography Award’ will take home a Canon EOS R with a 24-105mm lens and a lens adapter. More so, the winner of the ‘Young Photographer of the Year Award’ can get their hands on the highly acclaimed Canon EOS 90D with 18-55 mm lens as well as the note-worthy opportunity to participate in a seven-month mentorship program and to exhibit their resulting work in 2022. However, the icing on the cake remains the two additional prizes that have been particularly added for the 10th anniversary of UPPA with the prizes being Canon EOS RP with EF 24-10MM kit lens and lens adapter as well as Canon M50 Mark II with 15-45MM lens kit which will go to the winners of peoples’ choice awards: “Uganda’s Favorite Photojournalist” and “Audience’s Favorite Winning Image”.

Speaking on the occasion, Anna Kućma, Director and Curator of UPPA says, ““Our partnership with Canon gives us the resources we need to further our goals of promoting talent in the field of visual arts, and it also provides us with the right expertise needed to help young photographers develop. The series of activities leading up to the awards is aimed at providing students with different tools that can enhance their skills and professional know-how. UPPA strives to offer a truly supportive platform for photographers in East Africa while creating opportunities for people to connect and share their knowledge. By partnering with an industry leader like Canon we are able to achieve much more.”

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