Local photographers have an opportunity to showcase their artistry with photographs that tell a story of how climate change has affected daily life in Malawi.
The opportunity is courtesy of a competition run by the Commonwealth Foundation for photographers from African countries in the Commonwealth to submit photos depicting the impact of climate change in their communities.
Communication from the organisers shows that the competition is part of the Commonwealth People’s Forum in Rwanda and United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as CoP27 in Egypt.
One photographer from each of the Commonwealth countries in Africa will have their work displayed at the Commonwealth People’s Forum.
Photographers Association of Malawi (Photoma) said the competition brings a lot of opportunities as it offers photographers exposure and to make a name at global level.
Speaking in an interview, Photama president Lucky Mkandawire said photographs are crucial in communicating information that inspires emotional reactions and the subject of climate change is ideal.
He said: “Malawian photographers have the capacity to contest at any level and in any category. In fact, several local photographers have won international photography awards and most of them publish with reputable international media organisations.
“This is enough proof that local photographers have what it takes to win this competition.”
Mkandawire, a News Analyst at Nation Publications Limited, said naturally, the photographers should get inspired when participating in such global competitions for the rewards they bring.
Climate change activist Mathews Malata, in a separate interview, welcomed the competition and said photography accords a chance to the deep meaning of climate change and portrays critical environmental situations in a more powerful manner.
He said: “Being a scientific topic many prefer communicating the topic using data, graphs and all forms of statistics which on their own can’t facilitate powerful connection with people as pictures would do.
“Pictures portray real situations affecting the real people. We need these competitions to improve the quality of photography by also highlighting the pivotal role that art can play in tackling the climate change crisis.”
Malata added that some of the countries’ crucial productive sectors such as agriculture are on the decline due to the effects of climate change, increasing the need to have interventions at all levels.
“Photographs trigger deeper emotions and the more people see these pictures, the more we can sustain the climate change conversation and foster streamlined climate action,” he said.