By Nii B. Andrews

The five winners of this year’s Contemporary African Photography (CAP) prize will be announced at the Photo Basel International Art Fair in June 2018.

A total of 800 photographers entered this year’s competition; 25 have been shortlisted for the prize.


From the series Red Fever, 2017 © Adji Dieye.
[Red Fever is a photographic project that aims to explore the spread and effects of socialism throughout Africa]

The CAP prize is open to photographers throughout the world whose work focuses on Africa and its Diaspora.

The work of the winners will be showcased at major art fairs, exhibitions and photography festivals throughout the world.

From the series Casablanca Not the Movie, 2014–2018 © Yassine Alaoui Ismaili.
[The title of the project references the classic 1942 movie Casablanca, which was not filmed in the city, but rather in a Hollywood studio.]

The photographers on the current shortlist include those born in Africa and non-Africans now based in Africa.

They have engaged a wide range of issues.

From the series Godmothers of War / Madrinhas de Guerra, 2015–2017 © Amilton Neves Cuna.
[These women were sponsored by the Portuguese government to provide moral support to the colonial army. They have been ostracised within Mozambican society for their role in supporting the colonial forces.]

These include the current status of  the former “comfort women” of the colonial Portuguese army in Mozambique; the status of some  widows in certain Igbo communities in Nigeria; poaching of big game and the impending radical transformation of the pristine Swahili coast on account of the discovery of vast gas fields.

From the series Butterflies are a Sign of a Good Thing, 2017 © Ulla Diverter.
[An observational research project about survival methods of some women living in Accra, and its surrounding neighborhoods – a place that offers few economic opportunities.]

The CAP prize was founded in 2012 by the Swiss artist, Benjamin Füglister, “to raise the profile of African photography and encourage a rethinking of the image of Africa”.

From the series Destination Europe, 2015–2016 © Jason Florio.


This year’s shortlist includes artists from Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Angola, Uganda, Mozambique, and Morocco, as well as from Europe and America.

The jury is composed of renowned international curators, editors and photographers.

Chinyere 45 from the series Left Behind, 2017 © Nneka Iwunna Ezemezue. [Left Behind examines the plight of some widows in Nigeria, focusing on the Igbos, for whom becoming a widow may mean suffering social discrimination, stigma and even violence.]

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