Digital photography plays a major part in the Rising Voices grantee project “Youth Voices of Bandim and Enterramento” in Guinea-Bissau, and for some, holding a camera for the first time can be such an eye-opening experience. This image of Ampote Mango, one of the participants of the project, caught the attention of a local NGO, who thought that it wonderfully captured the essence of using citizen media to help local residents tell their own stories.
Mango was using a camera for the first time during a photography outing in the neighborhood of Enterramento in 2011. This is an example of one of the photographs that she and others from that outing took that day in the market.
The photograph is part of an exhibit held at the Casa dos Direitos (The [Human] Rights House) during their official inauguration at the end of February 2012. These photographs highlighting the rights of women in Bissau remain on display in their facilities.
This new project is a collaboration between several Bissau-Guinean NGOs, such as our Rising Voices grantee AMIC, and Portuguese NGOs, such as Rising Voices friend ACEP, which will work towards promoting human rights in all sectors of society. A major part of the center's plans is to use the space to encourage the creation of citizen media by its member organizations to help advocate for their human rights causes. Examples of digital video workshops and blogging workshops can be found on the Casa's Flickr account. Curiously, the Center was once a prison during the time of dictatorship, but is now being used to advance the cause of human rights in Bissau-Guinean society. You can also see the building's transformation from here to the photograph below.