Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Competitions In Lithuania And First Visits To Africa

Two competitions – photo and article, – launched earlier this summer, were marked by very active participation and numerous quality works received. The majority of the works addressed development issues in Africa and Asia, while only a few of them were related to the urgent issues in the neighbourhood countries. Both professionals and amateurs competed there and, surprisingly, non-professionals were awarded best prizes.

Photo Competition
In total, 49 authors sent in their photo stories to the photo competition The World as You See It (over 300 photos) that disclose the invisible life of people living in developing countries.
1st prize winner Akvilė Norkutė was awarded for revealing the reality and living conditions of people in Indonesia, Mauritania, Mali and Myanmar. Akvilė‘s photos tells about hygienic and environmental problems, dangerous and toxic working conditions as well as a lack of food because of foreign industries activities. In the picture the worker is using a metal tool for splitting the sulphur, which has flown from the ceramic pipes. Not only are the fumes irritating eyes and blocking respiration, but are highly toxic as well and most of the workers have no special safety gear.
Akvilė Norkutė, 2013, Indonesia. Competition "The World as You See It" photo

2nd prize winner Berta Tilmantaitė highlights the difficulties faced by sea nomads in the coral triangle of Malaysia because of civilization and globalization processes. She delivered her stories in Kaunas at the opening of the exhibition there to around 40 persons.
Berta Tilmantaitė, 2013, Malaisia. Competition "The World as You See It" photo

3rd prize winner Saulius Damulevičius reveals perverted system of people enslaved by poverty. In the picture a local person is searching for “minerals” in the dumping while foreign corporations export the real treasures of Sierra Leone – diamonds.
Saulius Damulevičius. 2014. Siera Leone, Kingtom, Freetown.

The photo exhibition was opened with an award ceremony held at Ad Hoc: Inconvenient Films documentary film festival on 16 October (with around 300 participants).
The exhibition is touring around Lithuania. It has been exhibited in Vilnius (“Multikinas”, at the international conference on cooperation in development held by MFA, EC Information Centre), Klaipėda (Culture Factory), Kaunas (Vytautas Magnum University).It is planned to move exhibition to different public places until the end of the year and beyond.
Some of the works were published on the national news portal 15min.ltand in the booklet of the international conference on development. The photo gallery is also available online.
Interviews with all of the winners were published in the news portal 15min and broadcast in the program Good morning, Lithuania on the National TV Channel. Additionally, Berta’s exclusive interviews were broadcast  in the national TV program Style as well as on the National Radio Station.

Article Competition
There were 23 articles submitted to the article competition. Works of journalists varied not only in their content, but also in the range of their formats: besides written articles, there wereaudio reportagesas well as documentaries.
1st prize winner Vaida Blažytė gives her insights into the problems faced by albino communities in Tanzania and their attempts to overcome the superstitions of the public.
2nd prize was awarded to Berta Tilmantaitė for her story about sea nomads living in a coral triangle in Malaysia where they meet the challenges of human rights, food safety, education, health security, accommodations, migration and environmental security.
3rdprize was granted to Paulius Ramanauskas bringing home the dangerous experiences of individual refugees that they undergo on their way to Europe.
The award ceremony is due in early December, followed by the gathering of competition participants, journalists and development experts as well as an informal round table discussions.
Selected articles will be published in Lithuanian daily Lietuvos žinios and portal 15min.lt.
The first prize winners of both competitions are awarded a study trip to Kenya due in January-February 2016.

Study Trips by Journalists
Rosita Garškaitė from national daily Lietuvos žinios and Vaida Pilibaitytė from National Radio Station visited Kiev in late September to take interviews from Ukrainian publicists such as Vitalij Portnikov, about current situation in Ukraine and the impact of revolution, which according to him not only helped to form the political nation of Ukraine, but also stimulated the development of country and the improvement of the living conditions of its people.
Rosita Garškaitė together with  an international group of journalists from project countries visited Nigeria to investigate the damages made by the oil-spill more than ten years ago, however, still vital for Ogoni community, and drastic government response to the protests of local leaders resulting in their executions. The visit was organized by project partner, Finnish organization VIKES. 

Rosita Garškaitė during the visit to Nigeria, Goi.

The crew from Lithuanian TV Channel LTV visited Lebanon to record the situation of Syrian refugees there and highlight the causes underlying them.During their stay there daily briefs were published on the website of the channel.
 LTV visit to Lebanon. 

Independent photo journalist Berta Tilmantaitė in Kenya recorded photo stories of local beekeepers and fishermen. The works will be published later this year in printed and social media.  
Berta Tilmantaite in Kenya. M4Dproject. Photo by Karolis Pilypas Liutkevičius

The visits are publicized in Lithuanian electronic and printed media. It is accompanied by social media campaign educating about the developing countries, e.g.  graphical posts about Nigeria with illustrated facts about Nigerian social, economic and cultural realities. 

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