The Uganda Press Photo Award (UPPA) was originally initiated in 2012. It began as a competition for the Ugandan photojournalists and photographers who strive to keep their public informed of the daily news, sometimes at great risk to themselves.
Over the years it has grown into a platform that not only promotes the best of today’s photojournalism and documentary photography in Uganda but also supports a broad programme of visual literacy and a visual education. UPPA also works towards reminding the viewing public of the importance of creativity, freedom of expression, and a vibrant press for democratic development.
In 2016 FOTEA was established to support the growing scale of the Award and photography-related activities. Outside of the UPPA, FOTEA focuses on visual education and works with students and early-career professionals, engaging them as partners and encouraging them to look beyond the boundaries of the established media ecosystem and to develop ideas and approaches which address issues which they’re passionate about through photography.
We believe that our collaborators have the right to shape and diversify the narratives of their societies, countries and continent, and that by equipping them with the tools to critically engage with the wider world we help them to build better futures. We also firmly believe in the downstream benefits of visual literacy and the essential nature of good visual education. People who can’t read images will always struggle to engage critically with them, and good journalism is as much about how it’s read as how it’s written.
Activities now under the purview of FOTEA include the Uganda Press Photo Award, East African Photography Award, Young Photographer Award, the Emerging Photographer Mentorship Programme; workshops, photography talks and panel discussions, film screenings, portfolio reviews, and exhibitions.