Canon Miraisha and VII Academy: Stories of the World Through Your Lens

From: November 24, 2021
To: February 16, 2022
Class size
Scholarship eligibility
Anglophone Africa
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Mr. Gonzaga Yiga, 49, the chairperson of Kansanga Kiwafu Zone B in Kampala walks through his village alerting people to the dangers of COVID-19 every morning and evening, reminding people to wash their hands, social distance, and stay at home to prevent COVID-19. Gonzaga started this after the government announced the outbreak of COVID-19 in Uganda on Saturday, March 21, 2020. He goes door-to-door and ends up on the tallest building in the area where he communicates with his megaphone to make sure that everyone gets the reminder. This image was published on the front page of Le Monde in France. Kampala, Uganda, March 24, 2020. © Katumba Badru


Canon Miraisha and VII Academy are partnering to offer our 12-week Seminar to participants in Anglophone Africa. This interdisciplinary seminar is designed for beginning photojournalists and will be led by Nairobi-based photographer and filmmaker Nicole Sobecki. During the seminar, you’ll explore how to develop a lasting career in visual story telling, including conceiving, researching and planning story ideas. You’ll be exposed to confronting ethical challenges as you navigate the moral maze of documenting the lives of others.

Problem-solving photo assignments will help you to unlock ways to work intuitively, intellectually and emotionally, so that your photography becomes more instinctive, powerful and subtle.

Expect a transformative experience, where your current way of working will be challenged and refined through a series of group sessions and online live webinar lectures.


Each week will start with a lecture on a relevant concept in photojournalism and documentary practice. This lecture will be given by the tutor or a guest with practical experience in the topic being discussed.

After this lecture, the tutor will brief you on the weekly assignment that you will have to work on. The assignments will represent key subjects and approaches in narrative photojournalism and documentary photography.

During the week, you will work individually to produce photographs within weekly deadlines.

At the end of the week, during the weekly feedback tutorials, you will present your work for discussion with tutors and other students. Each group member will learn from the feedbacks for each student’s body of work. Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion about each student’s work. You will also be encouraged to work in pairs or small groups outside of the feedback tutorials to edit and critique each other’s work.

The first weeks are tightly structured with regular assignments and feedbacks on your work. In the second half of the program, you will begin to shoot short photo essays of a few images, building up towards a longer essay then a final extended project to be photographed and submitted at the end of the program.

You will need to identify and research ideas for these short and longer projects that should be local to you and allow for repeated access through the program. Find subjects that really fascinate you and make sure that you can get access to. The more engrossing you find the subjects you photograph, the better your pictures will be.


This seminar will develop your ability to work on short photo essays in an editorial context. It will help you to:

  • Respond professionally and creatively to photojournalistic briefs;
  • Shoot single documentary pictures and picture stories or series;
  • Edit your work;
  • Work to a deadline;
  • Professionally present yourself and your work to an editor;
  • Develop the social skills needed to get access to people at work and leisure and get permission to photograph them;
  • Understand the visual potential of ideas / situations you are researching.


The tutor will adapt the program to the various COVID-19 lockdown situations that the participants are experiencing in their respective countries and communities.

Not knowing at this time who our students are, where they live, what their current situation is nor how their respective situations will evolve over the coming weeks and months, we have thought of various assignments and essays that can be developed in full confinement as well as in less rigid lockdown situations. Whatever the briefs, they will enable you to finish the seminar with the methodological and practical tools that we’ve promised to bring you.

Apply Now


Eligible applicants (see details at the top of the page) who wish to be considered for acceptance to this tuition-free program should complete the application form linked below. Please register for AwardForce, then select the category of “VII Academy” and then the name of this program.

Application deadline: November 12th, 2021 at 2359 EST.

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