Rising Fast: Africa’s Changing Urban Spaces

From: September 14, 2019 @ 00:00 EDT
To: September 21, 2019 @ 23:59 EDT
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Instructors: Danny Wilcox Frazier, Nichole Sobecki
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Cost: $2,200 USD
Duration: 8 Days
Class size: 16
Skill level: Advanced amateurs and professionals
Scholarships: Yes


Rising Fast explores the changing realities of Nairobi, Kenya, one of the world’s fastest growing urban spaces. Contrary to reductive stereotypes of Africa, Kenya is riding a strong economy, a youth-driven cultural awakening and a dynamic tech scene coined the “Silicon Savannah.” Huge challenges remain however: widespread poverty, poor infrastructure, human rights abuses and political tumult. Does the “Africa Rising” narrative holds up, and how are people’s lives being impacted on the ground?

During the week, you will use Nairobi as a canvas to produce an in-depth photographic essay on the aspect of Nairobi’s dynamism that most engages you. In this hands-on workshop, Sobecki and Wilcox Frazier will guide you through the rigorous steps of research, pre-planning, building relationships, ethical issues, editing and sequencing a story, and varied visual approaches. We will also examine how to build different distribution platforms for the work, harness the power of social media, and successfully disseminate documentary work in this complex time of change in the photography business.

Building on the success of the inaugural 2018 workshop, we’ll close the workshop with a public screening to share your stories in the city in which they were created, and celebrate the work.

Target audience: advanced amateurs and professional photographers who want to refine their personal vision and expand their photographic skills.


Sat, September 14, 2019
1pm-5pm: Introduction to workshop and confirmation of project ideas and approach.

6pm: Group welcome dinner.

Sunday, September 15, 2019 – Thursday, September 19, 2019:

Shooting begins at sunrise.

11am – 3pm: Editing and one-on-one critiques.

3pm-7:30: Shooting.

Evening: Presentation and group critique. Guest speakers will join on select nights.

*Group critiques are required if not shooting.

Friday, September 20, 2019:

Editing and sequencing photographs for public screening and discussion of social media and publication opportunities.

Saturday, September 21, 2019:

Finalize screening and exhibition, followed by public event to share and celebrate your work.


“Nichole is a passionate and dedicated educator and a great teacher. She has a talent for breaking down the complexities of photojournalism for students of all levels, and she draws on her extensive experience as a photojournalist, videographer, and editor to help students understand the basics while also reaching for their own personal vision. A class with her will no doubt help prepare students for the working world of photography, and to help them tackle longterm projects as well.”
– Peter DiCampo, photographer and Co-founder of Everyday Africa

“While other workshops I’ve participated in offered a more general approach to photography, the VII Rising Fast workshop was specialized and in depth. This helped me to internalize what I was learning and apply the breadth of those lesson to practical work in the field. The personal editing and critique sessions showed me that there is something to learn in every image, and learning how to fine-tune my own process was the greatest feeling. The workshop was more passion-driven than any I’ve attended before. From Nichole and Danny to the other students, everyone’s deep commitment helped give me the courage to continue working on projects that before I’d thought were difficult or impossible to achieve.” – Gordwin Odhiambo, photographer and Rising Fast 2018 workshop participant

“The Rising Fast workshop opened me up to new ways of approaching photography and pushed me out of my comfort zone. It taught me the patience that one needs to get strong candid images, as well as how to sequence a picture story. Receiving one-on-one feedback from Nichole and Danny helped me to reflect on how to improve on my daily shoots and what elements to look out for the following day. The group evening screenings helped inspire new ideas. I look forward to engaging further with the VII Foundation as it endeavors to shift the perceptions of our societies through photography.” – Josemarie Nyagah, photographer and Rising Fast 2018 workshop participant

Terms & Conditions

Please read our Terms & Conditions and Cancellation Policy carefully before enrolling in a workshop.

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Please note this scholarship is for tuition and accommodation in Nairobi for the duration of the workshop.

Requirements: To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania or Uganda.

Click here to apply for a scholarship to this workshop.