6x6 Africa: Second cycle

Meet the latest 6x6 talents from Africa

The 6x6 Global Talent Program recognizes six visual storytellers from six global regions, to highlight talent from around the world and present stories with diverse perspectives. Launched in 2018, the initiative completed its first cycle last year, spotlighting 36 talents from six global regions.

The second cycle began in April 2019, with six new talents from Southeast Asia and Oceania, South America, and Europe, announced. We are now excited to present the new talents from Africa: Amilton Neves Cuna, Mozambique; Esther Ruth Mbabazi, Uganda; Etinosa Yvonne, Nigeria; M'hammed Kilito, Morocco; Seif Kousmate, Morocco; and Zinyange Auntony, Zimbabwe.

An international pool of international nominators and a selection committee selected the talents. Find out more about the nomination and selection processes.

Amilton Neves Cuna

Amilton Neves Cuna is a photographer from Maputo, Mozambique, who examines contemporary social issues through visual storytelling. His work addresses perceptions of individuals who find themselves at the margins of society through narratives of empowerment.

Madrinhas de Guerra (Wartime Godmothers) tells the story of the Mozambican women who wrote letters to the soldiers during the Mozambican War of Independence, from 1964-1974. Sponsored by the Portuguese government, the Madrinhas de Guerra played a critical role in the psychological support of the colonial armed forces. However, in 1974, when the Mozambican War of Independence ended, they were socially ostracized for having backed the colonial forces.

For the project, the photographer visited the homes of the Madrinhas de Guerra in Maputo, embodying an opulent past and the subsequent marginalization they suffered.

Through his images and storytelling, Amilton Neves Cuna gives a voice to those who have been marginalized or relegated into the invisible realms of Mozambique’s turbulent and violent independence struggle. He questions the very notion of winners and losers, victors and victims, without fear of bias.” - Nii Obodai Provencal, Ghana, photographer, and 6x6 nominator.

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Esther Ruth Mbabazi

Esther Ruth Mbabazi is a Ugandan photographer whose work focuses on the social, physical, and emotional aspects of daily life, especially in rural areas and amongst minority groups, with an interest in public health. Recognized for her nuanced approach to social issues, Mbabazi’s work draws on her own experiences to reflect the varied and underrepresented stories from the African continent and beyond.

A Mysterious Fate: Nodding Syndrome in Northern Uganda tells the story of children affected by nodding syndrome, a disease that affects thousands in remote areas, mainly in northern Uganda. Through a series of collages bringing together portraits, landscapes, and drawings, the photographer invites us to connect and empathize with their experience.

“As a young, self-taught documentary photographer, Esther Ruth Mbabazi uses storytelling and photojournalism to address critical issues in her society... She has a fine sensibility for the changes happening in her country and beyond.” - Tina Ahrens, Germany, director of Photography, Philosophie magazine, and 6x6 nominator.

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Etinosa Yvonne

Etinosa Yvonne is a self-taught documentary photographer from Nigeria. Her work focuses on underreported societal issues in Nigeria. She leverages the power of storytelling to create awareness, educate, inform, pose questions, and express herself.

It’s All In My Head explores the coping mechanisms of survivors of terrorism and violent conflict. In the last two decades, Nigeria has witnessed varying degrees of terrorism and violent conflicts. Some of these survivors have witnessed the most violent acts inflicted on them and their loved ones. Over the years, they have found a way to rebuild and adjust to their new lives. However, many of them never get to talk about their experiences and go through life burdened with thoughts of the violence they witnessed and all that they lost. The project aims to advocate for increased and long-term access to psychosocial support for the survivors.

“Etinosa is a thoughtful and rigorous storyteller and it shows in her work. Her portraiture for the project ‘It’s All in my Head’ with its grace, and almost surrealism, draws the viewer into stories of trauma and memory. The project is an important document that highlights the dignity and humanity of the people who are imaged. It is a testament to the power of photography as a collaboration between the photographer and the person being photographed.” - Gulshan Khan, South Africa, independent photographer, and 6x6 nominator.

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M’hammed Kilito

M'hammed Kilito is an independent photographer based in Rabat, Morocco. As a documentary photographer, he addresses issues relating to cultural identity and the human condition. His work begins with a long period of meticulous academic research and field investigations on sociopolitical concepts.

For Destiny, Kilito researched the relationship between work and social determinism in Morocco. Social determinism holds that all human actions are ruled by their prior states and that individuals have no influence in their decisions. People in this system, therefore, have no free will and, if they believe they have it, they have only the appearance of it. The project uses a visual sociology approach to research whether we are actors of our own lives or under social pressure in deciding our career choices.

“M'hammed Kilito is a Moroccan photographer with a stunning visual style, as well as a thirst for finding new ways of telling stories. He is very enthusiastic as well as inquisitive, with a desire to help change our industry by encouraging the work of photographers from developing countries.” - Olivier Laurent, France, foreign photo editor, The Washington Post, and 6x6 nominator.

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Seif Kousmate

Seif Kousmate is a Moroccan self-taught photojournalist focusing on social issues. For him, photojournalism is his contribution to change mindsets and the world around him.

In his project Rwandan Youth, 25 Years After the Genocide, Kousmate explores the rebuilding of a Rwandan nation, forgiving of its past. After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi that tore Rwanda apart, a new generation of Rwandans is creating a life and a country devoid of the Hutu and Tutsi heritage divide. They focus on the African and international scene through peace-building programs, a prolific cultural scene, and innovative entrepreneurial projects. With 60 percent of Rwanda’s population under the age of 25 years, the country’s future is in the hands of young Rwandans. 

“In only a few years, Seif Kousmate has developed a very beautiful, sensitive social documentary work. Although his work often documents difficult subjects, he succeeds in avoiding the clichés of photojournalism. His work carried out in Rwanda is of great strength and sensitivity.” - Jeanne Mercier, France, art consultant, critic, curator, and 6x6 nominator.

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Zinyange Auntony

Zinyange Auntony is an independent documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He has a special interest in documentary work that draws attention to under-reported stories on human rights, social justice and environmental issues.

Power + Glory is a visual documentation of the legacy of violence experienced by Zimbabweans during the Gukurahundi killings that took place in the 1980s. Gathering testimonies of survivors, this project looks at the impact of state power and internal power struggles on citizens.

“Zinyange Auntony's talent, commitment, and purpose are special. I have followed his work for years and I highly recommend him as a 6x6 talent.” - John Stanmeyer, photographer, filmmaker, field recordist, and 6x6 nominator.

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In addition to exhibition opportunities, the work of the six talents will also be published and shared on the World Press Photo Foundation’s platforms, including a feature on our online magazine Witness for each of the talents. The 6x6 talents also receive an automatic nomination for the World Press Photo Foundations prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass, provided that they meet the nomination criteria.

The next region in this second cycle of the 6x6 Global Talent Program is North and Central America. Nominations open on 24 June. Discover the results of the first cycle in North and Central America, and the key dates for this region.