Announcing the recipient of the democraSEE 1 award - Georges Senga


Photo: is proud to announce the Recipient of democraSEE 1.

Georges Senga

Senga is the inaugural recipient of the democraSEE award, democraSEE 1. With the R40,000 grant, he will work in collaboration with a mentor/curator of his choice to produce a body of work over the next year. Further, he will be supported through critique sessions with various appointed subject and practice experts, as well as support from Photo:. On completion, the work will be published on

Senga was born in Lubumbashi in 1983, where he lives and works. His work considers the conflicted terrain of identity, heritage and history and how it intersects with memory. He presented Footprint at the 2009 Rencontres Picha Biennale de Lubumbashi and subsequently developed series of works including Kadogos, A life after death and recently Cette maison n’est pas à vendre et à vendre. His work has been shown at the Rencontres de Bamako, Kamapala Biennale, Mu.zee in Oostende amongst others.

Senga was announced the recipient of the award at the Rencontres de Bamako, Biennale of African Photography, Mali on 4 Dec 2017. The shortlist included Jody Brand and Matt Kay.

For more information about the selection panel, please see below.

Notes from the selection panel:
Sammy Baloji:
Senga’s ease at finding interesting stories that are right here, next to us, and make them into strong narratives is notable.  For instance, in Kadogos, boys become soldiers in simple games - just playing. But it talks to the violence that the country (DRC) is going through – society is preparing boys to fight, not protecting them.

Dana Whabira:
Senga shows great breadth of practice and skill, with a sophisticated multidimensional approach to his work and a beautiful photography proposal for democraSEE. 

Ingrid Masondo:
It is fascinating how Senga taps into memory. Even though the project is about a simple place it works as a metaphor for many larger more complicated issues –colonialism, history and the place and role of image - in a poetic way.

Mauro Pinto:
It is clear that the photographer has a great tone in his visual language.

John Fleetwood:
Beyond the poetics of his work, there is a real urgency about the world that he deals with. His use of metaphors, allows us to engage with this hard world.



The selection panel for democraSEE consisted of leading regional and international experts: Sammy BalojiDana WhabiraMauro PintoIngrid Masondo and John Fleetwood.

For more information about the selection panel, please see below.

The call for democraSEE 2 is now open and the deadline for submission is 17 Jan 2018.

democraSEE - a new photography award and mentorship platform. democraSEE aims to develop and show important contemporary photography stories and content that deal with social and political issues and imaginaries from the Southern African region. It wants to create a space to acknowledge photographers and photography’s role and position in relation to the world. Furthermore, it intends to support the growth of visual languages in photography.

The recipient of the award will receive:

  • A R40,000 (South African Rand) grant towards the development of an existing or making of a new body of work
  • Mentoring support from an appointed mentor/curator (appointed in consultation with the photographer)
  • Critique sessions with appointed subject and practice experts
  • Ongoing support and mentorship from Photo:
  • Online publication of the completed work on the website

Click here for the website.

democraSEE is a project of Photo:, supported by the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa as well as the National Arts Council in South Africa and the Photography Education Trust. 

For more information on the shortlisted candidates and the selection panel, please click here

For more information, please contact Amy Daniels

Posted 04 Dec 2017