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Student Competition

The Brief

We are thrilled to announce the Stellenbosch Outdoor Photography Exhibition Student Competition. We are asking participants to centre their projects around the themes 'The Alchemy' and 'Freedom I dream up for myself and others'. These two themes give the individual an opportunity to select a theme that inspires and speaks to them, and to visually explore it in a myriad of ways. Show us a story through 5 images where the theme/s are the focal point. The visual submissions must come with a creative rationale of 300 words

Your images can be taken on any device, shot in any style – be black & white or colour – and approached from whichever angle you feel is best. With your application, please include your student number and your 2023 proof of registration to either University of Stellenbosch or Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography.


The Alchemy

Freedom, I dream up for myself and others.


Terms & Conditions

  • No entry fee required, only proof of registration at selected institutions. 

  • Open to students specialising in Photography/Art/Design

  • Enrolled for 2023 at the University of Stellenbosch or Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography undertaking a full-time photography programme*

  • Submission must be a maximum of 5 images exploring the themes ‘The Alchemy’ or ‘Freedom, I dream up for myself and others’

  • Three winners will be shortlisted and given the opportunity to have their selected works exhibited as part of the Stellenbosch Outdoor Photography Exhibition curated by Anelisa Mangcu in (to open in November 2023)

  • Entries close on the 1st October, 2023

  • Overall winner receives the Student Photographer of the Year title and major prizes to be announced at the awards ceremony on the 26th October 2023.

*** A programme refers to a formalised art, design and photography course/credit/module/foundation which is taught at higher education level, within a diploma / Bachelor of Arts / Master of Arts curriculum.



Dutch-Ghanaian photographer Casper Kofi’s work uses portraiture and fashion to explore a contemporary representation of male identity. His work offers diverse and intimate vignettes of his subjects, often referencing a nostalgic aesthetic, bringing together personal moments and theatrical qualities. Through experiments with colour and light, in studio and on location, he imbues his portraits of young men with a sense of playfulness and longing, alongside his own romanticised notions and ideas about identity and beauty. His work with friends, dancers, models and street-cast locals has been published in Dust, Fantastic man, American Vogue, French Vogue, The Gentlewoman and WSJ magazine. He has been commissioned by Dior, Paul smith, Rimowa, Grace Wales Bonner and Loewe.

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Casper Kofi.jpg
Anissa Touati.jpg

Anissa Touati is a transnational curator operating in the West and in the global South taking the Broader Mediterranean as a source of her pluriversal work. Trained as an archaeologist and medievalist, she draws inspiration from this discipline to shape her curatorial practice. Since 2021, she is curator-at-large of Paris Internationale, guest curator of the Thalie Foundation (Brussels) and artistic director of the Pavilion for a Mediterranean Nation of the Biennial of Lagos 2023-2024 (Nigeria). She was artistic director of Contemporary Istanbul (Turkey) - a project for which she built a program of reflection around the question of Mediterraneanism - and associate director of the Chalet Society in Paris. Over the past decade, she has curated or co-curated exhibitions at several international locations in many different countries and contexts such as : Argentina, Bulgaria, Colombia, England, France, Georgia, India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, USA amongst others.

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Lungi Morrison is a polyglot with a diverse upbringing across Africa, New Zealand, and Brazil. She is a Pan-African multi-linguist who is deeply passionate about building and contributing to Africa’s creative economy and institutions. She holds a master’s degree in social anthropology and sociology from the University of Auckland and completed an executive development program at Harvard Business School on emerging markets and BRICS economies. Morrison is equipped with over two decades of global professional experience in both the private and public sectors and can help drive the institution’s strategic goals and development. Lungi currently serves as Director of Institutional Advancement at Zeitz MOCAA.

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Lungi Morrison.jpg
Usen Esiet.jpg

Usen Esiet is a writer, curator and creative producer from Lagos (Nigeria) and New York (USA). Esiet obtained his MA in Global Marketing Communications and Advertising at Emerson College in 2012. Esiet has served at the United Nations for almost a decade, leveraging the power of digital media for social good and collaborating with an array of artists to produce award-winning global campaigns such as ‘Unheard Voices from Nigeria’ and ‘A Piece of Me’.  ‘A Piece of Me’ is an award-winning documentary short film series and global campaign that was honoured by the Webby Awards for Best Use of Video/Moving Image (2020) and Shorty Awards for Best Global Campaign (2020). A selection of works of art from ‘Unheard Voices from Nigeria’ was included in the curatorial presentation of the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (2022) at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Through HAUSEN, an intimate space for people to engage with art and themselves which was founded in 2015, Esiet has provided a platform to support contemporary art from the African continent and its global diaspora. In 2020, he served on the acquisitions committee for the Young Collectors Council at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan and still serves as the artistic director and curator-in-residence at HAUSEN in Brooklyn. 

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Sarah Diouf is the founder Tongoro, a 100% Made in Africa digital native label designed, sourced, and produced in Dakar, Senegal. Promoting local craftsmanship and investing in training, the brand long-term goal is to contribute to the development of garment production across Western Africa. Betting on E-commerce and digital assets to reach a global customer base, Tongoro has gained international brilliance since its launch in 2016 with the likes of international celebrities such as Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, Alicia Keys (etc.) and was listed amongst Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in 2020.

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Sarah Diouf.jpg
Paul Ninson.jpg

Paul Ninson stands as the driving visionary force propelling Africa's educational transformation and reshaping narratives. Through his prowess as a visual storyteller, manifested in his captivating photography and documentaries, he assumes roles as an educator, curator, and the founder and Executive Director of the Dikan Center. This esteemed non-profit visual education institution in Ghana is swiftly gaining recognition for its unwavering dedication to nurturing Africa's future leaders, guiding them towards a global revolution. Before establishing the Dikan Center, Paul accumulated a diverse professional background, contributing his talents to globally renowned entities like BBDO, AstraZeneca, Vivo Energy, Next Door, and at Humans of New York, where he served as a producer and photo editor. Paul's educational journey led him to acquire a degree in Industrial Art from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. Furthering his expertise, he immersed himself in the realm of Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism at the distinguished School of the International Center of Photography in New York. Recognized for his remarkable achievements through features in prominent publications, as well as his roles as an evaluator and mentor, Paul's mission is to impact the lives of numerous creatives. He accomplishes this through initiatives such as educational programs at the Dikan Center. Drawing from personal projects and experiences gained during extensive travels across Africa and beyond, his diverse portfolio includes impactful projects like Umoja Woman – “Village with No Men”, “Culture According to Africans”, “WWII Veterans”, and “Where Education is Free.” “These works are lauded for their compelling narratives and their capacity to ignite inspiration and enlightenment worldwide. Paul's role extends to curating photo exhibitions and research. 

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Ashley Walters’ work protagonize a subjective and critical approach to the behaviours and processes of urban life in the city and its periphery. Through experimenting with digital and analogue photographic processes, non-linear film, sculpture and drawing, his work tells of an interest in the everyday and public space in its least predictable dimension. Wavering between absolute complicity with his subjects and distant observation, his body of work emphasizes a non-spectacular representation of reality. Whereas some images provide tableaus of intimate, inhabited spaces, others render non-territories that bespeak up-rootedness, scarring, anxiety and liminality. Walters completed his BAFA (2011) and MFA (2013) at the University of Cape Town, where he was the recipient of several prestigious awards and scholarships, including the Michaelis Prize (2011) and Tierney Fellowship Award (2013). Subsequently, he completed an exchange at Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig (2013). Thereafter he was awarded an Apexart Fellowship (2015) in New York and an artist residency in Amersfoort, Netherlands (2017/18). Commissioned by Magnum Foundation in collaboration with The Atlantic Philanthropies and other organisations his work has been featured widely in publications such as Laying Foundations for Change, Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, Aperture magazine: Platform Africa, Summer 2017 edition (#227), and Strange Cargo: Essays on Art. Walters has taken part in numerous international exhibitions in Bamako, Netherlands, London, Germany, New York, Beijing, and South Korea and exhibited his works widely within South Africa including Norval Foundation and Iziko SANG. He is the Fine Arts Coordinator at Stellenbosch University, Visual Arts department, teaching Photography and New Media.

Ashley Walters.jpg

Anelisa Mangcu is a curator and interdisciplinary art practitioner based in Cape Town. Mangcu is the co-founder of  the Victory of the Word, an organisation that works on funding and investment strategies to stimulate and preserve art entities such as Lovedale Press. Mangcu has curated over 40 exhibitions and presentations for fairs such as FNB Art Joburg, Investec Cape Town Art Fair, 1-54 New York and RMB Latitudes Art Fair. Mangcu is also the founder of Under The Aegis, which offers curatorial and art advisory  services, and facilitates the relationship between artists, collectors and institutional collections from the African continent and the diaspora. Mangcu obtained an Honours in Curatorship from the Centre for Curating the Archive, at Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town.

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Enter the Student Competition

Please complete the form to enter the competition.

  1. Fill in your personal info.

  2. Fill in your academic info.

  3. Upload your entry. Entry must be uploaded as a PDF document (Max 5 pages).

  4. Add your creative rationale (Max 300 words).

  5. Submit your entry.

Entries close 1 October 2023.

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