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T10 full nameTwenty Ten used the opportunity of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa to empower African journalists to tell Africa’s story. 128 text, radio, photo and multimedia-journalists from 34 countries were trained in six workshops held in six countries around Africa to produce content on the run up to and during the World Cup. The top 18 journalists were invited to South Africa to create content on the ground during the event. The journalists produced in French and English 129 photo features, 108 radio features, 170 text features and 20 multimedia features.

The content was used to produce a coffee table book Africa United, an exhibition in the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam during the World Cup and a traveling exhibition called Twenty Ten on the Road which traveled to Cape Town, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya.

Content was also made available for sale through Africa Media Online’s Twenty Ten website and was distributed through our network of distributors around the world. Local and international publications picked up on the stories. Content was also curated on the project website Roadto2010.com and to the Dutch market through lokaalmondiaal’s Roadto201.nl.

Lokaalmondiaal has also produced a documentary on a number of the participants in the project called Through Our Own Eyes. A final output of the project is Shutha a free online resource for photographers in Africa enabling an understanding of photo markets, how to sell to those markets, how to deliver to them at the right standard, and how to build a long-term archive of content that grows in value in the eyes of the market over time.

Twenty Ten Multimedia Workshop in Zambia from Africa Media Online on Vimeo.

Twenty Ten was a joint initiative of World Press Photo, FreeVoice, Africa Media Online and lokaalmondiaal and was funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The story of the genesis of the project is told in an article in the Rhodes Journalism Review.

Articles and Press Releases on the project were published in numerous places including Radio France International, The British Association of Picture Libraries, Stock Index Online, Biz Community and The Picture Archive Council of America.

Features and individual pictures produced through the Twenty Ten project are estimated to have been published in over 100 publications including some online publications such as The Mail & Guardian, The Sun, City Press, Radio Netherlands World, Play the Game and All Africa. A separate page has been dedicated to showcasing some scanned examples of work from Twenty Ten that was published in print.

The feature which was published most often was Nikki Rixon’s Township Football. Others that sold well included Slum Aspirations by Adolphus Opara, Fashion and Football by Mohamed Elmasry, Vuvuzela’s with a Difference by Samantha Reinders and Sex Workers by Nikki Rixon.

Overall the image which sold most often was a photo of two young men holding soccer balls from the feature – Township Football by Nikki Rixon.  Other images which sold well have been put into a Best Sellers gallery where they can be viewed.

Township Football

Above: Nikki Rixon’s image from the Feature – Township Football

Although it didn’t make the best selling features list people were most attracted to the feature Elephants Play Too by Stephen Mudiari Kasabuli – which received the highest number of hits online. The general topic that has attracted most interest since the World Cup is of Women in Soccer, particularly in the light of the Women’s World Cup in Germany. Here is a list of all the images from the project that sold at least once.

The Twenty Ten project also proved to be the catalyst for the development of a number of significant systems that continue to serve media in Africa and elsewhere in the Majority World. These systems include an application system for receiving applications for media projects. The system was originally used for the application site for the Twenty Ten project. Since then it has been used on a number of World Press Photo education programmes including the Robert Bosch Stiftung SEE Masterclass initiative. Another significant outcome was the further development of Africa Media Online’s MEMAT system. This was the third generation of the system and the African Image Pipeline project enabled us to build the Asset Management Layer of the system and the Twenty Ten project enabled us to build the Presentation Layer including enabling the system to manage photos, text, audio and multimedia collections. The system continues to be used for photographers and media collections in Africa.

All in all the Twenty Ten project enabled the building of a significant network of journalists across Africa, built capacity in those journalists, gave them exposure, and provided ongoing connections to markets for their work. From our perspective in Africa Media Online it also helped significantly in capacitating us as an organisation in our dream to enable Africans to tell Africa’s story. It enabled us to complete the building of MEMAT 3.0, to have a network of contributors from across the African continent, to significantly increase our reach into markets around the world through the network of network of distributing agencies, it gave us some valuable partnerships with other media organisations, it served to raise our profile as an organisation both within Africa and and around the world, and more importantly it raised the profile of the the issue that we exist to contribute to, Africans telling Africa’s story.

Twenty Ten also enabled us to produce Shutha.org, a free online training resource for photographers in Africa and the Majority World. We believe this resource will be fruit for many years to come in empowering African photographers to tell Africa’s story.

While it was an incredible amount of hard work and some of the hoped for outcomes did not materialize, particularly in not being able to sell the content to the extent we had hoped, it was certainly worth it from our perspective and we were proud to have been involved. We attempted a great thing and mostly succeeded! We do believe much of the true impact of the project will become evident in years to come.

On to examples of published work

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