22.07.2006 Africa

World Press Photo Exhibition in Accra

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For the first time since its inception 50 years ago, the World Press Photo exhibition is taking place at the National Museum in Accra.

The two-week exhibition has a collection of more than 100 press photographs from 80 cities throughout the World.

Among the numerous photographs is the 2005 World best press photograph, taken in Niger by a Canadian photo journalist, Finbarr O'Reilly of Reuters.

Mr. O'Reilly's work depicts the hand of a one-year-old child, whose dry, sun-burnt wrinkled fingers look like those of an 80-year-old.

Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who was the special guest, called on journalists to play a key role “in the upcoming celebration of Ghana's 50 years of independence”, next year.

“I would like to challenge all journalists and photojournalists to go out and show the world what makes us proud. Show through your pictures the stories of our country in particular, and of the continent, in general,” he said.

Alhaji Mahama said the fact that the country was hosting the exhibition, proves that Ghana has established itself within this international dialogue, which is indeed a great development.

“It is also a logical outcome of the active role played by civil society groups in Ghana”, he said.

Alhaji Mahama said the level of civic awareness in the country was encouraging adding, “by just listening to the radio, reading the newspapers or looking at the television, one knows that journalism and freedom of speech are core values in our country”.

The Vice President commended the 21 pupils honored for their exhibition dubbed: “Eyes of Ghana,” in which they portrayed their daily lives and activities through graphic painting.

“It is my fervent hope that this maiden World Press Photo exhibition in Ghana, would serve as a catalyst for more of such exhibitions to be held in Ghana in the future,” he stated.

The Omanhene of Assikadu, Nana Kobena Nketsia V, extolled the virtues of photojournalism, in particular and photography in general saying, “they play unique roles in every society's development”.

He recalled some historical milestones in which photos were used to tell stories so graphically and vividly that no words could aptly have done so.

These included the US-Vietnam war, the Soweto school children's uprising in 1976, Ghana's struggle for independence and the murder of Patrice Lumumba of Zaire.

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