The Shutha Project

Who is behind Shutha?

Shutha is one of the outputs of the Twenty Ten: African media on the road to twenty ten (and beyond) project. The project is a partnership between World Press PhotoFreevoice (now rebranded as Free Press Unlimited), Africa Media Online and lokaalmondiaal and is funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Shutha benefits from this funding.

The Twenty Ten project trained 128 journalists from 34 countries around Africa who produced media content from an African perspective in the run-up to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The content was used to produce a coffee table book, a traveling exhibition and was distributed to media around the world. A documentary on the project was also produced by lokaalmondiaal.

As one of the partners in Twenty Ten, Africa Media Online has led the Shutha initiative, bringing together experts from around the world to produce a free online resource enabling photographers from Africa and the Majority World to understand, access and produce for local and international markets. Shutha has also benefitted from sponsorship of the Drupal-based web platform by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) who originally developed the platform for their own site and then for their initiative.

FIGURE 1 The Twenty Ten project was funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery and was a partnership between World Press Photo, FreeVoice, Africa Media Online and lokaalmondiaal 

How did Shutha come about?

In 2008, Africa Media Online ran a training process, designed by managing director David Larsen, aimed at empowering photographers in Africa to compete in the global photo marketplace. The process was called the African Photo Entrepreneur Programme (APEP). Twenty seven photographers graduated from APEP and there was interest in Africa Media Online running further programmes. For this reason, running another APEP was built into a proposal for a pan-African project being jointly run by World Press PhotoFreevoiceAfrica Media Online and lokaalmondiaal and funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery called Twenty Ten which trained journalists in the run-up to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Early on in the Twenty Ten project, Deputy Director of World Press Photo, Maarten Koets, made the suggestion that perhaps APEP should be run as an online programme. The seed of that idea grew during the course of the project and at the end of the World Cup it seemed that the wisest use of the funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery that had been set aside for APEP would be to create an enduring resource that could benefit photographers and multimedia journalists throughout Africa and other parts of the Majority World for years to come, rather than running another once-off workshop for just a handful of photographers. So, Shutha was born!

As one of the lead partners in the Twenty Ten project, World Press Photo approved the idea and David Larsen drew a team of experts together who had both exposure to training African photographers and were on the cutting edge in their respective fields. Graeme Cookson, Peter KroghDominique Le Roux and Rosanne Larsen had all been involved in running APEP 2008, and DJ Clark had been involved in running two multimedia workshops as part of the Twenty Ten project. He also had extensive experience in training photographers in other parts of the Majority World. 

Peter Krogh brought to the venture his extensive experience of writing such materials from his work on, an initiative of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) which was funded by the Library of Congress. At Peter's urging, the ASMP very kindly agreed to sponsor the Shutha initiative, the configuration of the Drupal platform that had been developed as part of

At the end of January 2011, the team gathered in Maputo, Mozambique to begin working out the goal and structure of the resource. The team was privileged to be assisted in this process by members of the Associação Moçambicana de Fotografia who provided detailed insights into the working conditions of many photographers in Mozambique. They provided a valuable sounding board against which we could check our presuppositions about those we were seeking to serve.


FIGURE 2 Members of Associação Moçambicana de Fotografia at the offices of the Association meeting with Shutha team members. The Association provided valuable insight into the working conditions of professional photographers in Mozambique and insights into what is needed to enable them to compete on the international stage

Post-Maputo the hard work was put in, developing the brand and creating the Shutha resource which was launched in May 2011.

Who is the Dutch Postcode Lottery?

Shutha and its mother project, Twenty Ten, are sponsored by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The largest lottery in the Netherlands it supports good causes such as UNICEF, the Red Cross and the WWF. In 2008 the lottery donated EUR 244 million to the 66 causes which are associated with the lottery. For more information on the Dutch Postcode Lottery, visit National Postcode Loterij.

Who is the World Press Photo Foundation?

World Press Photo Foundation, founded in 1955, is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands. Its mission is to encourage high professional standards in photojournalism and to promote a free and unrestricted exchange of information. World Press Photo aims to support professional press photography on a wide international scale. World Press Photo is known for organizing the world’s largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest. Prizewinning photographs are assembled into a travelling exhibition that is visited by over two million people in some 45 countries worldwide.

Education and training are core objectives of the World Press Photo Foundation. The foundation’s most high-profile educational activity is the annual Joop Swart Masterclass held in Amsterdam. Other activities include once-off workshops, seminars and photojournalism training programmes. Since 2004, World Press Photo has assisted organizations in developing countries with the aim of strengthening their capacity to provide photojournalism training. World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon and TNT. For more information about World Press Photo and its educational programmes, please see

Who is FreeVoice?

Free Press Unlimited, previously FreeVoice, is a media organization based in the Netherlands that strives for press freedom, independent, multiform media and balanced and reliable journalism in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The foundation was established in 1986 by prominent Dutch journalism and media organizations and supports initiatives with money, expertise and networks. For FreeVoice, support to media is a goal in itself. Media are more than just communication and information channels. Professional and responsible media are the watchdogs against abuse of power, the voice of the people and bearers of culture. For these reasons they are essential for good governance and democratization of societies. Within Africa, FreeVoice focuses on pluralism and quality of the media and supports several media networks. The emphasis is on (community) radio and written press. FreeVoice also initiated the Kids News Network (KNN) worldwide with three partners now in Africa (Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique). KNN is a television network that produces informative youth programmes. FreeVoice receives structural funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Postcode Lottery. For more information about FreeVoice, see

Who is Africa Media Online?

Africa Media Online’s passion is Africans telling Africa’s Story. Based in South Africa we're dedicated to enabling African media professionals and media organizations to bring their products to market and compete on an equal footing in the global marketplace. So we have developed what we like to call a ‘digital trade route’ in order to get the work of photographers in Africa to markets around the world.

This 'digital trade route' includes training you to reach global markets (through and through initiatives such as the African Media Entrepreneur Programme) and keeping you informed of developments in the professional photography world (through our Media Blog), digitizing African photographic collections, providing web sites for photographers to sell their work online, and as a photo agency representing photographers. We represent photographers from all over Africa on our Africa Media Online website.  We also have a network of over 30 photo agencies in different parts of the world who sell the work of our contributing photographers into those markets.

Who is lokaalmondiaal?

Based in the Netherlands, lokaalmondiaal is a television and video production organization set up in 1999. It began making television programmes on subjects such as international collaboration, globalization, poverty and sustainable development for local broadcasting stations in the Netherlands. It has since evolved into a professional media organization that publishes several magazines in Dutch and produces a range of television programmes about international issues. Underexposed and forgotten stories are covered by the ‘Not in the News’ journalism project. lokaalmondiaal has considerable specific expertise on the role of sport in Africa. lokaalmondiaal is financed by a wide range of sources, including Dutch development organizations and the Dutch government. For more information about lokaalmondiaal, please see

Who is the American Society of Media Photographers?

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) is dedicated to the advocacy of professional photographers. It has developed significant resources to assist professional photographers to reach and maintain professional practices including on their own web site as well as on the dpBestFlow website which was developed with funding from the Library of Congress. The ASMP has joined the Dutch Postcode Lottery in funding Shutha through the provision of this web platform and the skilled developers who created it.