Jesper Houborg has won second prize at Direct Look competition

Jesper Houborg‘s story “We Are Still Here” has received a second prize at the Direct Look photo contest organized by FOTODOC Center for Documentary Photography at the Sakharov Center in Moscow.

Brandon, 21, is a swimming coach from Harare jumping from the 10 meters high seesaw in Les Brown Pool. The pool was built by the British colonial rule and is one out of 13 outdoor swimming pools in the capital. Any bigger town in Zimbabwe holds at least one outdoor swimming pool. Les Brown Pool, Harare. 17 September 2018.
Photo: Jesper Houborg from his project “We Are Still Here”.

We are still here” is a visual investigation of the collective spirit – zeitgeist – of the young nation, Zimbabwe that is highly underreported due to a tightly closed media space. In July 2018, after Mugabe’s fall and recent death, a new government took over, giving hope for change. However, the latest economic development, resolving in hyperinflation up to 500 percent, has challenged this belief.

A young couple from Harare enjoying a Sunday afternoon at Lake Chivero celebrating a friend’s birthday. They often come here with their friends at the weekends to drink and party. Lake Chivero, 23 September 2018.
Photo: Jesper Houborg from his project “We Are Still Here”.

Jesper Houborg photographed the project over a period of six weeks in 2018 as his final MA-project at London College of Communication where he studied during a leave from DMJX. After finishing his MA, Jesper Houborg returned to his study at DMJX where he is currently doing his internship at Politiken.

The project has been chosen by the Wallpaper magazine as one of eight graduate projects and was shortlisted in this year’s World Report Award in the student category.

Mr Jeffrey, 47, a local gardener, attending his Apostolic Church on a field in Harare on a Sunday afternoon. If he can he attends the church activities from Thursday to Sunday. Jeffrey works for a Swedish family where he also lives on the property. He has been working for the Swedish family for three years and before them, he worked for another European family for more than 10 years in the same house. Jeffrey has a wife and two young daughters, but they live in a small village 200 km away. He tries to see them once a month. Harare, 9 September 2018.
Photo: Jesper Houborg from his project “We Are Still Here”.

24 projects were shortlisted for the Direct Look contest. Among these were also “A Question of Honor” by Laura Bisgaard Krogh and Andreas Haubjerg.

The competition’s categories were “The Problem”, “The Compromise” and “The Conflict” and three winners were selected in each category. Jesper Houborg received his second prize in “The Compromise Category”.