The Cotton made in Africa Initiative (CmiA) is thrilled about the award for “Best Portrait 2013” at this year’s PR Bild Awards. Tina Stridde, spokeswoman for the initiative, accepted the award Monday night at an exclusive ceremony in Hamburg in front of 300 invited guests. CmiA received accolades for the portrait of 21-year-old Boukari Kaoulatou. The initiative also won second place in the category of product for exceptional representation of a cotton plant. The impressive images taken by the legendary photographer Albert Watson offer a look into the daily lives of CmiA cotton farmers and provide a better understanding of Africa as well as the work of the initiative.
The aim of the extraordinary cooperation with the renowned advertising and fashion photographer Albert Watson was to draw attention to the work of the initiative and demonstrate the social effectiveness of CmiA. “Realizing a fantastic campaign on no budget requires a lot of self-confidence. We were reaching for the stars when we asked Watson if he would be interested and were deeply rewarded with a fantastic project that has brought Cotton made in Africa closer to many people,” says Tina Stridde about the pro bono collaboration with the legendary photographer. The initiative sent Watson, known for celebrity and fashion photography, for two weeks to Benin, where he portrayed the CmiA cotton farmers, their families, and their daily lives. The photographs were then on display in the exhibition entitled ALBERT WATSON: VISIONS FEAT. COTTON MADE IN AFRICA at the Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg and was attended by over 30,000 guests. The dpa subsidiary, news aktuell, praised two photographs in the exhibition as the best photos to be used this year for media relations, PR, social media, and customer communications.
The two images were selected from more than 1,700 entries submitted by companies, organizations, and agencies from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This marked a record in the history of the awards for organizers. An expert jury of more than 17,000 journalists, PR professionals, and marketing experts previously rated the 60 best pictures in a public vote. Subsequently, the combination of jury decision and public vote saw a 60:40 ratio in favor of this decision.
For more photographs by Albert Watson from Benin and information about the project, please visit: www.cottonmadeinafrica.org/albert-watson.
About the photography project
The extraordinary photographs shot by Albert Watson in Benin, were on display as part of the exhibition entitled Albert Watson: Visions feat. Cotton made in Africa from September 14, 2012 to January 13, 2013 the in Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg. The exposition consisted of two parts: The main attraction were the photographs taken by Albert Watson in Benin in December 2011. The accompanying retrospective included previously unreleased vintage and Polaroid material by the renowned fashion and advertising photographer. An outdoor exhibition at the Hamburger Jungfernstieg rounded out the show. From the April 28 to July 28, 2013, the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum put 40 exclusive and impressive photographs from the extraordinary cooperation on display in the exhibition “Albert Watson: 14 Days in Benin”.