OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Sarah Waiswa is based in Nairobi and is known for collaborating with other photographers and creatives to create stunning images. One of the Ugandan-born photographer's most evocative series, Stranger in a Familiar Land, won her the prestigious prize Les Rencontres d’Arles 2016 Discovery Award in Arles, France.

Waiswa’s strength lies in documenting the “New African’s” identity with powerful images. Aida Muluneh says of the East African’s work: “Sarah’s approach to photography is one of the curious gaze that reflects the complexities of her surroundings and of a continent that is still captured by others through a lens which perpetuates clichés.”

The series looks at the persecution of albinos in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the photo story took place in a Nairobi slum with the direction of Ghanaian singer and creative, Jojo Abot. She regularly works with Velma Makhandia of 2manysiblings, but makes a point of filling her Instagram account with beautiful depictions of contemporary life of Africans through her travels and interactions.

She studied psychology and sociology at university and spent a few years in the corporate world before deciding to giver her passion a shot.

Telling visual stories is what Waiswa does best and work is proof of that.


Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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