Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Muntaka Chasant and Bénédicte Kurzen. Prix Carmignac 2023. They will be exhibited in Paris and New York in 2023-2024 and will be the subject of a monograph, co-published by the Fondation Carmignac and Reliefs Éditions.

E-WASTE IN GHANA. The 13th edition of the Carmignac Photojournalism Award is dedicated to Ghana and the ecological and human challenges associated with the transboundary flow of electronic waste. The award was granted to a team made up of investigative anti-corruption journalist and activist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and photojournalists Muntaka Chasant and Bénédicte Kurzen (NOOR). The laureates are officially announced and their work unveiled at the Visa pour l’Image festival on September 7, 2023 at 9:30 pm (GMT).

In 2019, the world generated 53.6 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste), marking a 21% increase in five years. This makes discarded smartphones, tablets, computers, and other electronics not only one of the largest sources of global waste but also incredibly valuable (containing precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum group metals). If this trend continues, in the absence of sustainable recycling or repair solutions, global electronic waste will reach 74 million metric tons by 2030. In 2019, only 17.4 % of the 53.6 million tons of e-waste were collected and recycled in a dedicated channel.
Having long invaded Asia, Europe and the United States are now shipping industrial quantities of e-waste to West African countries like Ghana, in violation of international treaties. Ghana, known for political stability, now faces a proliferation of informal open-air landfill sites near homes, following the dismantling of the Agbogbloshie scrapyard in July 2021.
It was against this backdrop that began the investigation by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and photojournalists Muntaka Chasant and Bénédicte Kurzen, which combines photography, video, audio recordings and writing. Departing from the dramatic imagery often used by the media to portray Ghana as “the dustbin of the world”, they spent six months documenting this incredibly ambiguous and complex ecosystem, which is both a crucial economic opportunity for thousands of people in Ghana and has a considerable human and environmental impact. Together, combining a national and international approach, the team studied the ramifications of e-waste trafficking between Europe and Ghana, revealing the opacity of this globalised cycle. Delving into the complex world of second-hand electronics in Ghana and Europe, Bénédicte Kurzen documented the e-waste flows and the communities that activate them, challenging negative stereotypes of exporters and highlighting the inefficiency of European e-waste bureaucracy. At the other end of the chain, in Accra, the capital of Ghana, researcher and documentary photographer Muntaka Chasant immersed himself in a sociological analysis of this economy on which many communities depend. With precision, he analyses the social groups of e-waste workers, revealing a hierarchical organisation and the mechanisms of migration from northeast Ghana. With his team, Anas Aremeyaw Anas infiltrated the ports of Accra to reveal the legal and illegal flows of e-waste. Working undercover and using trackers implanted in illegal waste, he unmasked the strategies and corruption that enable people to circumvent the law, both in Europe and in Ghana.