BREAKING NEWS Civilian Act founder Pieter Ten Hoopen wins World Press Photo - Story of the year and Spot News in World Press Photo 2019 - with his serie Migrant Caravan

“The new award for the World Press Photo Story of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills produced a story with excellent editing and sequencing that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in 2018.”

About the project

People run to a truck that has stopped to give them a ride, outside Tapanatepec, Mexico. Some drivers charged to give migrants a lift for part of the way to the US border, but most offered services free as a sign of support. During October and November, thousands of Central American migrants joined a caravan heading to the United States border. The caravan, assembled through a grassroots social media campaign, left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 12 October, and as word spread drew people from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. They were a mix of those facing political repression and violence, and those fleeing harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life. Traveling in a caravan offered a degree of safety on a route where migrants have previously disappeared or been kidnapped, and was an alternative to paying high rates to people smugglers. Migrant caravans travel to the US border at different times each year, but this was the largest in recent memory with as many as 7,000 travelers, including at least 2,300 children, according to UN agencies. Conditions along the way were grueling, with people walking around 30 km a day, often in temperatures above 30°C. The caravan usually set off at around 4am each day to avoid the heat. Like others, the caravan drew condemnation from US president Donald Trump, who made it a focal point of rallies and used it to reiterate his call for tough immigration policies and the building of a border wall.

For press material, click here

Migrant Caravan is a part of the ongoing exhibition project LOVE STORIES produced by Civilian Act

In today’s reporting of humanitarian disasters, people often remain only numbers in statistics. A refugee is usually reflected in figures, and even through films and photographs, the reflection of their lives usually start and end with surface level images. Civilian Act took on the responsibility to highlight an intimate and unseen aspect of a refugee’s life. Through the Love Stories project, Civilian Act’s vision and aim is to make these people perceptible and while creating a greater understanding of the ongoing reality we are either - directly or indirectly - being influenced by in our world.

We believe this fear comes from the inability to discern a person from their circumstance. If one fears someone else because of their religious, political, geographical and sexual orientation; How can we empathise with another to be open in our thinking and in our borders? It is hard to relate to a stranger, especially the one whose colour, culture or creed differs greatly from yours. But capturing love between two people will depict an emotional and personal story that many can relate to; this is what Love Stories will do.

Read the interview with Pieter at British journal of Photography


A new exiting year for Civilian Act

Together with PLAN Sweden Civilian Act are producing short films covering different themes on urban development.


Workshop September 2018 with new partner 7x7

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Workshop September 2018. With support from Swedish Institute, Civilian Act are teaching young journalists and bloggers visual storytelling in an intense workshop in North west of Russia. This is a Local Storytellers project that will continue during 2018 - 2019


Exhibition A roof over your head – the face of the housing crisis

Exhibition june - september 2018. Civilian Act has produced the Fotografiska For Life exhibition A roof over your head – the face of the housing crisis. In the exhibition we get to meet people affected by this harmful development and to witness the negative repercussions for both individuals and the whole of society. The exhibition was displayed on Fotografiska's fasade, as well as in the ruins of Saint Catherine's church on the island of Gotland during Almedalen Week, a major annual political event in Sweden 2-5 juli 2018.


Childmothers / Exhibition UN Headquarters

Childmothers / Exhibition UN Headquarters, Geneva 2017   Michael Møller, the Director-General of United Nations Office at Geneva opens the exhibition Childmothers. After two years of work we were able to make the voices heard of the children in this important project. The young mothers were exhibited during three weeks at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

Childmothers / Exhibition UN Headquarters, Geneva 2017

Michael Møller, the Director-General of United Nations Office at Geneva opens the exhibition Childmothers. After two years of work we were able to make the voices heard of the children in this important project. The young mothers were exhibited during three weeks at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

Childmothers / PLAN & UNFPA   Every year, an estimated two million girls give birth before they turn 15. Young girls face the greatest risk of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. These girls are often invisible in statistics and excluded from development interventions. We produced the film series and exhibition child mothers in cooperation with Plan Sweden and UNFPA.

Childmothers / PLAN & UNFPA

Every year, an estimated two million girls give birth before they turn 15. Young girls face the greatest risk of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. These girls are often invisible in statistics and excluded from development interventions. We produced the film series and exhibition child mothers in cooperation with Plan Sweden and UNFPA.


Maternal Health Series / London School Of Hygiene

Maternal Health Series / London School Of Hygiene   Production in cooperation with the London school of Hygiene and Tropical medicine. The series concludes with a five point agenda for change: good quality care for every women, every newborn, everywhere; equally through Universal health system resilience, strength and responsiveness: sustainable financing for maternal and newborn health; and better evidence, advocacy, and accountability for progress.

Maternal Health Series / London School Of Hygiene

Production in cooperation with the London school of Hygiene and Tropical medicine. The series concludes with a five point agenda for change: good quality care for every women, every newborn, everywhere; equally through Universal health system resilience, strength and responsiveness: sustainable financing for maternal and newborn health; and better evidence, advocacy, and accountability for progress.