Vanesa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist sparked off a social media outrage towards Associated Press (AP) after the later cropped her out of a photo with famous climate activists including 17 year old Greta Thunberg, Loukina Tille, Luisa Neubauer and Isabelle Axelsson on Friday.
Nakate had joined the three other climate activists in Davos, Switzerland where they held a press conference to address the media and world leaders about how the world can use science to fight climate change.
In a published version of what transpired at the presser however, AP news agency in the United States cropped out Nakate from the photo and her comments were not captured. AP focused on Thunberg’s comments and the two other colleagues.
In a viral and emotional video on her Twitter handle later on, Nakate expressed her grief and disappointment with the US based agency before calling them out for racism.
She said, “After the presser, we went for a climate strike in Davos which was a nice experience. After the strike I decided to go through my phone to post some photos from the strike and I land on this article. I see the photos and I clearly see how I was scrapped out of the photos. It was the hardest thing because everyone’s message was being talked about and my message was left out. My photo was left out as well,” Nakate said.
Nakate said that this showed how Africans are being undervalued and that it was the worst thing she has ever seen in her life.
By the time of compiling this report, 161,000 Twitter users had watched the video, which sparked off an outrage on social media.
Following the outrage, AP news agency was forced to edit the publication with the original photo that included Nakate.
A number of popular figures both in Uganda and elsewhere in the world sympathized with Nakate and called AP news publication on racist grounds.
ASSOCIATED PRESS SPEAKS OUT
The Associated Press’ Director of Photography David Ake would later come out in a phone interview with Buzzfeed UK to apologize for the incident saying that Nakate was cropped out ‘purely on composition grounds,’
“Under tight deadline, the photographer cropped it purely on composition grounds because he thought the building in the background was distracting,” Ake said.
Nakate however claims that she was yet to receive any explanation or apology from the news agency by the time of compiling this report.
Nakate started her climate strikes in Uganda last year soon as she graduated from Makerere University with a Bachelor in Business Administration (MUBS). She said she couldn’t look on as the world experiences severe climate change.