The Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for People’s Journalism

Application deadline: January 5, 2018

Ali Mustafa was a Toronto-based freelance photojournalist, activist and writer. His images from Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Brazil and his native Toronto captured both the resilience of ordinary people in conflict zones and the spirit of resistance and revolution. Reporting from the frontlines, Ali’s work was featured in The Guardian, Le Nouvel Observateur, Journal du Dimanche, Les Echos, and The Times of London.

On 9 March 2014, Ali was killed in a rebel-held area of Aleppo by a barrel bomb dropped by a Syrian government aircraft. He had returned to Syria to continue his work exposing the depths of a human tragedy that he believed the rest of the world could no longer afford to ignore. He was only 29 years old at the time.

As a young and emerging journalist, Ali had no institutional support and his only income came from the photographs he was able to sell to news agencies. Yet, he remained deeply committed to using his camera as a tool for documenting people’s struggles for justice and to report, as he put it, ‘what must be told, what will not be forgotten.’

To honour Ali’s life and work, our collective launched an annual award to support other freelancers documenting grassroots social struggles.

The Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for Peoples Journalism pays tribute to Ali’s craft. And it honours his unwavering belief in a journalism that both popularizes and contributes to struggles around the world.

The award is open to any freelance photojournalist based in Canada who is under the age of 35.

The successful candidate will receive up to $3,000 to carry out a photojournalism project that relates to social struggles, as well as free memberships for CMG Freelance and the News Photographers Association of Canada.

Media and Community Partners:
Canadian Media Guild, News Photographers Association of Canada, Canadian Journalists For Free Expression, Mayworks Festival of Working People and The Arts