Ugandan climate activist gets Twitter verification after ‘racist’ photo crop

Tuesday January 28 2020
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Following the backlash, AP removed the cropped photo and replaced it with one showing all the activists [Markus Schreiber/AP]

Just three days after she accused the Associated Press of racism for cropping her out of a photo, Ugandan climate change activist Vanessa Nakate’s twitter account has been verified.

At 9:00pm on Monday, she tweeted, “I have been verified! Thank you guys. This is because of you. I am so grateful. Thank you.”

Last Saturday, Ms Nakate tweeted an emotional video hitting at AP for cropping her out of a photo where she posed with other climate change activists; Ms Greta Thunberg, Ms Luisa Neubauer, Ms Loukina Tille and Ms Isabelle Axelsson.

The activists were attending the annual World Economic Forum conference in Switzerland.

In the video that went gone viral over the weekend, the sobbing Ms Nakate explained how the experience was the “hardest thing.”

She tweeted “You didn't just erase a photo. You erased a continent. But I am stronger than ever.”

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She added: “Hurt that it happened to me! I have spoken against it because it is wrong! But at least now I know that it won't happen to any other African climate activist! Now is the time to listen to the African voices!”

The story was picked up by major news outlets world over.

READ:

Ugandan activist accuses media of racism after being cropped out of photo

Saturday January 25 2020

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A Ugandan female climate activist has accused the  Associated Press (AP) of racism after she was cropped out an activists’ photo in Davos, Switzerland.

The photo, where Ms Vanessa Nakate stood with other climate activists; Ms Greta Thunberg, Ms Luisa Neubauer, Ms Loukina Tille and Ms Isabelle Axelsson, was distributed when she was cropped out.

The activists were attending the annual World Economic Forum.

In a video that has gone viral, the sobbing Ms Nakate explains how the experience was the “hardest thing.”

The Friday video has now been watched by more than 180,000 viewers.

On Twitter, she wrote: “You didn't just erase a photo. You erased a continent. But I am stronger than ever.”

She added: “Hurt that it happened to me!  I have spoken against it because it is wrong! But at least now I know that it won't happen to any other African climate activist! Now is the time to listen to the African voices!”

The story of the photo has been picked by many prominent news organisations, including the BBC, the Guardian and Buzzfeed News.

The story became subject of debate online throughout the night bringing to the fore the subject of racism.

On various Online platforms, Ms Nakate received support from numerous people including the  activists who were retained  in the AP photo.

Later, the AP replaced the cropped photo with the original one and said there was no “ill intent” in cropping out Ms Nakate. The AP said the editing was done on composition grounds.

Ms Nakate has been carrying out solo climate protests in Uganda usually carrying posters calling for action on climate crisis.

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The picture that was initially distributed by AP excluded Ms Nakate. It shows; (L-R_ Ms Luisa Neubauer, ms Greta Thunberg, Ms Isabelle Axelsson, and Ms Loukina Tille.

While some stood with her and others showed sympathy, others didn’t and told her, “she should have positioned herself in the middle of the other activists.”

To those, she responded, “Everyone saying that I should position myself in the middle is wrong! Does an African activist have to stand in the middle just because of fear of being cropped out? It shouldn't be like this!”

In just three days, Ms Nakate’s following has grown from less than 50,000 followers to 115,000 followers.

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