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2nd Place, "The Twins Of Koumassi" by Anush Babajanyan
In central Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the mothers of twins dress them in matching, often traditional outfits and take them out onto the streets. In Ivory Coast, and in several other West African countries, the belief that twins have spiritual and mystical powers is centuries old. When needing a problem to be solved or a positive change to occur, people will visit twins, donate to them and seek a blessing, in the hope that the power of the twins will make their wishes come true. In the Koumassi district of Abidjan, the twins and their mothers congregate around the Koumassi Grande Mosque, where visitors to the mosque can see them after their prayers. Twins of different ages spend most of their day in this area, supporting their own families with others’ trust in their spiritual powers.