With one quarter of the online votes, Nepalese Luna K.C. has won the 2019 Resource Cover Award.
‘This is a great start to the year 2020,’ the winner, currently in Canada, writes excitedly in an e-mail reaction. Luna K.C. works as a researcher at the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women in British Columbia. She obtained her PhD a year ago under professor Thea Hilhorst (who has since moved to the Erasmus University in Rotterdam) and daily supervisor Gemma van der Haar..
K.C. researched the situation of women in Nepal during the Maoist war and in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. The changing roles of women in this period is illustrated on the cover in a stark contrast: Death and destruction on the left, versus hope for a sustainable future on the right. However, the period of war was not all darkness, says K.C..
‘Small rays of light break through the dark skies,’ she explains. ‘Those represent the women’s increasing assertiveness, which resulted from the new roles they assumed and liberties they gained during the war and after the disaster.’ The cover was designed by K.C.’s sister Rara, with the help of a professional artist.
A total of 1702 votes were cast online. A number well below the votes cast in previous years. Due to technical issues, voting from within the WUR networking systems was difficult. Of the total number of votes, 26 percent were cast on the winning cover. In second place, with 17 percent of the votes, came Jorrit Hegge’s Argonaute protein cover. Luz Verastegui’s cover depicting an ice-cream reached third place with 13 percent of the votes.
Luna K.C. made abundant use of social media to mobilise her followers. ‘In addition, I sent lots of personal messages to people not active on social media. My father, sister and brother-in-law have also actively used their social media accounts to recruit voters.’