Call for Applications: Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest

Silk Roads Contest. Sunset © UNESCO

The International Photo Contest ”Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads”, taking place from 11 April  to 15 July 2018, is organized within the framework of UNESCO Silk Roads Project, UNESCO Youth Programme and the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022). This initiative, which benefits from the kind support and valuable advice of the renowned photographer and humanitarian, Reza Deghati, offers a good opportunity for young people from different regions of the world to visually capture their understanding and impressions of the Silk Road’s common heritage in their respective countries.

Visual arts serve as a primary communication tool for today’s youth.  The power and importance of visual instruction in raising awareness for younger generations is paramount, especially concerning an understanding of key issues within the context of globalization. The Silk Roads is an expansive region, comprised of a network of maritime and land routes.  It originates in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. It then passes through the Central Asian subcontinent, the Russian steppe, the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus, and the Arabian Peninsula. It also stretches through North Africa and Northeast Africa, from Tanzania to Morocco. Moreover, it goes through Eastern and Southern Europe, before reaching France and Spain. (Please see the map here.) Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest provides an opportunity for youth living or traveling along the Silk Road to more fully grasp their collective cultural heritage. In addition, it offers youth a means of using photography to express their unique perspectives about the Silk Road’s common legacy and pluralistic identities.

Using photography in this way highlights the significant historical contributions of the Silk Road. Most importantly, it fosters mutual understanding and promotes peace among these diverse populations. The contest is divided into two age groups: 14-17 years old, and 18-25 years old. Participants are invited to submit their photographs, which will then be examined by selected jury members.

The contest will culminate with an awards ceremony, with three winners being selected from each category. First place winners will receive a professional camera. Second place winners will receive a semi-professional camera, and the prize for third place will be a standard-model digital camera. In addition, winners will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the ceremony. Those under 17 years of age may be accompanied by one other family member, courtesy of UNESCO. A traveling exhibition of fifty photos that best represent the spirit of the contest will start its tour at UNESCO HQ in Paris, before traveling to other countries. To commemorate the occasion, these exceptional photographs will ultimately appear in a professionally bound collection of printed images.

The original article provided by UNESCO.