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UNESCO Photography Contest 2020: Youth Eyes on the Silk Road

UNESCO Photography Contest 2020: Youth Eyes on the Silk Road

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The visual arts, and in particular photography, are increasingly being used by today’s youth as a powerful tool for communication and self-expression. As such, they have the potential to play a significant role in raising awareness of the key issues facing our contemporary globalizing world. The annual UNESCO Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads International Photography Contest offers an exciting opportunity for young people from all over the world to capture their understanding of the common heritage of the Silk Roads through the lens of their camera.

The Silk Roads are an expansive region comprising a network of maritime and land routes. Originating in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia the Silk Roads cross the Central Asian sub-continent, the Russian steppe, the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus, and the Arabian Peninsula. They also stretch through North Africa and Northeast Africa, from Tanzania to Morocco. Additionally, they pass through Eastern and Southern Europe, before reaching France and Spain.

The Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest is an opportunity for young people living or traveling within these regions to share their perceptions and further their understanding of the common cultural heritage and pluralistic identities emerging from the interactions and exchanges taking place along the Silk Roads. The contest encourages the use of photography to extend these cultural interactions and encounters in the contemporary world, to foster mutual understanding and promote peace amongst the diverse populations encompassed by the Silk Roads.

Winners of the UNESCO Silkroad Photography contest.

The contest will culminate with an award ceremony, with three winners selected from each age 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 award ceremony. Those under 17 years of age may be accompanied by one family member, courtesy of UNESCO.

A traveling exhibition of around fifty photos that best represent the spirit of the contest will be exhibited in various places around the world. To commemorate the occasion, these exceptional photographs will ultimately appear in a professionally bound photo album.

  • 1st Award:  A professional digital single-lens reflex camera equipped with 18-55mm lens
  • 2nd Award: Semi-professional digital camera
  • 3rd Award: Digital camera

Eligibility for the UNESCO Silkroad Photography contest

The UNESCO Silkroad Photography contest accepts submission in two age groups: 14-17-year-olds, and 18-25-year-olds. Participants must submit the photographs that best encapsulate the shared heritage of the Silk Roads through one or more of the three themes:

  • Gastronomy and Food Production, Traditional Sports and Games, and Music and Dance.
  • Moreover, the minors participating in the competition must provide permission in writing from their legal guardian(s).
  • However, the photographs must not contain any personal information that identifies the photographer.
  • The Selection Committee members will then examine these submissions and select the winners from each of the age categories.
  • Also, all participants must provide a high-resolution image that can be printed on different media for exhibitions.

The Selection Committee consisting of distinguished photographers will select the winners of the “Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads.” The selection committee will select the winning photographs on the basis of their originality, creativity, photographic quality and relevance to the 2019 themes.

How to participate in the 2020 UNESCO International Photography Contest?

In order to participate in the 2020 UNESCO International Photography Contest, participants, at first, should create an account by completing the mandatory fields with the requested information. The participants then may submit the photos by uploading to the website.

UNESCO Silkroad International Photography competition will divide all participants subsequently into two age groups:

  • 14-17 years old, and 18-25 years old.


UNESCO accepts the submission for its International Photography Contest until 6 January 2020. Submissions after the deadline are invalid.


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards
Deadline06 January,2020
Open toAll Nationalities
Contact the organizer[email protected]



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