Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest

The Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest


The Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest, which takes place from 11 April - 15 July 2018, has been organised as a visual studies educational programme for the common cultural heritage of the Silk Roads. The contest is organized in the context of the UNESCO Silk Roads Project, the UNESCO Youth Programme, and the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022).

Visual arts serve as the 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, passing through the Central Asian sub-continent, the Russian steppe, Iranian and Anatolian plateaus, and the Arabian Peninsula. It also stretches through North Africa and Northeast Africa from Tanzania to Morocco, as well as through Eastern and Southern Europe, reaching France and Spain. (Please see the map here.) Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest provides an opportunity for youth living or travelling along the Silk Roads to more fully grasp their collective cultural heritage. In addition, it offers youth a means of using photography to express unique perspectives about their Silk Roads common legacy and pluralistic identities.

Using photography in this way acts as a tool to highlight the significant historical contributions of the Silk Roads. Most importantly, it fosters mutual understanding and promotes peace amongst 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 travelling exhibition of fifty photos which best represent the spirit of the contest will start its tour in UNESCO HQ in Paris, before travelling to other countries. To commemorate the occasion, these exceptional photographs will ultimately appear in a professionally bound collection of printed images.


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


There will be two categories: 14 to 17 years old 18 to 25 years old

Copyrights & Usage Rights:

Each participant in the photography contest certifies that he or she is the sole copyright-holder of all submitted photographs and they are original to him/her.

The participant has full power to authorize the use of the photographs.

Each participant in the photography contest certifies that all submitted photographs do not violate or infringe on any existing copyright or any other third party rights and contain nothing otherwise unlawful.

The participant grants to the Organizer, free, worldwide non-exclusive rights for the whole term of copyright, to use, edit, alter, copy, exhibit, reproduce, adapt, publish or distribute and redistribute the photographs in full or part for purposes of publicizing the Organizer’s programmes or for any other lawful purpose and communicate to the public, worldwide, in any language in printed and electronic format, the whole or any part of the submitted photographs.

The participant understands and agrees that the submitted materials will become the property of the Organizer and will not be returned. In addition, the participant waives the right to inspect or approve any finished products, whether in written or electronic form. The participant waives any right to royalties, payment or other consideration arising from or related to the use of the photograph(s).

The participant agrees to indemnify UNESCO and holds it harmless against any third party claims for loss, injury, damage (including any legal costs and/or other expenses properly incurred), prejudice, liability or expense suffered as a result of or in any manner in connection with the entry, any other of the acts or omissions or any information provided, including but not limited to, claims for violation of copyrights.

The participant recognizes UNESCO as a specialized agency of the United Nations enjoys the 1947 Convention on the Privileges and immunities of the Specialized Agencies.

The participant grants the Organizer the right to use his or her name, photograph, image or likeness in the context of any recording, any presentation, speech or other form of publicity in connection with the photography competition.

The following credit shall be given: © NAME OF PHOTOGRAPHER/UNESCO.

The participant agrees that if an amicable settlement of any dispute relating to the contest cannot be reached, it shall be referred to arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Arbitration Rules.


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