The annual Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads International Photo Contest offers an exciting opportunity for young people from all over the world to capture their understanding of the shared heritage of the Silk Roads through the lens of their camera. As the visual arts, and in particular photography, are so often used by today’s youth as a powerful tool for communication and self-expression, images have the potential to play a significant role in raising awareness of the key issues facing our contemporary world and help promote peace and understanding. The photo contest provides an opportunity for young people to connect with one another in a digital space and share their creativity and vision for our future.
Organized within the framework of the UNESCO Silk Roads Programme, and in line with the objectives of the UNESCO Youth Programme, by UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector, the 2023 edition of the Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads photo contest is open for entries from 5 June to 5 August 2023.
The Silk Roads are an expansive region composed of 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 the Iberian Peninsula. Please see the map here
The Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest is an opportunity for young people who live or have travelled 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.
The contest is divided into two age categories: 14-17 year olds, and 18-25 year olds. For the 5th edition of the contest this year participants are invited to submit their photographs that best encapsulate the shared heritage of the Silk Roads through one of the themes of Architecture, Monuments and Urbanism. The Selection Committee members will then examine these submissions and select the winners from each of the age categories. Examples of some of the very best photographs from the previous contests can be found here.
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.
A travelling exhibition of around fifty photos that best represent the spirit of the contest will be exhibited in various places around the world, again, depending on sanitation restrictions. To further commemorate the occasion, these exceptional photographs will ultimately appear in a professionally bound photo album.
All queries must be directed to: Silkroadsphotocontest@unesco.org