UNESCO, MoIC Call for Entries in Photo Competition

UNESCO, MoIC Call for Entries in Photo Competition

November 23, 2015

A Nation-Wide Competition for the Photographs of Afghanistan

Today, Afghans are taking more photographs than ever before and millions are sharing these photos online and in messages. Many of these images include some of the country’s incredible natural and cultural heritage. But what are our photographs saying about our culture? How are we using our smartphones and cameras to tell the story of the Afghanistan that we are proud of?

Afghanistan has often been seen as a place of conflict and strife, but Afghans know this is far from the whole story. The country is a place of extraordinary resilience, where some of the world’s most ancient cultural traditions mingled, where there are stunningly varied landscapes, where beauty, pride, and optimism are national characteristics. Afghans retain a deep well of hope and optimism for a better future.

Join a competition to bring together the best photos taken by photographers, dreamers, creative visionaries, and visual communicators of what makes Afghan cultural heritage so vibrant.

The competition is supported by the Korean government and is organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Information and Culture in Afghanistan. Our goal is to focus attention on the cultural and natural richness around us that has been overlooked or forgotten by decades of war. Help us use photographs to re-cultivate an atmosphere of peace, freedom, and beauty by sending us your photos.

Terms and Conditions

The following Terms and Conditions apply to the nation-wide competition for the photographs of Afghanistan. By participating in the competition, candidates accept, without exception, the full terms and conditions contained herein.

Participation is free of charge.

Who may participate

Any individual can take part (Afghan or non-Afghan, residing in Afghanistan or not). Members of UNESCO staff (either permanent or temporary, current or former) are not eligible to participate.

What to submit

  1. Entries should present and illustrate the significance of either the cultural or natural heritage of Afghanistan. This can include built cultural heritage such as monuments and architectural works, sculpture, painting, inscriptions and artefacts related to history, intangible cultural heritage such as performing arts, music, dance, social rituals, festive events, traditional craftsmanship and creative industries, and natural heritage such as landscapes and sites, which are important from aesthetic, ethnological, anthropological or scientific point of view.
  2. Each participant may submit up to 10 entries per section.
  3. Photos must have been taken within the last three years, (i.e. after October 2012). Photos can be colour-corrected or have filters applied, but should not be digitally manipulated in terms of content and context.

How to submit

  1. The competition will be divided into two different categories: Camera Photo category and Mobile Photo category, each category will be judged separately. All photographs must be in digital format.

Any expenses incurred during submission for both sections are to be borne by the Entrants.

  1. Entry to the Camera Photo category is determined by sending the photos to the e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using file-sharing platforms such as WeTransfer or Dropbox.

Entrants for this section shall title the files with the name of the photographer, a number from 1 to 10, and the city where the photo was taken. For example, the file names for the photos taken by Mohamadi in Bamiyan and Heart should be Mohamadi1Bamiyan and Mohamadi2Herat.

The photos submitted in this section are required to be 20 megabytes or smaller. They must be in JPEG or JPG format, and must be at least 300 dpi at 2,000 pixels on the longest side.

  1. Entry to the Mobile Photo category is determined by posting the photos on the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/showusyourafghanistan.

The photos submitted in this category should be taken by a mobile device or tablet. The mobile photo should be no larger than 5MB.

  1. All entries should indicate the below information with the below order:
  2. The photo section they are competing (Camera/Mobile)
  3. Name of photographer.
  4. Name of the place the photo is taken and the year
  5. If possible, a short description explaining why the image makes the photographer proud of Afghanistan.

Any entry submitted into the incorrect section will be automatically disqualified(i.e. Camera photos submitted to Mobile Photo category through Facebook page/ Mobile-phone photos submitted to Camera Photos category through e-mail).

Submission deadline

The deadline for the submission is 21 December 2015 (23:59 PM Kabul time). Entries submitted after the established deadline shall not be considered. UNESCO shall not bear any responsibility for late or lost entries due to network failure or other reasons.


  1. A Jury comprised of renowned photographers and artists will process the selection of the winning entries in each category. The Jury comprises of the below photographers in alphabetical order:

Rada Akbar

Reza Deghati (President of Jury)

Reza Yemak

Sadie Quarrier

Simon Norfolk

  1. Jury’s decision shall be final. Any attempt by an Entrant to influence the result or subvert the competition will lead to immediate disqualification.
  2. On 21 January 2016, the three winners and the shortlisted entries from each category will be announced via www.unesco.org/kabul,www.bamiyanculturalcentre.org, and www.facebook.com/showusyourafghanistan.

UNESCO may plan to display the selected photos in the form of exhibitions, online exhibitions, and/or publications for this photo competition. Further notice will be given to the shortlisted photographers.


The entrant winning the grand prize for the Camera Photo category will receive a monetary prize of 5000 USD. The Second prize will receive 4000 USD, and the Third prize 3000 USD.

The top three entrants for the Mobile Photo category will each receive a monetary prize of 2000 USD.

Winners will be entirely responsible for any taxes or charges related to the receipt of any prize.

Rights and responsibilities of entrants

  1. Entrants must possess the exclusive rights to their entries and are responsible for having obtained any necessary permission from the subjects shown on the entries in accordance with applicable law. UNESCO will not be responsible for any claims or complaints against infringement of rights or damages from third parties relating to the entries, and the Entrant agrees to indemnify and hold UNESCO harmless in such cases.
  2. The participants retain their rights to their photographs for whatever purpose they wish; by entering the competition, the participants grant to UNESCO a royalty-free, world-wide, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce with no modification of photographs, in any medium or format for non-commercial uses only for promoting the competition and everything related to competition.

Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit.

If UNESCO wishes to use the photographs for any purpose other than activities related to the competition, the permission of the photographer is required.

and more…

  1. Entries shall comply with relevant applicable law. UNESCO reserves the right to exclude entries that conflict with the principles of the UNESCO Constitution that have obscene, violent, sexually explicit, sexist or racist content, or which violate any fundamental rights. Entries must also not invade the rights of privacy of any person, living or deceased.
  2. UNESCO reserves the right to modify or cancel the competition or any of the arrangements, schedules, plans or other items directly or indirectly related to the competition, at any time and for any reason. UNESCO reserves the right to rule on any issue(s) not covered by these Terms and Conditions.
  3. Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered to be a limitation upon or a waiver of the privileges and immunities of UNESCO.

For further information, please send e-mail to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.