Unesco Silk Roads Photo Contest 2021: Urgent call For Submissions



Release Date

Friday, July 30, 2021


UNESCO calls on young people aged 14 to 25 to send their photos to our Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads contest, closing on 24 August 2021: participate here.

The Silk Roads were a large network of trade routes which connected civilizations and brought peoples and cultures from across the world into contact with each other. As well as permitting the exchange of goods, they facilitated the interaction of ideas, cuisines, languages and fashions, for thousands of years and shaped the cultures of the contemporary world. The Silk Roads occupied vast swathes of the world, originating in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, then crossing Central Asia, the Russian steppe, the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus, and the Arabian Peninsula. They also stretch through North and Northeast Africa, from Tanzania to Morocco before finally passing through Eastern and Southern Europe, reaching France and Spain.

The UNESCO Silk Roads photo contest is open to everyone around the world aged 14-25 and promotes photography to encourage further cultural interaction, to help build mutual understanding and to promote peace amongst the people living along these routes. 

The theme of this year’s contest is “Textiles and Clothing”, and photos must showcase the mutual influences shared by people connected by the Silk Roads within textile design, form, production, materials, ritual uses, and in everyday clothing and accessories. Some examples of textiles from regions along the Silk Roads include saris, kaftans, kimonos, and hanbok, among many others. The varied textiles and clothing worn for the festivals, rites, and religious occasions celebrated along the Silk Roads today, like the traditional 18th century silk costumes worn by the ‘Falleros’ and ‘Falleras’of the Valencian ‘Fallas Festival’, exemplifies our theme.

Photos can also showcase creative exchanges during the time of Covid-19 linked to textiles or design. One example has been the important role of textiles in the production and design of face masks, since the outbreak of the pandemic face masks have celebrated the traditional prints of the designers’ homelands in countries all over the world. 

The photo entries will be examined by a Selection Committee composed of photographers: GMB Akash (Bangladesh), Song Gangming (China), Eyerusalem Jiregna (Ethiopia), Graciela Iturbide (Mexico), Co≈ükun Aral (Turkey), and Caroline Metcalfe (United Kingdom). Three winners in each age category will receive a professional camera. In addition, the 60 best photos from the contest will appear in a professional photo album and will be showcased in an exhibition to be held in various locations, dependent on Covid-19 restrictions. 

  • Key Information:

Deadline: 24 August 2021

Categories: 14 to 17 years old and 18 to 25 years old

Themes: ‘Textiles and Clothing’, and ‘Intercultural Exchanges in the Time of Covid-19, including in the field of Textiles and Clothing’.

Prize: 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. Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the award ceremony, with those under 17 years of age accompanied by one family member, courtesy of UNESCO.

Participate here: https://unescosilkroadphotocontest.org/participate

Official website of the Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads international photo contest: https://unescosilkroadphotocontest.org 
(Page available in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish)

Contact: silkroadsphotocontest@unesco.org


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