September 18th, 2012
Held for the sixth time, the exhibition ‘Children – The Presence of the Future’, organized by UNICEF Germany, shows the winners and honorable mentions of the international competition ‘UNICEF Photo of the Year’ at Photokina, Cologne. The exhibition features 88 photographs by 23 photographers from 12 different countries, among them the likes of Ed Kashi, USA, Fernando Moleres, Spain, Rania Matar, USA/Lebanon, Sergey Kozmin, Russia, Jan Grarup, Denmark, Majid Saeedi, Iran, Kai Löffelbein, Germany, and Mary Calvert, USA. The exhibition takes place from September 18-23 and is located in the passageway between Halls 3 and 4.
The exhibition ‘Children – The Presence of the Future’ shows the winners and honorable mentions of the ‘UNICEF Photo of the Year’ competitions 2010 and 2011. With its international competition, UNICEF Germany honors outstanding pictures and photo documentaries that capture the living conditions of children. The competition and the exhibition are supported and made possible by GEO magazine, published by Gruner + Jahr AG & Co (Hamburg), Germany and Leica Camera AG (Solms), Germany.
The winners of the award ‘UNICEF Photo of the Year’ are selected by a jury chaired by Prof. Klaus Honnef, Art Historian and Journalist, and featuring reknowned photo experts from the fields of photojournalism, art and arts studies.
Photos and captions are available on CD upon request and at the exhibition itself. We will be present on site if you have any requests. It is permitted to print the images free of charge for editorial purposes only. In case of publication, please send us a copy.
If you have any questions or interview requests, please contact UNICEF:
Helga Kuhn, +49 / 221 / 9 36 50 234, presse(at)unicef.de, or Angela Rupprecht, Project Management UNICEF Photo of the Year, +49 / 173/ 54 75 351.
More information online at www.unicef.de/photo
20 December 2011
30-year-old German photographer Kai Löffelbein is this year’s winner of the distinguished international competition “UNICEF Photo of the Year”. The winning picture shows a boy at the infamous toxic waste dump, Agbogbloshie, near Ghana’s capital Accra. Surrounded by highly toxic fumes and electronic waste from Western countries, he is lifting the remnants of a monitor above his head. Only at first glance does his pose seem triumphant. According to estimates by the UN, about 100,000 tons of electronic waste is exported from Germany alone to Africa each year. The contrast could not be sharper: Rapid technological advancement on one side, destruction and misery for people and environment on the other side.
The winner of this year’s second prize, JM Lopez from Spain, documents the impact of severe malnutrition in Eastern Guatemala on this and future generations. The competition’s third prize has been awarded to American photographer Mary F. Calvert for her work in Nigeria. Her picture shows children being vaccinated against polio in the northern state of Kano. Anti-vaccine misinformation in this part of Nigeria led to a polio epidemic that claimed many lives, also in other countries, and still poses a serious threat to the life and health of children.
“The UNICEF photo contest opens our eyes and makes us realize how strong children need to be – under unbearable and to us unimaginable conditions”, said UNICEF-patroness Bettina Wulff at the award ceremony on Tuesday in Berlin. “The Photo of the Year 2011 appeals to our sense of responsibility. It shows the dark side of technological advancement and it shows how electronic waste can be a threat to the lives of children on other continents.”
Kai Löffelbein, a student of ‘Photojournalism and Documentary Photography’ at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany, is the 12th winner of the annual competition which invites entries from around the world and was first held in 2000. In addition to the winners, the jury also awarded six honorable mentions. This year, international experts nominated 119 photographers from 32 countries, who submitted a total of 1,228 pictures. The competition is supported by Leica Camera AG and GEO Magazine published by Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG.
Surrounded by the relics of the information age, a boy is standing in the waste dump, Agbogbloshie, near Ghana’s capital, Accra. He is in the process of repeatedly throwing a monitor on the ground to get access to the valuable metals inside. On one hand, people hope to earn some money from electronic waste. On the other hand, however, electronic waste poses a sometimes fatal threat to their health and has dramatic consequences for the environment. The children and adolescents desperately need the money, but at the same time the scrap trade is destroying their future. According to estimates by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), mankind produces an annual global amount of 50 million tons of electronic waste.
6,500 tons of this waste is shipped to Ghana every month, most of which ends up at Agbogbloshie. Germany ratified the 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal in 1995.
In Guatemala, one million children suffer from hunger. Half the children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition, making Guatemala one of the countries with the highest percentage of malnourished children under five in the world. Marisela is six and a half years old and barely weighs 9kg. She is just one of many severely malnourished children in in the country’s so-called ‘dry corridor’ of Eastern Guatemala. Due to the lack of vital nutrients during crucial periods of growth, these children will suffer from irreversible mental and physical issues for the rest of their lives.
Children will suffer for the rest of their lives from the effects of infantile paralysis. That is if they survive the viral disease in the first place. After polio had been very successfully fought against in Nigeria, a massive rejection of vaccination campaigns by western aid organizations developed in the Nigerian state of Kano in 2002. The fatal consequence: after four years of disinformation, more than 3,000 children were infected with the polio virus. But the enormous number of children who suffered permanent damage led to a change of mind. Now, those responsible for the anti-vaccine misinformation have turned around and are supporting prophylactic vaccination. Together with other organizations, UNICEF has carried out very successful information and awareness campaigns: from 2009 to 2010, the number of polio cases in Nigeria decreased by 95%. With this impressive image, American photographer Mary F. Calvert captures the demand for the right to physical integrity and good health, in particular in women and children.
UNICEF aims to honor photos and photo reportages/documentaries that picture children around the world and their situation through high-quality photojournalism and creativity. In order to take part in the photo contest, the photographers have to be recommended by an internationally renowned photography expert. The winner of the first prize receives a Leica M9 35 mm f/1.4 camera as well as an order for a photo reportage/series for GEO Magazine. The prizes were awarded by a jury consisting of Jury Chairman Prof. Klaus Honnef, Art Historian and Journalist; Ruth Eichhorn, Senior Picture Editor of GEO Magazine; Lutz Fischmann, Managing Director of Freelens e.V. Photo Agency, Hamburg; Bernd von Jutrczenka, Director Picture Service dpa; Christian-Matthias Pohlert, Senior Picture Editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; Prof. Rolf Nobel, degree programme Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover; Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director Leica Galerie, Salzburg, and Reinhard Schlagintweit, Honorary Member of the German Committee for UNICEF.
For more information on the photos and documentations, please visit our website at www.unicef.de/photo:
The winning photos can be downloaded from 20 to 31 December at http://www.unicef.de/4images/(access on request). Free publication of the photos is only allowed within news coverage about the award ceremony “UNICEF Photo of the Year” and with copyright information about the award-winning photographers.
Please direct any questions to the UNICEF Press Office, Alexandra Rosetti, ++49-221-93650-234, mobile ++49-176-70521329, email: presse(at)unicef.de or to Angela Rupprecht, Project Manager “UNICEF Photo of the Year”, mobile ++49-173-5475351.