Each year, UNICEF Germany, GEO (from the publishing house Gruner +Jahr) and Leica Camera AG grant the “UNICEF Photo of the Year Award” to photos and photo series that best depict the personality and living conditions of children worldwide in an outstanding manner. Every two years the best photos of the contest are presented at the photographic industry fair “Photokina” in Cologne titled “Children. The presence of the future”. The contest and exhibition is made possible by Leica.
“High-quality photography shows both, beauty and what really matters. The photo award is intended to increase our awareness of children’s needs“, says Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, Chairman of UNICEF Germany. “Images can tell us much better than words where children suffer and where they are neglected or exploited. They show the unique way how children experience the world, their tears, challenges and joy. Without further ado, they tell us why we must think of them and how we can help them.”
Since 2000 renowned photographers from all over the world have taken part in the contest. Photographers from 70 nations and from all five continents have so far been awarded. With individual photos or photo series they document the living conditions of children who are in difficult circumstances such as war, material and emotional distress, after natural disasters. However, they also portray moments of happiness, joy of living and facets of their different everyday lives.
A recommendation from an internationally renowned photography expert is the prerequisite for taking part in the competition. The award is announced annually. Participation in the contest is not possible without a nomination. The winner receives a Leica camera equipment and a reportage photography assignment for GEO. The award is being presented in Berlin at the end of December.
The award of the prize “UNICEF Photo of the Year” will be decided upon by an independent jury headed by Professor Klaus Honnef, art historian and publicist. Well-known photo experts from the field of photo journalism and fine arts form the jury. The jury is independent of the nominating experts. It selects photojournalistic reportages and documentations that render outstanding services to aesthetical and journalistic quality as well as respect for children and their living conditions. All entries will be anonymized prior to the jury session.
Among the nominating photo experts are representatives of news agencies such as EPA (European Press Agency), Thompson-Reuters as well as photo agencies such as VII, Marketphotoworkshop, Drik, Majorityworld, Facing Change, Getty Images, Corbis and many more. Additionally, there are experts from renowned academies of photography and well-known photographers. They are characterized by international expertise as well as high awareness of ethical standards of photojournalism. All nominated experts have pertinent contacts to photographers working worldwide and are well-known for high-level education and promotion in the field of international photojournalism.
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Bank für Sozialwirtschaft Köln
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