UNESCO announces the winners of the nation-wide photo competition, “Show us the Afghanistan you are proud of.”

May 2, 2016, UNESCO Office in Afghanistan – UNESCO announces the winners of the nation-wide photo competition, “Show us the Afghanistan you are proud of.”

 
May 2, 2016, UNESCO Office in Afghanistan – UNESCO announces the winners of the nation-wide photo competition, “Show us the Afghanistan you are proud of.”

The winners of the UNESCO Photo competition, entitled Show us the Afghanistan you are proud of, were announced. The winners were selected anonymously by an independent jury of five photographers including Rada Akbar, Reza Deghati (President of Jury), Reza Yemak, Sadie Quarrier and Simon Norfolk.

Among astonishing 3033 photos submitted in mobile-phone and camera photograph categories, the photos of Ali Hamed Haghdoust, Reza Sahel, and Mohammad Ali Sheida (subsequently first, second and third prizes) were selected as the winners of camera photos category. Mobile-phone photos of Mr. Hamid Reza Rahmani, Mr. Najeeb Azad, and Mr. Nasrullah Alili were selected as the Top 3 mobile-phone photos.

In announcing the winners of the competition, Patricia McPhillips, the Director of the UNESCO Office in Afghanistan, said that “One of the most difficult tasks for strengthening state legitimacy of post-conflict states is to build a shared national identity and to restore a form of social capital. In the past decade, UNESCO contributed to this task through its cultural projects in Afghanistan.”

The jury commented on the first winning photo taken by Mr. Ali Hamed Haghdoust adding that “the photographer of the winning contest image of the carousel made a strong composition, getting down on the ground and shooting up so the whole sky is filled with the circling horses. The action, youth, and color in this image speaks to the future, but also gives a nod to traditional past as these kids are leaning off of their horses to pick up a coin, imitating their national game of Buzkashi.”

In October 2015, UNESCO together with the Afghan government initiated an awareness-raising campaign entitled, “The Afghanistan we are proud of” to promote the sense of national identity and belonging through Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage. As part of this campaign, a nation-wide photo competition invited Afghans and non-Afghans alike to submit photos of Afghanistan’s cultural and natural heritage, which makes them proud of this country.  The competition was launched on 21st of October, 2015 and ended on 21st of March, 2016.

The winners were awarded 5000, 4000 and 3000 USD for first to third prize in camera photos category.  In addition to camera photos winners, each of top three mobile-phone photos were awarded 2000 USD.