Join the 2022 Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest

©Anushka Kesharwani / UNESCO Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads

UNESCO calls on young people around the world, aged 14 to 25 years old, to pick up their cameras and send their best photos to the 4th edition of our Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads contest 

Deadline: 17 July 2022 (by midnight, GMT +2) 

The UNESCO Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads international photo contest is part of the Organization’s Silk Roads Programme and Social and Human Sciences Sector. It promotes photography as a tool for encouraging cultural interaction, helping build mutual understanding, and promoting peace amongst the people living in the regions connected by the Silk Roads. 

This year, the themes are ‘Faith and Spiritualities’ and ‘Living Together’. Entries may focus on either of these, while concentrating on mutual influences shared by people along the Silk Roads.  

Faith and Spiritualities

Photographers may wish to submit photos of: 

  • Religious architecture and monuments such as temples, mosques, churches and other sites - especially those representing architectural elements from different cultures; 
  • The role of faith and spirituality in daily life, including the many festivals, rites and celebrations along the Silk Roads such as Diwali, Eid, Easter and Rosh Hashanah; 
  • Pilgrimage routes, such as the Way of St James in Galicia, Spain, and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in Japan - both recognised as UNESCO World Heritage routes. 
  • Religious art including painting and sculpture.  

Living Together 

Photos for this theme could include: 

  • Intercommunity and multicultural gatherings for celebrations and festivals, or major occasions that mark our lives; 
  • Common moments from daily life in multicultural societies; 
  • Important local events that bring people of different communities and ethnicities together; 
  • Global events that promote peace and dialogue, such as intercommunity or cross-community sports, musical and artistic performances, or interfaith events and celebrations that promote peace and mutual respect.  

Photo entries will be examined by an International Selection Committee composed of the following photographers: Natela Grigalashvili (Georgia); Nada Harib (Libya); Josuha Irwandi (Indonesia); Eyerusalem Jirenga (Ethiopia); Marco Pinna (Italy); and A Yin (China).  


Key Information:

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

Themes: ‘Faith and Spiritualities’ and ‘Living Together’ 

Prize: Three winners in each age category will receive a professional camera. First place winners will receive a professional camera. Second place winners will receive a semi-professional camera. Third place winners will win a standard-model digital camera.  
In addition, around 60 of the best photos from the contest will appear in a professional photo album and will be showcased in an exhibition held in various locations around the world (subject to Covid-19 restrictions). 

For instructions on how to participate, click here

More information on the photo contest




The Silk Roads in short

For thousands of years the Silk Roads have been an extensive network of trade and communication routes which have connected civilizations and brought peoples and cultures from across the world into contact with each other. As well as permitting the exchange of merchandise, they facilitated the interaction of ideas, cuisines, languages and fashions, shaping the modern cultures and identities of the contemporary world. The Silk Roads linked vast areas of the world - originating in East Asia, South Asia, and South-east Asia, then crossing Central Asia, the Russian steppe and Indian subcontinent, the Iranian and Anatolian plateaux, and the Arabian Peninsula. They also stretch through North and North-east Africa, from Tanzania to Morocco, before passing through Eastern and Southern Europe, reaching France and the Iberian Peninsula.


At a time when societies, as well as educational and cultural institutions continue to be disrupted, this contest provides an opportunity for young people to share their creativity and vision for a new and more inclusive world where tolerance and intercultural dialogue help people understand each other and live together in peace. In this context, UNESCO, through its many initiatives, is trying to support learning, access to knowledge and education, and to engage youth.

This platform has been developed and maintained with the support of:


UNESCO Headquarters

7 Place de Fontenoy

75007 Paris, France

Social and Human Sciences Sector

Research, Policy and Foresight Section

Silk Roads Programme

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