The winners of Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest were announced today, with first prize going to eight-year-old Anastasya Vorobko from Saint Petersburg in Russia, for her image SOS!
This new photo contest, which was launched earlier this summer by National Geographic photographer, Reza, in association with the Azerbaijan-based NGO, IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action), aims to raise awareness of environmental issues through the eyes of young people and their photographs.
Children’s Eyes On Earth has drawn an astonishing number of striking images from children in 90 countries around the world. Over 4,000 photographs, on the themes I Love Nature and I Fear Pollution, were submitted by young people under the age of 17, from regions as diverse as the USA, Romania, Australia and Iran.
The winning entries – chosen by an international judging panel, with one prize decided by public vote – display an artistic maturity way beyond the young photographers’ years. “Looking at the incredible photographs entered into this contest, I believe that the world’s children have acquired a mature visual and technical mastery of the camera,” says Reza. “These images are visual poems, reflecting the deep thoughts of children and revealing how they see the beauty of nature and the dangers of pollution on our planet.”
Anastasya’s photograph shows a bird flying over thick smog being emitted from a factory funnel – the view from her school.
On discovering that she had won the contest, Anastasya said, “I wanted to show everyone how bad the air is in our city. I see the bird in this picture as carrying a message around the world, with the hope that adults everywhere will start to care about the air that we breathe. If we don’t look after our planet, then who will?”
Anastaysya and the other winners will receive prizes including cameras and iPads, and will participate in the Children’s Eyes On Earth Exhibition and Festival, which will run from 26th November to 1st December in Baku, Azerbaijan. Reza plans to take the exhibition and festival to other major cities around the world, raising global awareness about environmental issues. “I hope the Children’s Eyes On Earth project will continue to give children a platform to show us the world through their eyes, and inspire everyone to take action,” he says.
The full list of 2012 winners are:
First prize: SOS! By Anastasya Vorobko, 8 years old from Russia
Second prize: Emergency Exit by Juan Carlos Canales, 14 years old from Spain
Third prize (joint): Morning at Situ Gunung by Michael Theodric, 10 years old from Indonesia and Fields of Green by Bianca Stan, 14 years old from Romania
Special prize: In The Wind by Sophie Vela, 14 years old from France
Your Choice Public Vote prize: The Last Breath by Kseniya Saberzhanova, 17 years old from Russia
See the contest’s shortlisted images at www.childrenseyesonearth.org
All images © Photographer / Children’s Eyes On Earth 2012.