UNICEF and the World Photography Organisation (WPO) give six young photographers a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive photography training in Ethiopia
SONY World Photography Awards, CANNES, FRANCE, 22 APRIL 2010
The young winners will attend a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ethiopia for a photographic workshop with acclaimed photographer and humanitarian, Reza. The winners are: Rachita Castelino (aged 15) of New Zealand; Ioana Velescu (aged 17) of Romania; Chyi-Dean Shu (aged 16) of the United States, Imane Tirich (aged 18) from Morroco; Mariya Maximenko (aged 16) from Israel and Guiliane Bertaglia Correia (aged 15) of Brazil.
The photo-pledge initiative was launched on 20 November 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and UNICEF Ambassadors such as David Beckham and Ewan McGregor made their own photo-pledges to support the cause together with world renowned photographers including Reza, Jonathan Torgovnik, Mary Ellen Mark, Carol Allen Storey and Bruce Davidson.
Young photographers between the ages of 12 and 18 years were invited to submit a photo-pledge highlighting one of five fundamental children’s rights: the right to survival; the right to education; the right to health; the right to protection from harm, abuse and exploitation; and the right to be heard. Judges were impressed by the enthusiastic response from young photographers around the world.
World renowned photographer and humanitarian Reza, who chaired the judging panel, said of the six winners: “I was very touched by the enthusiasm and great talent of those children who participated, as I believe that image as a common language in our world, could serve as pillars for peace education”.
Astrid Merget, Creative Director, World Photography Organisation said: The World Photography Organisation (WPO) and its Academy Members are thrilled that such talented young photographers have participated in the photo-pledge initiative. We are fortunate to reach young people across the globe and this initiative has by far been one of the most important programmes we have run in 2010. We look forward to congratulating all six young photographers at the Sony World Photography Awards ceremony in Cannes on April 22.”
The photographic workshop in Ethiopia in Autumn 2010 is being run by UNICEF in conjunction with EYE SEE, a photo-project that gives children all over the world training so they may learn photographic skills. Its goal is to teach children photography techniques and provide them with a fun and compelling tool with which to capture images of their lives.
Ted Chaiban, UNICEF representative for Ethiopia said: “UNICEF understands the power of photography and we are delighted to offer this workshop to six young talented photographers who have pledged their support for children's rights. We hope that the opportunity to work alongside their peers in Ethiopia will give them invaluable insight into the issues faced by children in other countries, as well as offer ways to use their photography to advocate children's rights issues internationally”.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20th November 1989 and established a set of fundamental rights for all children and young people that protect them against violence, discrimination and harm. Today, the CRC has been signed by almost every single country, making it the most widely ratified human rights agreement in the world.
Great progress has been made in the past 20 years, including improvements to under-five child mortality and falling numbers of children working in hazardous labour. However, major challenges remain. Between 500 million and 1.5 billion children experience violence annually; 150 million children aged between five and 14 are engaged in child labour and more than 1 million children are detained through justice systems around the world at any one time.
Winning young photographers:
Rachita Castelino (aged 15) of New Zealand was selected for “Selling for Survival” a photograph showing a young boy on the streets of Mumbai attempting to trade whatever he has but is seemingly unnoticed by passersby. On winning Rachita who attends Baradene Sacred Heart College in Auckland said: “I'm very excited to travel to France and Ethiopia to develop my photography skills”.
Ioana Velescu of Romania (aged 17) is the winner for her photograph ‘Behind Danger’ which highlights every child’s right to protection from harm, abuse and exploitation. On submitting her photograph Ioana pledged: “home is where you should feel safe and loved. Children should feel protected in their homes”.
Chyi-Dean Shu aged 16 from the United States of America highlighted every child’s right to health with a photograph he took while volunteering in a healthcare clinic for under privileged children in Mexico. He attends Beckham High School in Irvine, California and said: “the area I live in is relatively safe and affluent so I’ve viewed every opportunity for community service as not only a chance to help others but also a chance to explore a wider spectrum of the world”.
Imane Tirich, 18 from Morocco submitted a photo on the theme of every child’s right to be educated. Observing her photograph she said: “despite the inequality between boys and girls, the teacher gives his attention to the girl”. She continued “photography has become my way to share my views on the world with others”.
Highlighting every child’s right to be heard, Mariya Maximenko, aged 16, from Israel, was the winner for her photograph titled ‘Mom’s Not Home’. Showing a solitary young boy gazing through the shutters of a window, Mariya describes a lonely child who misses his mother while she is out at work to provide for him.
Guiliane Bertaglia Correia, 15, of Brazil pledged a picture which aims to highlight every child’s right to survive and shows a child staring at panoramic landscape. Guiliane attends Anglo High School in the state of Sao Paulo and intends to study law. She equates the dreams of every child with the right to survive and said: “I read about the photo-pledge campaign and realised a similarity with my aims. Photography is one of the best resources to reveal faces, actions and reactions and human feelings”.
Notes to Editors
To download images, written pledges and the press release please go to: http://www.worldphotographyawards.org/press.aspx Scroll to the bottom of the page to SWPA image downloads and enter password: wpapress
Everyone has a shared responsibility to uphold the values and promises made to children in the CRC and photographers of all ages can become advocates of the cause by making a photo-pledge for the 20th anniversary of the UNCRC via www.worldphotographyawards.org All photo-pledges will form a special online exhibition showcased on the World Photography Awards website. Selected images may also be exhibited alongside the UNICEF Ambassadors’ images and those taken by World Photography Academy Members at the annual Sony World Photography Awards event in Cannes, April 2010. These images will then go on a global tour with the event’s touring exhibition. Everyone who submits a photo will receive emails suggesting actions they can take to change the policies and practices that deny children their rights.
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