Winners of UNICEF-MoCIG’s national photo contest “Children’s Lives during COVID-19 Pandemic” announced

26 October 2021
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UNICEF Iran/Andishehrad/2021

Iranian photojournalist, Ahmad Belbasi, has been awarded the first-place winner of the 2nd joint Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance(MoCIG) – UNICEF Iran photo contest, for his photo essay titled “The Festival of Children’s Lives during the COVID-19 Pandemic”, illustrating the conditions of children living in the less advantaged suburbs of big cities during the early phases of the pandemic and the efforts of the health staff to reach out to them and prevent the spread of the disease in those areas.

Four other photo essays by Iranian photojournalists were selected as second to fifth place winners of this photo contest titled “Children’s Lives during the COVID-19 Pandemic” launched in 2020 on the 75th anniversary of UNICEF.

The photo contest which is a part of the joint cooperation between the Department of Press and Information of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and UNICFE, aimed at promoting ethical representation of children in photojournalism, highlighting the power of storytelling via photography to advocate for children’s issues.

The jury composed of well-known Iranian photographers, as well as experts from the Department of Press and Information of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and UNICEF reviewed several submissions from the different parts of the country and awarded the following photojournalists as winners:

  1. Ahmad Belbasi, for his photo essay “The Festival of Children’s Lives during the COVID-19 Pandemic”; Winner of a professional photography camera, certificate of appreciation and trophy.
  2. Erfan Kouchari, for his photo essay called “A Piece of Freedom on the Rooftop” capturing children’s lives during the quarantine and how children and families went to the roof tops of their apartments to escape the boredom of quarantine and used the space to play, skate, fly kites, do gymnastics, or plant flowers; Winner of a smart phone and certificate of appreciation.
  3. Sajjad Safari for his photo essay “Raha”, illustrating the everyday life of a young girl named Raha and her parents during the early days of pandemic and closures, when she had to stay in-doors and her kindergarten was closed, and how she had to play on her own in her room; Winner of a smart phone and certificate of appreciation.
  4. Hasan Shirvani for his photo essay “A Distant Dream”, illustrating children in less advantaged rural areas of South-East Iran during the pandemic, describing their dreams for their future jobs; Winner of external hard drive and certificate of appreciation.
  5. Mahdiyeh Kermani, for her photo essay “Dreaming Paralympics” showing a little boy with a disability who, despite his challenges, tried hard with the support of his family to continue his trainings in the hope of taking part in Paralympic games when he is older; Winner of external hard drive and certificate of appreciation.

All photo essays are published on UNICEF Iran’s website.

The award ceremony was held at a small out-door gathering with the participation of representatives from UNICEF and the Department of Press and Information at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

In addition to this contest, UNICEF and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance organized the first news story/reporting competitions for  the Iranian journalists with the same theme. see hear)

UNICEF Iran is working with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to develop comprehensive ethical and legal guidelines for representing children in Iranian media following two workshops in 2019 for the journalists and photojournalists.

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Mehdi Sayyari
Communications Officer
UNICEF
Tel: 02122594994
Tel: 09103252806

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