Photo Exhibition

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Open call for
Photo Submissions
“From inequality and vulnerability
to prosperity for all”

The world needs to tackle inequality and reduce vulnerability. Trade is one of the levers in this journey and can help foster development and bring more prosperity to all. Help us show and tell this powerful story through a visual narrative. Ahead of UNCTAD’s 15th quadrennial conference, UNCTAD15, which will take place online hosted by Barbados, from 3 to 7 October, UNCTAD and partners are issuing an open call for submissions of photography that showcases trade’s positive impact. The conference theme, “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”, calls on us to fix fractures across the world to ensure prosperity for all.

Our esteemed selection committee is looking for compelling, dynamic and impactful images that tell the story of the power of trade to change lives and drive development towards to SDGs. The top 10 to 20 images selected will be virtually exhibited at the conference, and if possible, physically in both Geneva and Barbados. Submissions can be single images or a narrative of up to three images. The call is open to all photographers everywhere who document development issues globally.

Deadline 3 September 2021, 12:01 midday, EST

Host: UNCTAD and Barbados

Territory: Worldwide virtual exhibition with possible physical exhibition

Theme: “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”

Entry Fee: Free


Submit your photos

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To help guide submissions, UNCTAD has identified the following categories as key areas
of interest for the submission of images:

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The human side of trade

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The plight and potential of small island developing states and least developed countries

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Making trade work for all

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The blue economy and livelihoods

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Making trade part of the climate solution

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Women in trade and development

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The power and influence of the creative economy

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Rebuilding a more equal world

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The digital economy and development

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Sustainable growth and the circular economy


Selection and curation

The exhibition is curated by:

Lekgetho Makola

Lekgetho Makola
Chief Executive Officer
Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria, South Africa

The selection committee is made up of the curator and:

Ronnie Carrington

Ronnie Carrington

Barbadian photographer

Joumana El Zein Khoury

Joumana El Zein Khoury

Executive Director at World Press Photo

Dona Bertarelli

Dona Bertarelli

UNCTAD Special Adviser for the Blue Economy

Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin

Journalist and Director of the Initiative on Communication and Sustainability at The Earth Institute of Columbia University

Pamela Stathakis

Pamela Stathakis

Responsible Network Manager, Fair Picture

Jan Hoffman

Jan Hoffmann

UNCTAD Trade Logistics Branch head and photographer

Henrique Pacini

Henrique Pacini

UNCTAD Economic Affairs Officer and photographer

Submissions will be selected based on creativity, quality, originality, responsiveness to the theme, prompts and overall impact. UNCTAD will select two finalists per category. The 20 finalists will be notified of their status and appear on the UNCTAD15 website on 20 September 2021.

The winning submissions may also be included in future travelling group gallery exhibitions and/or screenings and projections at UN events worldwide, including UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum and eCommerce weeks. All photographers retain the copyrights of their images, and proper credit lines will be attributed to each individual photographer when exhibited or displayed anywhere by UNCTAD.

Exhibition details

All selected images will be posted on UNCTAD’s Flickr account and on the UNCTAD15 website alongside the name of the photographer, and the title and descriptions/caption of the image.

The exhibition will take place virtually on the UNCTAD15 digital platform targeted at conference participants throughout the conference and its pre-events and forums.

A physical exhibition may be staged at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland and in Bridgetown, Barbados. All finalists will be informed once a decision on this is made.


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