What does peace look like?

Simon Schütt 17/10/2023 3 minutes

Picturing peace – this is the challenge faced by photographers who submit their images for the Global Peace Photo Award. This year, 19,195 pictures from 133 countries were submitted.

Vienna Insurance Group has been the main sponsor of the award since 2022 and has supported the Children’s Peace Photo since its foundation. The 2023 award ceremony took place on 4 October in the newly renovated Austrian Parliament.

The jury also had to deal with what peace means to them. The winning photos showed how broadly the topic of peace can be portrayed. The main prize, “Peace Image of the Year 2023” endowed with 10,000 euros, went to South Korean artist and photographer Elrea Song for her work “Combining Peace”. For this, she had asked children to retrieve something from the alluvial material of the oceans – often trash – which condenses the delicate relationship between humans and nature, between lifestyle and nature consumption, into poetic and crazy images.

The other winners of the Global Peace Photo Awards 2023 are:

  • Ghassane Kaaibich from Morocco with his work “Ahyae”
  • Carla Kogelman from the Netherlands for “Majella Park”
  • Nuria López Torres from Spain for “Bad Hair”
  • Marina Sycheva from Russia for “I’ll take you away”

These ranged from the portrait of “Ahya”, a transsexual from Cameroon who ultimately found peace in liberal Canada, to images depicting marriage as a protest against war in Russia, to documenting of an integration project in Utrecht.

Children’s peace picture with VIG context

14-year-old Barbare Chikviladze from Tbilisi, Georgia won the best peace image in the children and youth category, “The Children’s Peace Image of the Year 2023”, endowed with 1,000 euros, with her picture “Water Fun”.

Barbare has a special connection to VIG. Her mother works for the Georgian VIG company GPIH. She had submitted her picture as part of the VIG Kids Camp 2023. The VIG Kids Camp invites children from VIG countries every year to learn about solidarity, interculturalism and understanding. The participation is also linked to creativity: A creative competition is held Group-wide at the beginning of the year, and the best submissions are awarded an invitation to the VIG Kids Camp.

Barbare Chikviladze, the winner of the Children’s peace picture
Every child deserves to be happy and live in a peaceful country. I am still young, but I know very well that 20 percent of my country is occupied by Russia. Peace is also connected to freedom. And freedom makes you happy. This freedom is shown in my picture, which I took of a friend in a summer garden in Rustavi.
Barbare Chikviladze Winner of the Children’s peace picture

The pictures of the award winners will be exhibited in the auditorium of the Austrian Parliament for one year. Barbare Chikviladze’s picture will also be included in VIG’s art collection.

Congratulations to all award winners!

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