The climate change crisis is now widely recognised as one of the greatest existential threats to humanity. Its impact is already tangible across a range of social, economic, political and environmental areas. Addressing the impact of climate change has accordingly become a cross-cutting priority for governments across the globe, including those disproportionately affected in developing countries such as Bangladesh. The Government of Bangladesh is currently chairing the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and is openly prioritising the climate change agenda, including through a commitment to making progress against the relevant SDG Goals.
It is within this context that the COP26 conference and the events leading up to it are taking place this year, co-chaired by the UK and Italy. A broad range of actors and agencies have a contribution to make. For the British Council, the British High Commission in Bangladesh and the Italian Embassy in Bangladesh, a key priority lies in ensuring youth voices are articulated, heard and empowered to engage in discussions on addressing and mitigating its impact.
Historically youth voices have too often been secondary to the discussion, their ideas and solutions under-represented or side-lined from substantive discussion among government leaders and officials. Both the UK and Italian governments seek to address this gap, concentrating on activities in the build-up to the COP26 Glasgow conference in November 2021 while also ensuring long-term youth engagement, participation and the development of expertise and skills to support their ability to provide and deliver on climate change solutions.
PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION AND EXHIBITION
In connection to the aforementioned context, the British Council, the British High Commission in Bangladesh and the Italian Embassy in Bangladesh, in cooperation with Drik Picture Library Bangladesh, Picture People UK, and UniVerde Italy call for a photography competition for Bangladeshi nationals and plan to host an exhibition.
The overall objective of this initiative is to raise awareness of local climate change issues among young people in Bangladesh. This should-
- encourage young people (18-35) to better understand and engage with local biodiversity and identify/understand climate change problems and solutions in their localities
- develop material showcasing Bangladeshi youth voices and perspectives around climate change in Bangladesh
- provide opportunities for the views and key issues as identified by Bangladeshi young people to be heard and listened to among senior stakeholders at both national and international levels.
The plan is to hold the exhibition in Dhaka to coincide with the COP26 Glasgow conference in November 2021. A virtual version is also planned to attain a wider reach. There is a possibility of touring the exhibition in Italy and Glasgow as part of the initiative.
30 selected photographs will be exhibited, which includes the grand prize winner and two winners from each category. A panel of reputed international jury members will make the selection. A webinar on smartphone photography is also planned prior to the submission deadline. Winners will be invited to the launch of the exhibition in Dhaka, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The competition is open to any Bangladeshi national, living in Bangladesh aged 18-35 years.
Theme of the photography contest is A Better Tomorrow.
Photographs will be judged on the basis of the message they carry, and on the basis of aesthetic and technical excellence. Judges always like to be surprised, so try to come up with original and unusual ways of seeing. That does not mean that everyday situations are not important but that you should find fresh and innovative ways to get your message across.
Submissions should be made in the following categories:
1. My Beautiful Planet
- Urban development produces habitat loss and extinction and frequently eliminates the large majority of native species. Look for situations where development has taken place while preserving biodiversity. Organic farming, intelligent use of water, rooftop gardens are some of the many examples all around you. Village seed banks and mixed cropping are amongst the things you are likely to find in rural areas. Look for pictures that make one go aaah, and be moved to protect this planet of ours.
2. Planet in Crisis
- Fertile soil turned barren, deforestation, rivers dying or changing course, may well depict the effects of climate change, though one has to be wary that not all environmental disasters are necessarily linked to climate change. Resistance to fossil fuel projects and the replacement of sailboats and rikshas by motorised versions are local examples of the effects of modernisation. Try to go beyond the obvious symbolism and try to look for deeper connections. This contest is not just about great photography, but also about great insights. Look not only at problems but try to find solutions. Think of how our habits, our value systems and our policies are blame, and how, with small changes, they may also become our salvation.
3. Hope for the Planet
- We have failed as custodians of our planet, but have we failed as the shapers of our future? What role must we play to turn things around? Where are the Greta Thunbergs in our midst? What role must the youth play for our world to survive? Look for activism, innovation, creativity and sheer persistence that is also part of our human existence. The technology that holds promise, the shifts in world opinion and most importantly the collective action on the ground, that is essential for lasting change.
Each participant can submit a maximum of 5 photographs. All pictures must have accurate captions written in English. Photographs may be in colour or black&white, of high resolution (min 4000 pixels), jpeg format. The submission must be original. Photos with digitally manipulated content (removal, addition or alteration of elements) will not be accepted. Photographs with limited adjustment of contrast, brightness and the use of filters are allowed as long as they do not significantly alter the images.
21 August 2021
Copyright remains with photographers. By entering the Contest, entrant represents, acknowledges, and warrants that the submitted photograph is an original work created solely by the entrant, that the photograph does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity, or intellectual property rights of any person or entity and that no other party has any legal right, title or claim in the photograph. Any false information will disqualify the submission. The jury reserves the right to change the submission category chosen by the photographer. Selected works may be used in the awareness campaigns of the climate change initiatives led by the British Council through online, print, or electronic platforms. Conditions described in the entry guideline are binding, the organizers reserve the right to refuse or exclude any entry at their own discretion.