Conflict Through the Lens

International photographic competition - CONFLICT THROUGH THE LENS was organised at the end of 2022 as a part of the EOOH project (European Observatory of Online Hate)

The idea of the competition was to challenge students at university level of any study programs and non-professional photographers to send us photographs that will show us how they perceive conflict in contemporary societies. We had sent invitations to the competition to different universities in Europe, including art schools and also to associations of non-professional photographers.

This is how we framed the subject of the competition for interested students and non-professional photographers: 

Conflict, in all its different forms, is an unavoidable part of our daily lives. Conflict affects our society and our personal experiences on a daily basis. It revolves around different issues such as climate change, vaccination, bike paths, birth control rights, barrier-free roads, to name just a few. It might affect everyone, or small groups of people. You might find it in huge rallies, as well as in small interpersonal encounters, or even in symbolic gestures. 

We have received dozens of entries from participants from several countries. Our international jury consisted of a journalist and photographer Jana Čavojská who focused on stories of people who live in conflict areas and countries in crisis, educator Lotte Sprengers from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK), digital media creator and trainer Issa Shaker specialised in storytelling and virality with more than 15 years of experience, working with international CSOs and media outlets like the BBC and Aj+, both from the Netherlands and Wouter Van Springel,  director of BREEDBEELD, the Flemish support center for non-professional photographers, cineasts and media-artistsfrom Belgium, selected the three winning artists.

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Conflict Through the Lens

Winning photographs

Three strong photographic series that won our Conflict Through the Lens competition were presented by all three winning photographers at the international conference Civic Actors in War and Peace.  We had the opportunity to hear touching and inspiring presentations of Petra Bašnáková, Darina Iyudina, and Róbert Mihály. 

1st Place: Petra Bašňáková won with her theme on the life of Bedouins today. Her photographs were actually taken by chance when she followed an informal invitation of a little boy and spent a day with the Bedouins. 

2nd Place: Darina Iyudina uncovers the almost ordinary life of people who fled from war in Ukraine and found a new life, a temporary home in a new country. It is a story about the indirect impacts of war in Ukraine. 

3rd Place: Robert Mihály focuses on present-day Slovakia. He finds visually surprising views, full of present, yet non-aggressive conflicts.

Special recognition from the jury

During the selection of winning series, the judging panel also considered the works of five other authors in the final assessment. The jury recognized the strong documentary message as well as the creativity and persuasive expression used in both the selected documentary and non-documentary works.

Supported by

  • European Union

Project partners

The photo competition was realized under the project "Panorama: The Pan-European Observatory for Mitigation of Hate Speech". 

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