Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest 2012: Six Winners


"SOS !" Copyright: Anastasya Vorobko / Children’s Eyes on Earth 2012

“SOS !” Copyright: Anastasya Vorobko / Children’s Eyes on Earth 2012

International Youth Photography Contest, Festival and Exhibition 2012

Sponsored by IDEA campaign


Six winners of the inaugural contest are announced

Today (Tuesday 2nd October) the winners have been announced for the inaugural Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest, with first prize going to eight-year-old Anastasya Vorobko from Saint Petersburg in Russia, for her image SOS!

The Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest aims to raise awareness of environmental issues through the eyes of young people and their photographs.

Anastasya’s photograph was selected from thousands of entries from over 90 countries. Showing an artistic maturity beyond her years, the photograph depicts a bird flying over the thick smog being emitted from a factory funnel. Anastasya has only been taking photographs for a year but is keen to document the environment through photography. Upon finding out that she had won the contest, she said:

“I’m so excited about winning the Children’s Eyes On Earth contest – it’s really inspired me to keep taking photographs to tell stories. I wanted to show everyone how bad the air is in our city. I see the bird in this picture as carrying a message around the world, with the hope that adults everywhere will start to care about the air that we breathe. If we don’t look after our planet, then who will?” 

The full list of 2012 winners are:

  • First prize: SOS! By Anastasya Vorobko, 8 years old from Russia
  • Second prize: Emergency Exit by Juan Carlos Canales, 14 years old from Spain
  • Third prize (joint): Fields of Green by Bianca Stan, 14 years old from Romania and Morning at Situ Gunung by Michael Theodric, 10 years old from Indonesia
  • Special prize: In The Wind by Sophie Vela, 14 years old from France
  • Your Choice Public Vote prize: The Last Breath by Kseniya Saberzhanova, 13 years old from Russia

The winning images were selected by an international jury, led by acclaimed photographer REZA and including Ayperi Ecer, Reuters Vice President of Picture Development; Alain Genestar, founder of Polka magazine; Chris Rainier, National Geographic photographer; Françoise Lemarchand, founder of Canopée, Nature & Découvertes magazine; Frédéric Chevance, Managing Director of Fox International, France; Sylvie Brieu, Senior Editor of National Geographic, France; Marco Pinna, journalist; Franck Meo, founder of; Shahidul Alam, photographer and Santiago Lyon, Vice President of Associated Press. The judges selected the first, second and third-place winners and the special prize winner, whilst the public vote results determined the winner of the ‘Your Choice’ Public Vote Prize. Reza remarked:

“Looking at the 4,000 incredible photographs entered into this contest, I believe that the world’s children have acquired a mature visual and technical mastery of the camera. These images are visual poems, reflecting the deep thoughts of children and revealing how they see the beauty of nature and the dangers of pollution on our planet. I hope the Children’s Eyes On Earth project will continue to give children a platform to show us the world through their eyes, and inspire everyone to take action.”

Although the entrants were all aged 17 and under, their understanding of the dangers facing our environment is apparent. Second prize winner Juan Carlos Canales commented that he worried about such issues as oil spills threatening our coastlines and pollution being emitted by factories, while third prize winners Bianca Stan and Michael Theodric stated we should cherish our environment as it is our future. Special prize winner Sophie Vela said that the environment is one of the most important things on Earth and public vote winner Kseniya Saberzhanova hopes the images in the contest would encourage people to think more carefully about how they treat the environment.

This exciting global enterprise was initiated by Leyla Aliyeva, founder of the non-governmental organisation IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) and REZA, founder of the non-governmental organisation AINA World. In its inaugural year, The Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest received over 4,000 image submissions of an incredibly high standard, as demonstrated by the winning images.

The winners will all receive digital camera equipment, as well as a trip to Baku in Azerbaijan where they will participate in The Children’s Eyes On Earth Photography Festival And Exhibition as well as a workshop with Reza.

The Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest, Festival And Exhibition 2012, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 26th November to 1st December 2012, will be a chance to view the Contest entries and winning photographs. An international event, the Festival and Exhibition will visit major cities around the world and raise global awareness about environmental issues.

Contest website