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UNICEF - Picture of the year | Photo Exhibition

10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
10:00 - 18:00
photo exhibition
UNICEF Deutschland e.V.
Höninger Weg 104
50969 Köln
+49 221 936500

Here, the event will take place:


UNICEF Photo of the Year 2015

Europe's dilemma – Europe's responsibility

UNICEF patron Daniela Schadt honours the photographer Georgi Licovski from the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia.

Berlin, 17.12.2015. The winning photo of the international Photo competition "UNICEF Photo of the Year 2015“ shows the sheer desperation of refugee children at the Greek-Macedonian border. The photographer Georgi Licovski (epa) recorded the moment on 21 August 2015 when two children were separated from their parents amidst pressing masses of people and border guard units. The second prize went to the reportage of the Swedish photojournalist Magnus Wennman (Aftonbladed), who photographed sleeping refugee children in the Middle East and on the way to Europe. The capacity for suffering demanded of children and parents by war provides the focus for the third award. It goes to the American, Jerusalem-based photographer Heidi Levine (Sipa Press) for her portrait of a seriously injured Palestinian father and his small son. The international photo competition "UNICEF Photo of the Year" is sponsored by the magazine GEO and the DZ BANK.

"In his photo, Georgi Licovski captures the desperation of children in flight like under a burning glass", explained the patron of UNICEF Germany Daniela Schadt during the presentation of the UNICEF Photo of the Year 2015 in Berlin. "The photo is a snapshot that records both Europe's dilemma and its responsibility equally."

"The photographers of the competition emphatically document that which human beings visit upon one another and on their children", said Prof. Klaus Honnef, chairman of the jury of independent photo experts. "Through their high artistic quality, their powers of observation and empathy, however, they are also witness to the courage, the optimism and the assertiveness of the children, far beyond the cliches of the news business."

The winning image: Sheer desparation of the refugee children

It is 21 August 2015 when a traumatic situation arises for two refugee children along the Greek-Macedonian border. Their witness: Georgi Licovski, a photographer working for the European Press Agency. He experiences a brutal constellation: in order to soften the hearts of the Macedonian border guards, some refugees send women and children up to the front row. The masses press forward from the rear, children are separated from their parents, are in some cases even taken by the hand and over the border by strangers, while their relatives are unable to follow. Another drama within this greater drama that begins in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Syria, and doesn't end in Europe. According to the estimate of UNICEF, one in four of the 730,000 refugees arriving in the European Union over the Balkan route between January and November 2015 was a child or an adolescent.

Second prize: Where the children sleep – refugee children on the move

They dream of their own home, their bed, their toys. And in their nightmares it rains fire, buildings explode, their siblings die. And now? They sleep in tents, in containers, in field hospitals, on street crossings and next to the train stations of foreign cities. Or in a forest near Horgos in Serbia, like the five-year old Lamar. She fled Baghdad together with her parents and her grandmother after their house was hit by a bomb. Only with the third attempt was Lamar's family able to reach Greece from Turkey in an inflatable boat. The photographer Magnus Wennman has given his reportage a modest title: "Where the children sleep". Behind this title are horror stories from Homs and Aleppo, Daraa, Damascus and other Syrian cities. After nearly five years of civil war, UNICEF says there is no longer even a single place in all of Syria that is safe for children.

Third prize: What children are forced to endure

One has to be a strong little five-year old boy when one experiences one's father as Badruddin does. He looks up at his father, who was gravely wounded in the Gaza war, in the photo of the American photographer Heidi Levine. And when one has been close to death oneself as a child? Badruddin had his liver removed following bombardment. His mother and his four siblings died. "Healing and Resilience in Gaza" is what Heidi Levine calls her series. The mother of three lives in Jerusalem, from where she follows events in the Gaza Strip. Are there "just wars"? Military historians, philosophers, theologians and politicians can discuss this. But one thing is clear: there is no war that leaves children unscathed.

The jury drew attention to eight further reportages with honourable mentions:
• Rada Akbar, Afghanistan, artist and freelance photographer: A childhood in Afghanistan
• Johan Bävman, Sweden, freelance photographer: Finally the fathers!
• Mohammad Golchin, Iran, freelance photographer: No route to school is too long
• Bülent Kiliç, Turkey, AFP: Flight through the barbed wire
• Megan Chloe Lovell, United Kingdom, student at the Anglia Ruskin University, Faculty of Art, Cambridge: The longing for adulthood
• Lindsay Morris, USA, freelance photographer: You can be you
• Adriane Ohanesian, USA/Kenya, freelance photographer: The forgotten war
• Sadegh Souri, Iran, freelance photographer: No mercy for children