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UNESCO – Humanity Photo Awards 2017. Funded to the China Awards Ceremony

The China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA) in association with UNESCO, has launched the Humanity Photo Awards; a call to photographers all over the world to document folklore phenomenon extensively and in depth.

Application Deadline: 15th April, 2017

Eligible Countries: All

To be taken at (country): full-online photo contest.

About the Award: During the past 9 sessions of the Humanity Photo Awards , there were photographers from 162 different countries and regions, who have documented 178 cultural subjects around the world. From Sep 16, 2016-April 15, 2017, participants can select, submit and edit their entries in a 7-month time. Throughout the HPA contests in the past, there were photographers from 162 different countries and regions, who have documented 178 cultural subjects around the world.

Key of HPA 2017: “Sharing Folk Cultures with Photo Stories as always”

Offered Since: 1998

Type: Contest

Eligible Fields: Entrants of the Humanity Photo Awards are required to submit photo stories/portfolios (8 to 14 photos for each set) according to the following categories:

Portrait & Costume

Portraits of people from different nationalities; costumes and adornments featuring diverse ethnic cultures, including everyday dress, ceremonial dress, hats and shoes, adornments and hairstyles, etc; the making of costumes and adornments; distinctive attire customs such as dressing etiquette and taboos.


The construction process, structure, interior layout and furniture adornments of traditional dwellings, public facilities and special architecture (e.g. religious buildings); the influence of the surroundings reflected on features of the local architecture; dwelling habits of different ethnic groups.

Living Custom

Usual living habits, such as diet modes, food making, ritual cleansing and related taboos; ecological consciousness, education forms and folk medicine in different regions; comprehensive and serial life customs of a specific region, a nationality or a tribe.

Production & Commerce

Traditional ways of production under certain ecological environments, such as fishing, hunting, farming, forestry, animal husbandry, etc.; materials processing such as handicrafts industry and folk crafts; services that make life easy; business activities such as products transportation and trade.


Annual and seasonal festivals, festivals on production and recreation, religious ceremonies, temple fairs; traditional sports, recreational activities, music, dances and local dramas performed during festivals, especially showing theirpositive role in communications among local people and nations.

Traditional Rites

Birth rites, adult rites, weddings, funerals, morality etiquette, etiquette showing respect for the aged; celebrations for individuals and families, village and family rites, worshiping rites, taboo rites and folk religious rites.


  1.  All information is required to be written in Chinese or English only.
  2. The entrant’s name on the entry form should be the same as that on his/her valid identification/passport. Any other preferred name such as “professional name” or “pen name” will not be allowed. If entrants would like to have a preferred name on the certificate, please apply 30 days before the awards ceremony, send a formal declaration letter according to the organizers’ requirements, and pay the cost of production.
  3. There are no restrictions on entrants in terms of profession, gender, age, nationality, country or region.
  4. The photos must be taken by the entrant himself/herself, otherwise the entrant will be deprived of the right to win the award in the contest.
  5. Photos entered jointly by two or more than two entrants will not be accepted.
  6. All entrants will be deemed to have accepted the Guidelines of HPA 2017. Any legal responsibility relating to entries, such as copyright, right of reputation and portrait, right of privacy, right of trade mark, etc. will be borne by the entrants.
  7. The contest is open to everyone except the members of jury and the staff of HPA 2017 work team.


  1. Entries that have won prizes in the previous Humanity Photo Awards contests are excluded from HPA 2017; prize-winning entries in other contests or exhibitions are eligible for HPA 2017.
  2. There are no content restrictions on countries or nationalities which are shown in the photos. (Entries can contain images of several ethnic groups in one country or of the same ethnic group living in different countries and regions.)
  3. There is no limit on shooting time. Entries can be taken on one occasion or over a period of time.
  4. The category of the submitted photos must be specified by the entrants. The organizers and judges are not responsible for re-categorizing any entry.
  5. Each entry must consist of a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 14 photos. Each entrant is allowed to submit no more than 3 entries.
  6. Photos must be uploaded with jpg format, size between 1MB and 4MB.
  7. Only the necessary retouching which will not change the original appearance of the photo is allowed. All photos are prohibited from synthesis, addition, deletion or major changes in color. Photos with frames, special backgrounds or other decorative effects will not be accepted. To keep the authenticity of the record, composite, splicing and trick photos will not be judged.
  8. Each entry must be attached to a literal interpretation of the actual content in English.

Declaration of the Organizers

  1. No entry fee is required for this contest.
  2. To guarantee the fairness of HPA 2017, personal information of the entrants should not be shown on the photo or in the caption. Otherwise, the entry will not be judged.
  3. With the guarantee of use of the name of entrants, the organizers reserve the right to repeatedly use entries in related non-commercial activities for free, including publications, exhibitions, TV programs, Internet displays, electronic media, etc. The Organizers also reserve the right to do any necessary editing of the entries.
  4. Photos must be received by midnight, April 15th, 2017 (Beijing time) via the website mentioned above. (The date when the photos of an entry set are completely submitted is deemed as its submission date.)
  5. CFPA reserves the right of final interpretation of the Guidelines of HPA 2017.

Judging Criteria: Entries for the Humanity Photo Awards must excel in all three aspects: photographic technique, documentary value and difficulty in photographing, and can best highlight the mission of the HPA photo contest.

Selection Process: By mid July, 2017, all awards will be decided after three rounds of evaluation. The results of Performance Awards and Nomination Awards will be published on Winners of Jury’s Special Awards, Documentary Awards and Grand Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony. The decisions of the judges are final.

Number of Awardees: Five awards will be offered in accordance with the judging criteria: Grand Awards (G), Documentary Awards (D), Jury’s Special Awards (S), Nomination Awards (N) and Performance Awards (P). One Grand Award for each category. Jury’s Special Awards will be selected from a 100 finalists.

Value of Contest: Meals, Accommodation, Transport Allowance and Prize money will be awarded to the winners.

Duration of Contest: All prize-winning photographers will be invited to attend the Humanity Photo Awards award ceremony and related events that last for 3 to 6 days.

How to Apply: Entries are required to be submitted online via Please click on “Submission”, sign up and submit photos on the entry page in accordance with relevant requirements.

It is important to visit the webpage for entry information before applying.

Visit Contest Webpage for details

Award Provider: The China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA), The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

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