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Inclusivity in focus – new Commonwealth Photography Competition announced

8 March 2016

A new photography competition has been announced today to inspire people throughout the 53 member countries of the Commonwealth to hone their camera skills and capture striking images that reflect this year's theme of 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'. 

The Competition will launch on Commonwealth Day on 14 March and runs until 25 April 2016. Open to Commonwealth citizens of all ages, submitted photographs should epitomise the beauty and individuality that help to define the modern Commonwealth.

'An Inclusive Commonwealth'

The Commonwealth theme for 2016, ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, celebrates the diversity of this community of nations, which is made up of more than two billion people. The Commonwealth Photography Competition aims to encourage new talent and showcase captivating images which help to represent the theme.

Neil Ford, Director of Communications at the Commonwealth Secretariat, stated: “The Commonwealth is focused on building a better world by empowering and respecting all citizens, recognising that everyone has something to offer, and championing the interests of all countries, regardless of their economic stature or geographic size.

“I anticipate a huge amount of creativity and talent will shine through as this initiative gets underway. Anyone can take part. You don’t necessarily have to be a professional photographer or have to submit a technically brilliant photograph to enter. We are looking for an image that reflects the spirit of inclusiveness, richness of culture, or strength of diversity intrinsic to the Commonwealth. We can’t wait to see your photos."

The winning photographs will form part of an exhibition at the Commonwealth Secretariat's headquarters in London throughout 2016. These photographs will also feature in a new Commonwealth Calendar for 2017 and be published and promoted on the Commonwealth's website and social media accounts. Each featured finalist will receive a copy of the calendar, in addition to a cash prize.


Commonwealth Photographer of the Year 2016
The photographer with the picture judged by a panel of judges to be the best overall will receive a cash prize of £1,000 (GBP). 

Regional Awards
The best photographer from Africa, Asia, Caribbean and the Americas, Europe, and the Pacific will each receive a cash prize of £500 (GBP).

Highly Commended Award
The photographer with the entry which receives the most ‘likes’ on Instagram will receive £100 (GBP). 

The competition is open to citizens of Commonwealth member countries of all ages, and submitted photographs must be taken in a Commonwealth country. The competition runs from 14 March until 25 April 2016. Only one photograph can be submitted per entrant.

Criteria for judging will be based on:

  • Relation to the theme - how closely does the photography relate to the theme of 'An Inclusive Commonwealth'?
  • Composition - how has the shot been framed? What angle is it shot from? What is the subject of the image?
  • Focus - is the subject of the photo immediately clear?
  • Difficulty - how difficult was the shot to obtain?
  • Originality of idea

Get involved

Find out more about the competition including how to submit an entry

Learn more about the theme for 2016, ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’

View and like competition entries on Instagram - /commonwealth_sec
Follow us on Twitter - @commonwealthsec
Like us on Facebook - /commonwealthsec

Tag your social media posts using: #cwphotocomp16

Download and print the Competition poster to help spread the word.