Democracy Photo Challenge Winners Announced During International Day of Democracy

Thousands vote online to select 12 global winners of the Democracy Photo Challenge

Washington, D.C., September 15, 2010 /PN/ Partners of the Democracy is… campaign today unveiled the 12 winners of the Democracy Photo Challenge, which asked people around the world to complete the phrase “Democracy is…” in an image.

“As a photographer, I am inspired by the quality of the content we’ve seen in the Photo Challenge,” said jury co-chair Louie Psihoyos, Academy Award-winning documentary director (“The Cove”) and photographer. “But it is as an activist that I am most moved. These images allow us to experience life through the eyes of another and better understand how they experience democracy. It is truly eye-opening.”

The 12 winners competed with nearly 3,000 entries from 131 countries. A high-level independent jury narrowed the field of submissions to 36 finalists representing each region of the world. The online voting public then selected their favorites. In all, more than 500,000 people participated in the voting.

Joining Psihoyos as co-chairs were Willis Hartshorn, Ehrenkranz Director of the International Center of Photography and Phil Borges, documentary photographer and founder of the nonprofit Bridges to Understanding.

The Democracy Photo Challenge 2010 winners are:

  • Africa: Kaylene George, South Africa and Mike Mitchell, Benin
  • East Asia and Pacific: Mikas Matsuzawa, Philippines and Venkatesh Hamyanaik, Australia
  • Europe: Mehman Huseynov, Azerbaijan and Dino Perić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Near East: Kaveh Baghdadchi, Iran and Mohamed Kaouche, Algeria
  • South and Central Asia: Mustafa Kia, Afghanistan and Jun Krishna Joshi, Nepal
  • Western Hemisphere: Ian M. Cunningham, United States and Wladia Drummond, Brazil

An online gallery of the winning entries is available at:

Beginning today, the winning photographs will be exhibited in the South lobby of the United Nations in New York.

The Democracy Photo Challenge is part of the global Democracy is… conversation that leverages social networks and creative challenges to allow global publics to share, consider, debate, and learn from diverse perspectives on democracy. Since its launch in 2008, millions of people have engaged.

“The challenge shows the power of 21st century technology in engaging people from across the globe in meaningful conversations,” said Moustafa Mourad, Interim President of One Economy Corporation. “This exchange of ideas and cultures is at the heart of democracy."

About Democracy is… and the Democracy Photo Challenge

The Democracy is… global conversation, created by a unique public-private partnership, asks engaged citizens around the world to complete the phrase “Democracy is…” through creative online challenges and dynamic offline dialogue. The Democracy Photo Challenge was inspired by the Democracy Video Challenge, an contest launched in 2008 asking the world’s citizens to complete the phrase “Democracy is…” through short online videos. Over the last two years, more than 1,600 people from 111 countries submitted video entries and spurred the online engagement of nearly 3.5 million people. In addition to the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge, the Democracy is… global conversation has spawned a Twitter challenge in which more than 1,400 people from 30 countries participated.

People around the world can track updates and join the real-time democracy conversation online at: and


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