Peace in Hard Times: Global Peace Photo Awards Ceremony

More+Events ♦ Published: July 30, 2021; 15:24 ♦ (Vindobona)

After canceling the event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Peace Photo Awards Ceremony 2020 was recently held in Baden. The Global Peace Photo Awards Ceremony 2021 will be held later this year. These awards honor the images that best capture the theme of peace each year. Read about the ceremony and who won the awards for 2020.

Austrian National Council President, Wolfgang Sobotka (right), and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, David Beasley (left), presented the winner of the 2020 Global Peace Photo Award. / Picture: © Parlamentsdirektion / Anna Rauchenberger

The award ceremony of the Global Peace Photo Awards 2020 recently took place in Baden. The prize is awarded for the world's best photo on the subject of "Peace" and is intended to send a signal of peace each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards for 2020 were being awarded in 2021. The winners for 2021 will be announced later this year.

The Global Peace Photo Award was originally launched as the Alfred Fried Photography Award. An international jury nominates five works each year, which are honored with the Global Peace Award. The award is given to those pictures that best make the topic of peace visible. The jury also selects the peace image and the best children's peace image of the year from the group of nominated images.

The ceremony

The ceremony was held at the invitation of Austrian National Council President, Wolfgang Sobotka, together with the partner organizations Edition Lammerhuber, World Press Photo Foundation, Photographische Gesellschaft, UNESCO, International Press Institute, Association of Parliamentary Editors and German Youth Photo Prize.

In his opening speech, the President of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka, emphasized that the goals and messages of the Global Peace Photo Award fit in with Parliament's mission statement. He said that both are concerned with ensuring that people communicate with each other and bring together what divides them with words. Sobotka was also pleased that the peace picture of the year would be exhibited in Parliament in the future.

The co-founder of the competition and organizer of the Global Peace Photo Awards 2020, Lois Lammerhuber, was delighted with Parliament's patronage. It is positive and important that this acts as the sender address for this sensitive topic and this important message.


The award ceremony was preceded by a jury of experts reviewing the 19,711 submissions from 118 countries. This selected the winners.

The Global Peace Award went to five artists. Alain Schroeder (Belgium) was chosen for the picture “Saving Orangutans,” Catalina Martin-Chico (France) for “(Re) Birth,” Emeke Obanor (Nigeria) for “Heroes,” Nicolas Asfuri (Denmark) for “Hong Kong Unrest” and Sasan Moayyedi (Iran) for “Love Story.”

The jury selected “Love Story” by Sasan Moayyedi (Iran) as the Peace Photo 2020 and winner of the €10,000 prize. This photo shows in a touching way the fate of Salah Saeedpour, who, at the age of 15, stepped on a land mine while having a family picnic in the Iranian-Kurdish province of Marivan near the border with Iraq and lost both of his hands, feet, and eyes. The young man was able to overcome this tragedy and win medals in swimming. He also married the love of his life in 2014, and the photo depicts their life together.

The 14-year-old Anastasiya Bolshakova won the best Peace Photo in the child and youth category. Her photo “Flight of the Soul” is a declaration of love for summer. The time in which, as she is convinced “everything is alive” and “nature breathes to the full.” The time when everything is “ready for beauty.” In which the flowers smell. A time of idleness and bliss. Free from any difficulty. Inspired by the feeling of being able to fly safely between heaven and earth.

The children’s award and €1,000 prize was presented by Professor Elisabeth Stadler, CEO of the Vienna Insurance Group (VIG).  She said, “For the Vienna Insurance Group, assuming social and cultural responsibility is a particularly important concern. We support intercultural diversity and connections, whereby special attention is paid to children and young people.”

The winning pictures will be presented in an exhibition in Baden as part of the La Gacilly-Baden Photo festival.

Commemorating journalists who died

At every award ceremony, the Global Peace Photo Award commemorates the press photographers and journalists who have died in their profession since last year.

This year, the Editor-in-Chief of the Hungarian weekly magazine “HVG,” Márton Gergely, gave an address on this. He honored the 91 journalists that have died in their profession around the world since the last award ceremony in 2019. Gergely continued explaining that journalists stand for truth with their names and are thus public persons. All too often they personally experience counter-attacks from political propaganda, but they are also increasingly exposed to “fanatics” in social networks. Politicians have the task of protecting journalists.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate David Beasley

“Photos give the world snapshots of reality,” said David Beasley, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program. They allow us to see the world for what it is and respond to it accordingly. Even in the corona pandemic, the wealth of the world's richest continued to grow. On the other hand, there is also the increased poverty of the poorest. Beasley appealed that one must help the poorest in the world and thus also ensure peace.

Austrian Parliament

Global Peace Photo Award