Indian Photographer Receives Global Peace Photo Award 2022

More+Events ♦ Published: November 16, 2022; 23:48 ♦ (Vindobona)

For the tenth time the winners of the international photo competition "Global Peace Photo Award" were awarded the Alfred Fried Peace Medal in the Austrian Parliament. The Indian photographer, Sourav Das, wins with a picture from his reportage "A Small yet Great Victory Over the Pandemic".

For the tenth time, the winners of the international photo competition "Global Peace Photo Award" were selected in the Austrian Parliament. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Gryffindor, CC BY-SA 3.0 (

The main prize of 10,000 euros, "Peace Image of the Year 2022," went to Indian photographer Sourav Das for his reportage on how, during the global Corona-related education emergency, the initiative of Indian teacher Deepnarayan Nayak turned the walls of his village's houses into school blackboards.

Sourav Das and his picture

Incidentally, Sourav Das, born in 1987, also describes his camera as an instrument of learning. He invokes the famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson when he says: "With one eye you look at the world, with the other inside yourself." In 2011, Das earned a master's degree in Arts, then focused on photography.

He sees himself as a "street photographer" and wants to document social change in his society. He believes that photography can be as meaningful as a novella, a song or a painting.

For millions of girls and boys, Corona meant they could no longer attend any school, often for months at a time. Corona had created a worldwide educational emergency that was more than a loss in learning the little one: in many poor countries, the closing of schools also meant that children no longer got their only solid meal of the day. But there were also wonderful exceptions! There were initiatives like that of the Indian teacher Deepnarayan Nayak, who unceremoniously moved the school in his village outdoors. He turned the walls of the houses into blackboards. He painted precautions against infection on the walls, taught the children how to use masks, and had them complete school outdoors at safety intervals, even the subject of biology including a look through a microscope.

Indian photographer Sourav Das captured scenes from the daily life of this unusually creative and endearing village school. He has created a small monument to this peaceful action. And on the smallest conceivable level, one of the 54 articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has been implemented here: the right to education.

Children's Peace Image of the Year 2022

The best peace image in the children's and youth category, "The Children's Peace Image of the Year 2022," worth 1000 euros, was won by 10-year-old Zoya Yeadon from Mauritius.

Her photo, "Dreaming in the Peaceful Sea," shows the seemingly weightless floating and dreaming in a peaceful sea surrounded by reflections of light and blue. Zoya Yeadon is a good swimmer. But that is now the most unspectacular thing that can be said about her. Born in Mauritius, she is actually, as her father says, "a nomad at heart." Curious about the world. She has spent the last five years in a camper van, traveling to more than 80 countries. She is taught in a program at Wolsey Hall Oxford, a homeschooling college, perhaps the most famous, at least one of the oldest schools of its kind, founded in 1894. Her best subjects? Geography, of course. And math and English. But in addition to her native language, Zoya is quite proficient in Russian and French. Her father describes her as "amazingly resilient" and "unflappable in a crisis." As cheerful and fearless. Zoya takes photographs with one of her father's Leica cameras. "And if it existed, we would have to give Zoya another award today. She has made the longest journey ever undertaken by an award winner to be present on this beautiful evening. Having landed in Dubai, she left for Vienna on October 10. In her father's car via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, then by ferry to Greece...", says laudator Peter-Matthias Gaede.

Global Peace Photo Award 2022

In his welcoming speech, Wolfgang Sobotka, the President of the Austrian National Council, emphasized the extraordinary cooperation with the Global Peace Photo Award and how important it is to provide a forum for peace in these times. This commitment will be even more evident in the Austrian Parliament in the future. The pictures of the award winners will be shown in the auditorium for one year at a time. This is the room where mainly press conferences will take place.

Lois Lammerhuber, who together with his wife Silvia Lammerhuber initiated the Global Peace Photo Award and has organized it since the beginning, reminded us that "peace is not the absence of war, but something that I would like to call "Successful Life". Every year, the photos and stories submitted touch us anew with their creativity and passion for what is good and peaceful in this world."

The award was inspired by Austrian pacifist and writer Alfred Hermann Fried (b. Nov. 11, 1864, in Vienna; † May 4, 1921, in Vienna). Fried was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911, together with the organizer of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, Tobias Asser.

Global Peace Photo Award