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Unveiling the Shortlisted Photographs of the 2023 WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Youth

October 2, 2023

In a global celebration of creativity and culture, the WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Youth 2023 has shone a spotlight on the remarkable talent of young photographers from around the world. Out of nearly three hundred entries, 15 exceptional photographs were selected and are now ready to captivate the world through their stories and that of their communities.


The theme of this year's Prize, “How We Wear Our Culture Is How We Tell Our Stories,” encouraged young members of Indigenous Peoples and local communities to use photography as a powerful tool for self-expression to deliver an important message about their communities’ clothing and its significance to their identities. All while increasing their awareness of the role copyright plays in protecting their photographic creations. Participants were not required to have professional equipment, allowing their talent to shine through.

This great opportunity gives Indigenous young people the chance to express their culture and creativity through fashion and/or traditional dress. The next generation of Indigenous young people are keeping their culture strong by expressing themselves through photography. The WIPO Indigenous Photography Prize provides another international platform for Indigenous young people to express themselves through their own unique, cultural expressions, which are contemporary and evolving in these modern times. Indigenous fashion is increasing in visibility and popularity as the fashion industry looks to ethically collaborate with Indigenous fashion designers, artists and communities.

Patricia Adjei, WIPO Photography Prize 2023 Advisory Board member, Indigenous representative from Australia

Visit our online gallery and step into the captivating narratives told through the lenses of these young creators as they display their unique relationship of their identities to their communities’ clothing and heritage.

What Awaits the 15 Shortlisted Participants?

The culmination of this journey is within sight for our 15 shortlisted participants.  Mark your calendars for November 2, 2023, as we unveil the winners of the WIPO Photography Prize 2023. The winners will receive a variety of awards, including photography equipment and related software licenses, with a total value of up to:

CHF 3,500 (1st place)

CHF 2,500 (2nd place)

CHF 1,500 (3rd place)

Moreover, every entrant to the Photography Prize will have the unique opportunity to participate in a virtual training session focused on photography and copyright. This interactive session will offer practical insights on how copyright can be a useful asset for creators. In addition, the session will include a component on the protection of traditional cultural expressions in this context.

Register to attend the Awards Ceremony on November 2, 2023


Each edition of the Photography Prize was designed in consultation with an Advisory Board comprised of Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ representatives, including youth, and organizations, governments and individuals working on climate change, protection and promotion of cultural heritage, biodiversity, photography, intellectual property, media and entrepreneurship.

Our Judges

A distinguished panel of independent judges composed of three talented photographers hailing from Indigenous Peoples and local communities undertook the challenging task of evaluating and selecting the 15 shortlisted photographs.

Choosing from among such outstanding entries was a substantial endeavor, and we want to express our deepest gratitude and congratulations to the panel of judges who carried out this task.

From left to right: Nayla Azmi (Photo: Danielle Khan Ada Silva), Eli Farinango (Photo: Hilberto Hernandez x Eli), Jeremiah Kipainoi (Photo: Iyanu Omoboye)

Nayla Azmi is a Batak photographer, storyteller and conservationist based in Sumatra, Indonesia, Nayla has worked in the field for more than a decade and is passionate about conservation and the empowerment of women and other marginalized communities.

Eli Farinango is an Indigenous artist and visual storyteller, born in Kichwa territory (Quito, Ecuador) and raised in Turtle Island (Canada). Through her art, she is able to reclaim her ancestral memory and create a space for knowledge sharing with those she photographs.

Jeremiah Kipainoi is a seasoned campaigner and traveler known to capture powerful stories among indigenous communities in Kenya. Born and raised in the Maasai community, he is an award-winning multimedia journalist covering human-rights issues, land rights and heritage.

Looking for more information on WIPO’s work on Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ engagement?

Visit the WIPO Traditional Knowledge website for more information on WIPO’s work on intellectual property, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

To learn more about WIPO’s activities on Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ engagement, check out our dedicated webpage on the topic.

For regular updates on WIPO’s activities, sign up for our Traditional Knowledge Updates.