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(Image: WIPO)

WIPO Photography Prize for Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Youth 2023

Through this activity, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) celebrates and makes widely known the creativity of young members of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. Participation encourages Indigenous and local community youth to convey an impactful message about their peoples, communities and culture through photographic storytelling.

The WIPO Photography Prize also raises awareness among young participants and their communities on how copyright can be used by them to protect their creativity expressed in the photographs, as well as how the protection of traditional cultural expressions relates to intellectual property rights.

Theme of the Photography Prize

How We Wear Our Culture Is How We Tell Our Stories

Under the theme, How We Wear Our Culture Is How We Tell Our Stories, young members of Indigenous Peoples and local communities are invited to take and submit photographs that deliver an important message about their communities’ clothing.

The photographs would, for example, depict clothing that reflects cultural identity or cultural significance and embodies traditional designs and/or contemporary designs that are tradition-based and still reflective of the community’s cultural identity. The clothing may be everyday clothing or garments, textiles, or clothes worn for special occasions. “Clothing” includes headdresses, footwear and jewelry.


Shortlisted and winning photographs will be announced on the WIPO website.

Winners will receive a variety of awards, including photography equipment with a total value of up to:

  • CHF 3,500 (1st place)
  • CHF 2,500 (2nd place)
  • CHF 1,500 (3rd place)

Get inspired by the 2021-2022 edition

Winners | Shortlisted | Gallery


Participants should be members of Indigenous Peoples or local communities located in one of the 193 WIPO’s Member States and be under 30 years old on the closing date for submissions (July 2, 2023). For participants not of legal age (e.g., 18 years old), authorization from a legal guardian is required.

The participants must have taken the photographs and prepared the brief descriptions themselves.

Photographs must not have been previously recognized and/or awarded in another photography competition. Each participant can submit a maximum of one entry. Combined entries are not allowed.

If required, the participant should secure consent to display traditional knowledge and/or traditional cultural expressions in the photograph. Likewise, the photograph should not contain any sacred, secret or sensitive content.

Copyright in the submitted materials remains with the participants. However, participants grant WIPO the right to use the materials submitted for up to two years following the announcement of the winners solely for the purpose of its educational, promotional and capacity-building activities and related communication, fully crediting the copyright owners.

Judging process

Photographs will be judged on a technology-neutral basis, that is, without considering the participants’ professional experience or background or the use of professional or special equipment.

The evaluation criteria for applications are the expression of the theme; originality, creativity, and artistic expression; inspirational power; visual appeal; and community-related impact.

WIPO will appoint an external jury to shortlist several entries, followed by a selection of winners. The judges will be internationally recognized Indigenous photographers and other persons knowledgeable on the theme. WIPO will, in consultation with the judges, review and decide if the entries submitted comply with all the requirements outlined in the Photography Prize rules PDF, Photography Prize rules 2023 DOC, Photography Prize rules 2023.

All accepted photographs and other submission materials, along with the participants’ full names, may be published on the WIPO website and competition platform.

Winning participants will be notified by email and the official announcement of the winners will follow on November 2, 2023.

Advisory Board

WIPO would like to acknowledge the advice and support provided by the members of the Advisory Board.


If you have any questions about the WIPO Photography Prize, please contact us.

For further information, see the WIPO Photography Prize rules. In case of any doubt, the WIPO Photography Prize rules take precedence.