Survival's 2020 Photographic Competition


Tibetan child, 2018.
© Mattia Passarini /

Images play a vital role in telling important stories, and photography has proved a powerful force in inspiring solidarity with tribal peoples and mobilising action against the threats they face. It has helped change the lives and futures of some of the most vulnerable peoples on Earth.

We’re looking for striking photographs of tribal and indigenous peoples from every corner of the globe for our 2020 Photo Competition. We welcome entries from both amateurs and professionals alike.

Tuvinian shaman, Tuva, Russia, 2017
© Yuriy Ogarkov /

The theme is “Resilience and Pride.” Despite five centuries of genocide and oppression, tribal and indigenous peoples have survived. Many are resisting the takeover of their lands in the face of an unprecedented global assault on hard-won indigenous rights that have taken decades to secure. Their pride in their culture, identity and resistance is inspirational.

Twelve winning photos will be chosen. These will be used to create Survival’s 2021 calendar, which raises funds for Survival’s vital campaigns. One image will be chosen as the overall winning image, and this will feature on the calendar cover.

Iñupiat boy, Alaska, USA, 2016
© Kiliii Yuyan /

All winning entries will also be published on Survival’s website and social media outlets. You can follow along and post your own contributions with the hashtag #SurvivalPhotoComp2020. Please note that simply using this hashtag does not mean your photo has been entered into the competition: see below for how to enter.

The winning images and overall winner will be selected not only for their originality and the strength of composition, but also for their demonstration of sensitivity to, and understanding of, tribal peoples, their ways of life and the threats to their survival.

View a photo gallery of the winning entries from 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The judging panel includes Survival’s Director Stephen Corry, Survival Italy Coordinator Francesca Casella, The Little Black Gallery Co-Founder Ghislain Pascal and Max Houghton (Senior Lecturer in Photography at the London College of Communication).

Image categories, Survival’s photographic policy and full terms and conditions of the competition can be found below:


“Resilience and Pride.” The competition aims to celebrate photography’s role in raising awareness of tribal peoples, the threats to their existence, and their extraordinary courage and strength.

Terms and conditions:

- We only accept digital submissions of no more than 1MB (if your photograph is chosen, we will ask you to submit the original file in high resolution).

- Maximum 3 images submitted per entrant.

- All images must have been taken in the last 10 years.

- Open to both amateur and professional photographers worldwide.

- By submitting images you agree to give Survival International permission to print them in Survival’s 2021 calendar, and for the images to be used only for:

- Press and publicity in conjunction with the calendar, including print and online.

- By entering the competition all entrants confirm that their entries are their own original work, that they own the copyright in it, that they haven’t infringed third party rights.

- Respect for tribal peoples is paramount. Photographs should not be submitted unless the subjects have agreed to be photographed. In cases where informed consent is not possible, for example if the subjects have no familiarity with photography, photographs can only be used if they illustrate a point supportive of tribal peoples’ rights which cannot otherwise be similarly depicted. No tribal peoples or their lands should be harmed, offended or violated in the process of taking photographs. (See Survival’s photographic policy below and our filmmakers’ guidelines).

- Survival International accepts no responsibility for entries that are lost or corrupted during the upload.

- Survival International’s decisions on all matters affecting the competition are final.

- Competition closing date: May 31, 2020.

- Please email entries to: [email protected]

- Please make sure each submitted image is clearly captioned with the following detail: name of tribe; place/country photograph was taken; any relevant narrative, activity or information; and the year each photograph was taken.

Survival photographic policy:

Survival always tries to convey an accurate picture of tribal people, as they are now. If we publish an image that might otherwise convey a false impression, where practical we will tell the viewer when it was taken. We will not knowingly use images which make tribal people seem more 'traditional' than is really the case, or which are otherwise atypical of their appearance or behaviour, unless we explain our purpose in doing so or this is obvious from the context.


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