Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Young Filipino artist Mikas Matsuzawa’s picture of a young boy walking on a pot-marked dirt road carrying a red “parol” was chosen as one of the winners in the State Department’s Democracy Photo Challenge.

The State Department launched the contest to highlight the International Day of Democracy.

The Photo Challenge asked people around the world to complete the phrase “Democracy is…” in an image.

Matsuzawa chose what could be a typical Philippine countryside image to deliver his theme that “Democracy is…accessible and quality education for all. It is education as a right”.

The other winners are Kaylene George of South Africa; Mike Mitchell of Benin; Venkatesh Hamyanaik of Australia; Mehman Huseynov of Azerbaijan; dino Peric of Bosnia & Herzegovina; Kaveh Baghdadchi of Iran; Mohamed Kaouche of Algeria; Mustafa Kia of Afghanistan; Jun Krishna Joshi of Nepal; Ian Cunningham of the United States; and Wladia Drummond of Brazil.

The winning photos were put on display in the South Lobby of the United Nations today.

They were selected from nearly 3,000 entries from 131 countries.

The State Department release said an independent jury narrowed the submissions to 36 finalists representing each region of the world.

The online public then voted for their favorites. The State Department said more than half a million people took part in the voting.

“The State Department established the ‘Democracy is…’ initiative to engage people around the world in a global conversation on democracy. The initiative’s goal is to empower a global audience to share views on democracy,” the statement read.

The winning pictures can be viewed here.

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