Snapshots Make All The Difference In The World For UN’s 17 Goalsby Shubhangi Jena July 19 2017, 5:52 pm
The United Nations has proposed 17 goals and 169 targets as the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) for a more sustainable environment. The target or the self-imposed deadline for achieving these goals is 2030. The UN admits that communicating these SDGs has been a tedious task and has proven to be very challenging in many nations worldwide.
With the goal and targeted deadline in mind, the UN believes involving youth is utterly crucial. Their aim is to eradicate poverty, address climate change and build peaceful, inclusive societies for all and the target year may seem a decade away from now but the albatrosses in the path are countless. With this in mind, UNIC Tokyo and Sophia University brainstormed to launch a photo contest with combined efforts from Getty Images Japan.
Collaboratively, a photo exhibition was hosted called “Spotlight On SDGs”. Titled as ‘My View On SDGs’ the content was a gateway for the creative young minds to step forward, chip in and learn about the cause they are supporting through photographs. The winning entries were rewarded with accolades and garnered heavy encomiums. After a laudable event and an impressive success, Kaoru Nemoto, the Director of UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Tokyo, reflects, “Photos have the power to go beyond borders, which makes it an ideal medium to connect young people from all over the world.”
The world is looking upon the youth as key factor in communicating the SDGs to other people and are rightly being called as the ‘Agents of Change.’ In an interview with the UN News Ms. Nemoto further adds, “This partnership-driven photo contest encouraged young students to think hard about SDGs at their doorstep, visualize their perspective through their creativity, and have fun.” A whooping 600 entries were recorded from 47 countries on five continents. The winners depicted their concerns through pictures and also voiced their angst in their interviews.
The panel awarded the first place to a picture portraying a volunteer picking up one amongst the many strewn tires to be discarded from a beach in Lima, Peru. The award winner expresses, “I was shocked and saddened by the number of tires strewn across the beach in a conservation area in Callao, near Lima.”
Another prize winning photograph depicts young children in schools holding bowls (probably having meals provided by the schools) in the town of Shwe Kyin, Myanmar. “ Pang Yunian from China, the photographer to this award-winning pictures says, “In the town of Shwe Kyin, in Myanmar, households have no electricity, yet the villagers decided to prioritize education and used limited resources to build a primary school a few years ago.”
A feeble sapling squeaking out bravely for a sip of sunlight against the backdrop of a jade-green landscape is Karin Imai’s photograph, which secured its spot in the winners’ list. “My photo is simply a snapshot of a normal landscape in Japan. Yet for some reason, this tiny plant growing in the midst of tall trees caught my eye,” beams Karin Imai.
Their pictures are now claiming a spot each on the walls of UN Headquarters, staring straight into the eyes of the world demanding for a change. The UNIC Tokyo plans for another photo contest tandem. The winners of the inceptive contest have captured marvel by their clicks, clearly giving the fresher participants bigger shoes to fill.