The First International Photography competition of Tehran ICH Centre Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Context

In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran joined the 2003 Convention as the 40th Member State. On 28 April 2010, an agreement regarding the establishment of a regional research center for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in West and Central Asia, Under the Auspices of UNESCO, was signed by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Consequent to this, on 13 June 2011 the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran approved the signed agreement; and this resulted in the official inauguration of the activities of the Regional Research Centre for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in West and Central Asia, Under the Auspices of UNESCO (Category 2) (or "Tehran ICH Centre") on 10 November 2012, with the participation of the ambassadors and representatives of 68 countries, the Representative of the Director General of UNESCO, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran authorities.

The Tehran ICH Centre tries to achieve the following goals and fulfilling assigned duties in the region:

- to promote the 2003 Convention (for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage) and its implementation in West and Central Asia,

- to promote public awareness and expert capacities in the field of Intangible Cultural Heritage,

- to strengthen capacities and cooperation in the region for identifying, inventorying, documenting and studying Intangible Cultural Heritage in order to contribute to its safeguarding,

- to promote peace and friendship, synergy, and sustainable development over the region,

 Geographical area assigned to Tehran ICH Centre includes 24 countries which are alphabetically listed as follow: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, the Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arabic Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Tehran ICH Centre, following these objectives, by organizing its First International Photography Competition titled Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Context, tries to attract different groups of different communities, especially youth, to the concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage and its manifestations. We hereby invite every enthusiasts for photography, including professionals and amateurs, considering of the Centre’s goals and the regulations listed below, to participate in the Competition and help us to accomplish our goals and duties.

Subject of Competition

The subject of the first international photography competition of Tehran ICH Centre is “Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Context”. The importance of ICH is shown by its occurrence and expression in the Context. By “context” we mean the situation and surroundings in which, a local community exists, works, interacts with nature and, to sum up, “lives”. Each of various manifestations of Intangible Cultural Heritage can be genuinely expressed just in such context. Intangible Cultural Heritage can be treated as vivid when it is recognized cultural heritage by its bearers and expressed in the context, otherwise it doesn’t need to be safeguarded, because such heritage begins the process of museumification which results in to death of the very heritage. If we present an intangible cultural heritage for tourists, in an exhibition or in a festival, we separate that heritage from its own context. Accordingly, places such as villages, farms, traditional workshops, traditional places for trading, performing art or a special social custom are included as instances of context.

Objectives of the Competition

- To promote public awareness about Intangible Cultural Heritage,

- To attract various groups and communities to the expressions of the intangible cultural heritage and its importance in their everyday lives,

- To attract the participation of enthusiasts for photography to help in identification and highlighting the expressions of the intangible cultural heritage,

- To create an appropriate groundings for documentations of the expressions of the intangible cultural heritage,

- To identify and emphasize on the great role and the importance of photography in safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage,

Conditions and Regulations

1- Subject of sent works must be the ICH of 24 countries over the region, disregarding of photographers’ nationality,

2- It is free for all people who are interested in photography, with no age limitation,

3- The secretariat does not consider any limitation regarding photography tools,

4- Size of sent works should be in the range of 500 kb up to 2 Mb in JPEG format,

5- Sent works must be in accordance with the regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran and social norms,

6- Any retouch on sent works that ruins the genuineness of them results in dismissal from the competition

7- Judgment will be done on every single photo,

8- Jury, in addition to techniques of photography, will judge the photo subjects,

9- Existence of any signs, signatures, watermarks, dates, logos, … results in dismissal of works from competition,

10- Participants should have the raw files of sent works,

11- Secretariat recognize the sender of works as the owner,

12- Secretariat, considering the intellectual properties of owners (spiritual ownership), is permitted to use the sent works according to its discretion,

13- Women and young people are especially encouraged to participate,

14- Sending of works and participation in competition means acceptance of the regulation of the competition.


*Applicants are obliged to send files of their works to photo@tichct.ir E-Mail address, up to 18 February 2017

*Announcement of primary admitted works is between 19 and 24 February 2017

*Final winners and grant of prizes will be announced until the end of February 2017

Valuable prizes will be granted to winners of competition.

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  • 28 December 2016
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