To celebrate the International Day of Peace observed each year on September 21st, mobile app Agora challenged international photographers to illustrate what "Peace" means to them in one photo. As a result, 11,500 photos from all corners of the world were submitted to the #Peace2020 contest.
The International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, was established by the United Nations back in 1981 in an attempt to provide a “globally shared date for all humanity to commit for Peace above all differences.” The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire.
To celebrate this important milestone, the global creative platform Agora launched the #Peace2020 photo contest on August 14th. Photographers had until August 28th to participate with their best shots in the app and illustrate what "Peace" means to them through their camera lens for the chance to be selected in the Top 50 finalists and make it to the voting phase.
Congratulations to Kenyan photographer @rashid_sp whose photo "A peaceful world is a fruitful one" gathered the most votes from the Agora global community, making him the #Peace2020 Hero and granting him the top prize of $1,000.
The app's global audience plays an important part in the selection of the winning image in each contest: all Agora users have the power to vote for the photo that struck them the most during the final voting rounds, making the process a democratic one where everyone can participate, vote, and win.
"The most voted image of #Peace2020 is a manifesto of love, hope, and the future. When either side of a conflict declares peace, the sides cease to exist, and the opposites merge into one community," said Octavi Royo, Agora's co-founder and CEO.
Which photo struck you the most? Don't forget to upvote and comment on your favorites!
Winner: A Peaceful World Is A Fruitful One
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
"I want to commemorate the lives lost in violence and wars all over the world, and spread the message of peace and hope by raising our living standards, refraining from the violence and social indifferences. All the models in the picture related personally with the theme of the contest, as they are victims of the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya which forced their families to flee their home."
Sleep In Peace
Location: Gandia, Spain
Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK
"It was below freezing, and I had been waiting for the clouds to part for long enough to get a long exposure shot of the Milky Way behind the Old Man of Storr on Skye. After a lot of hanging around in the cold, I finally got this shot. Despite the cold, it was amazingly peaceful up there on the mountain looking up at the sky. The Isle of Skye in Scotland is on the same latitude as Churchill in Northern Canada, which is home to polar bears and -40-degree temperatures."
A Beautiful Tree On A Hill
Location: Eastern Switzerland
"We were driving to our new destination and decided to avoid the highway. I’m glad we made the detour! When we came across these beautiful hills, we were so thrilled to enjoy the landscape which reminded us of the Windows desktop screensaver!"
Location: Murtosa, Portugal
Lanterns Of Peace
Location: Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
Location: Cap Ferret, France
"One of the most stunning things I’ve found in France is the possibility to relax on endless, empty beaches. On that day, we decided to reach this wonderful beach around 5 pm to watch the sunset. Unluckily, a big storm was covering the sun, so we decided to just relax on the beach and play with the waves. From there, we got the idea to use the drone to get a long exposure shot, emphasizing the contrast between the blue ocean and my red swimsuit. I wanted to recreate the relaxing atmosphere of that evening, so I could look at that image to reconnect to those calming feelings in the future."
Alone With My Thoughts... Peace Is Health!
Location: Cape Coast, Ghana by
"Watching my puppy sleeping brings so much peace and serenity to my heart."
The Best Place To Get Peaceful
Location: Bogor, Indonesia
"At first, my plan was to photograph the mandrill’s bright and colorful face. A few seconds later, my attention was caught by this peaceful, beautiful moment between the animal and its infant."
One With Nature
Location: Dolomites, Italy
"I always feel so lucky and grateful for the chance to experience such majestic views."
My Daughter And The Curious Fox
Location: Dunas de Corrubedo National Park, Galicia, Spain
"People would stop to contemplate the scene, but the fox was approaching my daughter only. The fox was so curious, perhaps looking for food. They created their own bubble of peace."
Pray With Gratitude
Location: Kraton Kasunanan Surakarta, Indonesia
"She was finding peace in her prayers."
Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain
"This photo was hard to take because of the current left by the big waves the day before. I wanted to show how peaceful it is under the sea."
Location: Accra, Ghana
Peaceful Morning Scenes
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom
"It was my first visit to Ashton Court in months, and I really didn’t expect a reintroduction to this beautiful place with light like this... The low-hanging mist was pierced with soft golden light as the sun rose. I wanted to tell these two deer to turn around and take a look for themselves, but instead, they took one look at me and then carried on eating."
"Meditation is the key to find your inner peace."
The Last Man Standing
Location: Hangzou, China
"A peaceful moment with long exposure always has a timeless feel; in a way it captures the soul of the place and time. Instead of focusing on the motion, I'm trying to focus on the quiet moments hidden in the noise from a busy location full of tourists."
"This man was trying to find peace after a long, tiring day of work."
A Master Monk Finds Peace In An Ancient Meditating Chamber
"I spent the best part of 6 days walking and riding around the plains of Bagan to find some interesting temples and light. I had a shot in mind but found it difficult to find what I was looking for. No one was giving up the locations to avoid the inevitable tourist influx (which I actually respected). It certainly made finding a little monastery and my secret location all the more rewarding. I wanted to purvey a feeling of peace and couldn’t have been more blessed to have a master monk meditate in the shot for me. Although I feel I got the shot I was looking for, to me, this image encapsulates trusting my intuition while not giving up on your dreams."
Peaceful Underwater World
Location: Gili Meno, Indonesia
"Because of the current situation in 2020, there are not many people traveling. The air quality is getting better, and the oceans are getting cleaner. We have never before seen that many turtles coming so close to the shore. It’s been amazing to witness this change, so we wanted to capture their peaceful swim."
@makyandmatt (Czech Republic)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Monks At Sunset
Location: U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
"Two local Buddhists were walking peacefully over the bridge at sunset. The toning, the colors, and the subjects all remind me of such a peaceful feeling. To date, this is still one of my most favorite photos I’ve ever taken."
I Know A Place
"When I saw the wall of clouds creeping through the mountains, I sensed a feeling of complete peace and surrender. Then, this song started to play in my mind: 'I know a place, where no one never goes. There's peace and quiet, beauty and repose. It's hidden in the valley, beside the mountain stream...'"
Uncle And Niece
Location: Montmeló, Spain
Twins At Rest
Location: Chinon Center, Main-Taunus, Germany
Lleno De Paz
Location: Lleida, Spain
"In one of the most challenging moments of my life, nature gave me this peaceful sunset."
Location: Banyuwangi, Indonesia
Location: Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands
"It was around 6 AM. A big thunderstorm was coming from the west while the sun was rising in the east, which made the sky and clouds turn bright pink. There was fog all over the lake, and as everything turned into a pink wonderland, it felt like walking in a realistic dream."
Location: North Somerset, UK
"This shot was taken at 5:30 in the morning, as the sun was casting rays through the trees of the forest. I wanted to get across the idea of humanity and nature at peace."
In A Hammock
Location: Moscow, Russia
"The little guy in the photo is one of my twin sons Luke. He is lying in my bed after a late night. What is funny about this picture is that I had to go to the hospital for a while, but before I had left, I told my twin boys they could sleep with me in our bed (we never let them do this.) I thought they had forgotten, but sure enough they did not and they slept with me side by side."
Under The Ocean
Location: Madeira Island, Portugal
"It was my first swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The water was so dark and deep. A beautiful and peaceful experience!"
Location: Santa Fe, Argentina
Location: Mikurajima island, Japan
"Mikurajima is a famous habitat for bottlenose dolphins. Currently, about 160 animals have been confirmed in the area. It was a wonderful day, with dolphins and humans swimming together."
Receiving Morning Blessing From The Sun
Location: Tegalalang village, Bali, Indonesia
"It was early in the morning and we were trekking through the famous Tegalalang rice fields. As we were reaching the corner, we saw the sunlight coming from behind the threes. I asked my friend to act as if she was receiving a blessing from the universe, it was such a peaceful moment."
Location: Kabardino-Balkaria, Mount Elbrus, Russia
"Just myself, a tiny man on a rock, looking over the beautiful valley with the light of sunset and shadows of the mountains. Nature in all its greatness. To capture this moment, I had to run from one edge to another to choose angles and try to catch the light."
Location: Khulna, Bangladesh
"In solitude, you can find peace and witness your life from a great distance."
Location: Dolomites, Italy
"My girlfriend and I were waiting for the sunset, and suddenly the fog came out and it just looked magical. I always want to show magic and minimalism through my photography. Mood always has to trigger emotions."
Location: Jokulsarlon lagoon, Iceland
"After spending our first 7 days in Iceland, we still hadn't had the chance to see the northern lights once, which made us so sad. We decided to try one last time, on our last night, and we arranged a visit to this famous lagoon. We drove for about 3 hours from our hotel, and once we got there, flashes of green lights started to dance above us: I thought to myself that we got blessed for our last night in the land of ice and fire."
South Pacific Colors
Location: Cook Islands
"We were amazed by the beauty and the tranquility of this lagoon."
Yoga In The Desert
Location: United Arab Emirates
"Although the sand was burning our feet, we thoroughly enjoyed this session in the desert."
Location: Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, Italy
"One of the best views of Tre Cime Di Lavaredo! Worth the 17-km trek to reach this spot."
Location: Summit of Vassdalstinden, Norway
"I wanted to create romance in the sunset since we were above the clouds."
Location: Madrid, Spain
In The Middle Of The Saxony
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
"Find your peace in the middle of the chaos to keep hoping and dreaming for a better future."
Sunset Desert Yoga
Location: Provo, USA
"Who wouldn't want some peace of mind right now?"