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The Silk Road Youth International Photography Competition Declaration

2017-10-15

In ancient times, people lived in Nile basin, Mesopotamia, Indus basin, Yellow River basin migrated by the river and weed. Different ethnic groups met and separated in plains and mountains, making plant and animal species, craft skills, taboos and beliefs, and even human genes flow and spread along the Eurasian Land Bridge, forming the closely connected evolution of civilization.

 

The second century B.C., Zhang Qian, from Shanxi, China, overcome ten years of hardship, crossed a thousand miles of sand and desert, finally finishing the journey of “opening up”. The Silk Road that starts from Chang’an and ends at Rome officially became the channel of civilized communication between the east and the west, making the lighthouses of the two civilizations glow with each other. Meanwhile, the brave sailors of the southeast coast of China with the guidance of the stars and the blowing of the monsoon opened up the maritime Silk Road that crosses the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean and enters into the Red Sea. The Silk Road has played an unrivalled role in promoting the trade contacts, science and technology communication, and cultural exchanges of Asia, Europe and Africa. The courage and intelligence of human beings, and the cooperation spirit among different ethnic groups showed in the development of the Silk Road is unparalleled. The rich inheritance of the Silk Road, its referential significance to the world today, and even its enlightenment to the common future of mankind are incomparable.

 

In 2013, Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China proposed “The Belt and Road” initiative, calling on the countries along the two silk roads to abide by ancient wisdom and traditional friendship, to use the historical symbol of the ancient silk road, to uphold the banner of peaceful development and actively develop economic cooperation partnership, to work together to build a community of shared interests, common destiny and shared responsibility featured by political mutual trust, economic integration and cultural inclusion.

 

In 2015, China has released “Vision and Proposed Actions Outlined on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” as the programmatic document for the construction of The Belt and Road, making policy communication, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, integrated financing and people-to-people exchanges as the key points of the work, and clearly pointed out that people-to-people exchanges are the social foundation of the Belt and Road.

 

In May, 2017, Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing, marking that the construction of the Belt and Road has achieved staged achievements. So far, more than 100 countries and international organizations in the world have jointly participated in the Belt and Road construction, and more than 40 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China. Relevant resolutions or documents of the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Security Council, ESCAP, APEC, ASEM, GMS (The Greater Mekong sub-regional cooperation) etc. all included or indicated the contents of the Belt and Road construction, showing that a broad consensus of international cooperation was formed and became an important basis for the governance and development of the world.

 

In August, 2017, the 5th FIAP Photo Meeting was held in Shandong province, China, during which, “Silk Road Photographic Organization International Alliance” was formally established by the signature of 39 B&R countries, and “Qingdao Declaration” was also released to take “inheriting the spirit of silk road, focusing on the Belt and Road, innovating cooperation and development and integrating reciprocity and win-win strategy” as the tenet of the union, to take the communication in the field of photography as the link, to promote cross-boundary integration and innovative development of multiculturalism and strengthen the mutual understanding and cultural exchanges among member states and regions.

 

In view of the above facts, we, Silk Road Photographic Organization International Alliance, China Millennium Monument World Art Center, Beijing International Art& Photography Foundation, Shandong International Culture Exchange Center, gathered with photographers, photography organizations, driving forces of photography industry, and photography educators from the world, in Beijing during Photo Beijing 2017, to initiate “the Silk Road Youth International Photography Competition”.

 

We propose that since 2018, in order to promote the “people-to-people exchanges” of B&R counties, especially adolescents, “the Silk Road Youth International Photography Competition” will be held annually to mobilize adolescents to pick up cameras to re-observe, recognize, and record the stories around them through the lens, to learn more about animals, plants, cities, villages, communities, relatives and even themselves through the lens, to remember the history and feel the flow of time through the lens, and to explore the unknown world and look forward to the future through the lens.

 

We agreed to launch “the Silk Road Youth International Photography Competition” since 2018, which will include the photography creations of adolescents in all alliance member states, and will invite other countries’ adolescents to conduct exchange shooting and creations, and will also jointly hold exhibitions, publish portfolios and appraise and elect Best Photographers. The competition rules and action plan will be developed and released on the basis of full consultation with the members of Silk Road Photographic Organization International Alliance.

 

We hope to let adolescents living in different B & R countries and regions recognize each other’s different living environments and life styles through photography competition, understand each other’s different perspectives of observing the world and different philosophies of knowing the world, thus to understand the diversity of human cultures. To publicize participated photography works by means of exhibitions, publications, internet etc. to let adolescents who are far away from each other and have language barriers to know and get close with each other, to take over the banner of peace development held high by their grandparents and parents, and to take over the agreement of being friendly with each other, thus to become a sustaining force in building a community of common destiny.

 

We believe that curiosity is human nature and the driving force to discover the world and artistic accomplishment is the foundation stone of human innovation creation. Under the current circumstances that informatization and automation have been increasingly occupying human beings’ jobs featured by repeated memory, simple labor, heavy physical strength and danger, these two points are particularly important and valuable. Photography is undoubtedly an art creation form to be popularized the most easily, and to arouse curiosity maximally. The practice of photography in the youth era will benefit people for life.

 

We agree that the co-construction of the Belt and Road and the realization of win-win development will certainly be a century project, which needs endless intergenerational transition to write the next 2000 years of glory. Hence, at the early stage of the Belt and Road construction, mobilizing adolescents of all participating countries, who are the builders and owners of the future world to focus on and keep the historical moments which seem very common today yet will be very precious tomorrow through photography- the most faithful record method, has an extraordinary significance of writing the history.

 

We welcome adolescent photography enthusiasts from all Silk Road countries to participate in “the Silk Road Youth International Photography Competition”. Welcome youth organizations, photography groups, schools of all B & R countries to participate in the organizing, planning and promotion of the competition. Welcome all institutions dedicated to the Belt and Road construction, personal attention, support to the competition, information providing and assistance to competitors. Welcome all media to keep reporting on the competition. “The Silk Road Youth International Photography Competition” under the common efforts of all parties, will become a platform of cultural exchange between Belt and Road adolescents, making photograph, the art form with nearly 180 years of history, to glow wit.

 


Silk Road Photographic Organization International Alliance

China Millennium Monument ·World Art Center

Shandong International Cultural Exchange Center

Beijing International Arts & Photography Foundation

 

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