Announcing the RURITAGE Photo Contest Winners

Announcing the RURITAGE Photo Contest Winners

We are excited to announce the long-awaited results of the RURITAGE Photo Contest!

We are excited to announce the long-awaited results of the RURITAGE Photo Contest!

Out of a stunning collection of 545 submitted photographs of rural territories, the Project consortium is delighted to present the three winning photographers:

●  The first place is awarded to Santiago Sierra Durán, who offered a mystic view of the Colombian Coffee UNESCO Culture Landscape.

●  The second place is awarded to Urosh Grabner, who caught the magic of a sunrise hike on the mountain Peca/Petzen, on the border between Austria and Slovenia.

●  The third place is awarded to Efstratios Kapetanas, who sensitively captured the gentle shaping of the clay by the hand of a potter in the village of Mantamado, Lesvos island.

The goal of this Photo Contest was to showcase visually and creatively the 

hidden treasures and distinctive identities of the 36 rural territories that form the RURITAGE community. Submissions aimed to demonstrate the potential of our cultural and natural heritage as drivers of rural regeneration. The following aspects of rural territories were highlighted: nature, architecture, daily life, activities, traditions, challenges, pilgrimage, resilience, landscape, food, migration, art & festivals.

Between June and October 2020, 168 participants across the world submitted their photos, representing 25 territories spanning from Italy to Iceland and from Colombia  to the Philippines. Their work illustrated the beauty of rural landscapes, traditional built environments, as well as moments of daily communal life.

The Evaluation Panel consisted of Alexandru Matei, Sergio Esperancinha and Hanna Elisabet Åberg, nominated by ICLEI Europe, UNESCO and the University of Bologna, respectively. They evaluated all entries under strict anonymous conditions, following the RURITAGE Photo Contest Rules and Selection Criteria. 

Montaña de Salento


Photo and Caption by Santiago Sierra Durán, Salento in Colombia.

Traditional house on the mountainside in the central mountain range in Salento, Quindío.

Sunrise hike on the mountain Peca/Petzen

2nd Place

Photo and Caption by Urosh Grabner, Karavanke/Karawanken UNESCO Global Geopark between Austria/Slovenia.

One of traditional hikes in our Geopark is also sunrise hike on the mountain Peca. It lasts from dusk to sunrise, and the magic of it are the light trails from hikers … that are visible even from the valley.

Ceramist Creator

3rd Place

Photo and Caption by Efstratios Kapetanas, Lesvos in Greece.

I have visited a small ceramist shop in Mantamado village and I was so lucky to see how they create the amazing ceramics using clay, some drops of water, and a wheeled machine. This job needs concentrate and patience from the artist to create amazing creatures.

Honourable Mentions

The diversity and quality of the submitted work was impressive, which prompted the jury to award 6 Honorable Mentions to an additional selection of photographs that tell authentic rural stories and convey powerful emotions.

The winning photographer has been invited to the RURITAGE Final Conference in Paris in 2022, where the second and third finalists will also have their photos on display. The RURITAGE Consortium is currently exploring different possibilities and platforms (such as the RUIRTAGE Atlas) for making a larger collection of submitted photographs available, honoring those who contributed to the Contest and sharing local inspirations across the world.

​​Note: The ​photos, title​s​ and the description​​ text​s​ associated with the photos are the ones provided by the author​s​. The sole responsibility for the photo​s​, title​s​ and description text​s​ lies with the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Photo Contest Organisers, Ruritage Consortium or the European Union.