Belgrade, March 25th– The group „Journalists against Violence against Women, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Serbia are launching a competition for photographs and illustrations that contribute to ethical media reporting on the problem of violence against women. The aim of the competition is to form a database of photographs and illustrations that depict, in a responsible, ethical and non-stereotypical way, the problem of violence against women, its forms, reactions of the environment and institutions to violence, raise awareness about sanctions for violence and show solidarity with survivors of violence and are aimed at their empowerment. The database is intended to be used free of charge by media in Serbia, in order to contribute to better understanding and prevention of violence against women through responsible reporting.   

The competition is open to photographers and illustrators, for their works that meet the defined requirements regarding quality and content. Photographs and illustrations should be based on principles of responsible and professional reporting, as well as the Guidelines on Media Reporting on Violence against Women of the group “Journalists against Violence against Women, especially the part related to photographs and video material.

The complete text of the competition, requirements and detailed rules can be found here. In addition to their works, participants need to submit a completed application form/copyright statement  and (if applicable) a completed model release form. Submissions, as well as questions, should be sent via e-mail to:

The competition is open until April 30, 2021.

The decision about the best received works will be made by a jury within 30 days from the competition’s closing date. The jury members are:   

·         Aleksandar Kelić, Professor of Photography, Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade

·         Nikola and Nenad Radojčić (Braća Burazeri), graphic designers 

·         Marija Janković, photographer, Photo Editor of the “Vreme” Magazine

·         Marija Čečen, member of the group Journalists against Violence and Director of the B92 Fund

·         Danijela Šegan, Media Advisor at the office of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality 

·         Maja Branković Đundić, Gender Equality Portfolio Manager, UNDP in Serbia

·         Aleksandra Ivanović, Digital Media Assistant, UNDP in Serbia

Authors of the 30 best works, based on the jury’s decision, will receive sets containing a graphic drawing tablet and an external hard disk. All works received as part of the competition and meeting defined requirements will become part of the database of photographs and illustrations contributing to ethical media reporting on violence against women.  

Media are important allies when it comes to raising awareness about the prevalence of violence against women, as well as in the recognition that this is a complex social problem affecting not only the persons exposed to violence, but their children, family, friends, the safety of the entire community.

Still, despite this significant role, research in Serbia indicates sensationalist and stereotypical media reporting about this topic. The Analysis of the group Journalists against Violence found that there is evident use of photos and video covers that depict violence in an inappropriate and stereotypical way in 28% of media reports. This includes photographs and videos showing simulations of violence, physical injuries and depicting women as helpless victims of violence.  

Inappropriate reporting contributes to the normalization of violence in public, women survivors are adversely affected by putting their safety and privacy in jeopardy and additional victimization. In contrast, responsible reporting can mean support for women exposed to violence to leave the violent situation, and the promotion of zero tolerance of violent behaviour in the wider public. Besides responsible reporting on violence against women, it is important to use visuals to send the message of the unacceptability of violence and no impunity for it, and show solidarity with those exposed to violence.             

The organizers of the competition call all photographers and illustrators to submit their works and participate in efforts to change the media image and perception of violence against women and contribute to its elimination.  

The competition is implemented within the joint project “Integrated response to violence against women and girls in Serbia III”, implemented by UNPD, UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA, in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality as lead partner, and with the support of the Government of Sweden. This initiative is aimed at the development of a social and institutional environment that contributes to zero tolerance to and elimination of violence against women in Serbia.


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