“THE WAR AS I SEE IT”: Photo Contest Invites Lebanese Youth to Show Effects of the Civil War Through Their Eyes


BEIRUT, October 23, 2015 – In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the end of the Lebanese civil war, the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) is holding a youth photo contest to raise awareness about the importance of truth seeking and truth telling about people’s experiences of the war and post-war violence.

The photo contest, titled, “THE WAR AS I SEE IT”, is aimed at young people in Lebanon, to encourage them to explore how they understand the war, as part of the past and the present. The winning photographs will be part of a traveling exhibition intended to spark collective reflection on the images, their meaning, and the truth seeking about the war.

“ICTJ has worked for many years in Lebanon to promote youth knowledge and discussion of the civil war and its causes,” said Carmen Abou Jaoudé, ICTJ Head of Office in Lebanon. “Education and dialogue are key to ending society’s collective amnesia about the war, avoiding the repetition of violence, and building a durable peace.”

While the widespread harms caused by the civil war are still visible, the official denial of the past has left a hole in the historical record and often prevented people from fully understanding the war and its causes. This is particularly true for young people.

Participants aged 15 to 25 are invited to submit a photo of an object, landscape, portrait, or site that in their opinion represents, or speaks to, the Lebanese civil war, along with a description and a short biography. The contest will run from October 23 to November 30, 2015. Entries should be e-mailed to My.war.photo@gmail.com.

The three best photos will be part of a traveling exhibition throughout Lebanon, which will give winners and other selected participants an opportunity to discuss their photos and reflect with other youth and experts on the war and political violence and their role in promoting dialogue and building peace. The three winners will also receive photography courses from Nikon School Lebanon.

The contest is organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon, the Embassy of France in Lebanon, the French Institute in Lebanon, the French Institute for the Near-East, and the Political Science Institute at Saint-Joseph University.

The winning photos will be selected by a jury composed of professional photographers and members of civil society.

“Our goal with the contest is to help inspire the next generation of peacemakers to think critically and creatively about the war and how truth seeking can help to redress the harms it caused and ensure lasting peace,” said Abou Jaoudé.

How to Participate

  1. Participants should be between 15-25 years old
  2. Send a high resolution photo for enlarging to 30x40 (300 dpi) with a detailed description of the photo that doesn’t exceed 100 words (Arabic, French or English), and your biography (5 lines) to the following email address: My.war.photo@gmail.com
  3. The deadline for participation is 30 November 2015
  4. In December, the three winners selected by a jury of professional photographers and civil society actors will be informed by email

See the contest flyer for more information.

This contest is free and subject to the regulations available here.


Carmen Hassoun Abou Jaoudé, ICTJ Head of Office in Lebanon
Phone: (961) 3 605 339
Email: caboujaoude@ictj.org

PHOTO: Over 15 years after Lebanon's civil war, a building in downtown Beirut still bears scars. (Some rights reserved David Axe/Flickr)