Survival's 2016 Photographic Competition

Bajau, Malaysia

Bajau, Malaysia.
© Soh Yew Kiat

In 1969, the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine published an article by Norman Lewis about the genocide of Brazilian Indians, with strong images from the acclaimed photographer Don McCullin.

It led to the founding of Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights.

Tribal peoples have developed ways of life that are largely self-sufficient and extraordinarily diverse. Photography is a powerful medium for raising awareness of tribal peoples and the threats to their existence.

Images play an emotive role in telling important stories. And ultimately they can help to change the lives and futures of some of the most vulnerable peoples on earth.

Huichol, Mexico © Annick Donkers

We are looking for striking photographs of tribal and indigenous peoples from every corner of the globe.

Winning entries will create Survival’s 2017 calendar, which every year raises funds for Survival’s vital campaigns. Winning entries will also be published on Survival’s website and social media outlets, and the overall winner’s image will be featured on the calendar cover.

Daasanach, Ethiopia

Daasanach, Ethiopia.
©Arturo Lopez

Open to amateurs and professionals alike, the judging panel includes Survival’s Director Stephen Corry, Survival Italy Coordinator Francesca Casella, The Little Black Gallery Co-Founder Ghislain Pascal, and Max Houghton (Senior Lecturer in Photography at the London College of Communication).

The winning images and overall winner will be selected not only for their originality and the strength of composition, but also for their demonstration of sensitivity to, and understanding of, tribal peoples, their ways of life and the issues that jeopardize their futures.

View a photo gallery of the winning entries from 2016 and 2015.

Image categories, Survival’s photographic policy and full terms and conditions of the competition can be found below:


- Guardians: images showing tribal peoples as guardians of the natural world;

- Community: portraits of relationships between individuals, families or tribes;

- Survival: images showing tribal peoples’ extraordinarily diverse ways of life.

Terms and conditions:

-We only accept digital submissions of no more than 1MB (if your photograph is chosen, we will ask you to submit the original file in high resolution).

-Maximum 3 images submitted per entrant.

-All images must have been taken in the last 10 years.

-Open to both amateur and professional photographers worldwide.

-By submitting images you agree to give Survival International permission to print them in Survival’s 2017 calendar, and for the images to be used only for:

-Press and publicity in conjunction with the calendar, including print and online.

-By entering the competition all entrants confirm that their entries are their own original work, that they own the copyright in it, and that they haven’t infringed third party rights.

-Respect for tribal peoples is paramount. No tribal peoples or their lands should be harmed, offended or violated in the process of taking photographs. (See Survival’s photographic policy below).

-Survival International accepts no responsibility for entries that are lost or corrupted during the upload.

-Survival International’s decisions on all matters affecting the competition are final.

-Competition closing date: April 30, 2016.

-Please email entries to:

-Please make sure each submitted image is clearly captioned with the following detail: name of tribe; place/country photograph was taken; any relevant narrative, activity or information; and the year each photograph was taken.

Survival photographic policy:

Survival always tries to convey an accurate picture of tribal people, as they are now. If we publish an image that might otherwise convey a false impression, where practical we will tell the viewer when it was taken. We will not knowingly use images which make tribal people seem more 'traditional' than is really the case, or which are otherwise atypical of their appearance or behaviour, unless we explain our purpose in doing so or this is obvious from the context.


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