Social Justice Photography Competition

Raise awareness of a Social Justice issue important to you and win up to £400

The Social Justice Photography Competition 2019 launched on 16 October 2018.

The competition is an exciting opportunity for undergraduate students to raise awareness of a social justice issue that matters to them.

You can use a phone, tablet, analogue or digital camera. The photographs will be judged on how ideas are conveyed creatively and how they engage the audience. You can find inspiration from last years winners below.

The Social Justice Photography Competition is part of the Ethical Grand Challenges. The Social Justice Challenge, the Ethical Grand Challenge for second year undergraduates, is now open.

Submissions will be open from the 16 October 2018 to 8 March 2019.

The winners will be announced at the Volunteer of the Year Awards on 2 May 2019.

Grand Prize - Invisible by Julia Stankiewicz, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering. £312. This is the amount of basic state pension of the women in the photo, only about 1/3 of average salary in Poland. Being almost fully blind, she is entitled to additional £44 per month. Low pensions force people like her to count every penny and provoke thoughts of being invisible to the rest of the society. Despite low pensions, the idea of Social Justice has strongly developed in Poland in recent years. Thanks to funds from European Union, blind people are now supported by different organisations that provide free food, Braille classes and equipment to aid in everyday activities. Elderly people were once working hard to enable our generation grow up in a free country and it is now our social responsibility to take care of them.

Second Place - Sunshine in Palestine by Alex Adetiba, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. It’s easy to forget that life around the world doesn’t all tick in accordance with Britain’s. This is especially true in the recent persistent rain that has forced people indoors and into their heads. This photo – taken last summer in a Palestinian skatepark – should remind us of two things. First, that children bear no responsibility for the political landscapes in which they are born and grow up. Children have a universal love of play that should be encouraged and remembered amongst the barrage of negative headlines that pass over our desensitised ears. Secondly, that the sun is always shining somewhere.

Third Place - Boundless by Mian Akbar Shah, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Imagine. Imagine a world with absolute harmony. A neighbourhood where the caring Fatma does not feel threatened by wearing her hijab. A community where the reticent Wanchat can show off his controversial sexuality. A city where the genius Tarig is not discriminated by having pencils put in his hair. A country where the North Korean Jie does not impersonate to be Chinese. I dream of an era when commoners obliterate boundaries that separate us. Perhaps we can all connect like a childhood jigsaw puzzle. Let us all be stellified and shine brightly for future generations to come.

Key Facts About The Social Justice Photography Competition

How do I apply?


- Choose a topic - an issue of social justice important to you

- Take your photograph - you can use a phone, tablet, analogue camera, digital camera or anything else you can think of

- Edit your photo - if you want to or you can just leave it as it is

- Write up to 100 words and give your photo a title - explaining why the issue is important to you

- Fill out the image release form - this allows us to share your photo and use it in our marketing for the exhibition

- Submit everything – by emailing your photo (or a link to your photo), your image release form and your 100 words to with the subject line Social Justice Photography Competition. Make sure you include your name, student number and the title of the photo in the email.

What are the rules?

- You can only enter the competition once

Email your photograph to

The deadline for entries is Friday 8 March 2019 at 23:59 – photos entered after this date will not be considered

Photos must be your independent work, original and comply with The University of Manchester regulations

- The competition is open to all undergraduate students at The University of Manchester

- Winning entries will be announced 2 May 2019 at the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

What are the prizes?

There are 3 prizes up for grabs:

- Grand Prize - £400

- Second Place - £200

- Third Place - £100