Wiki Loves Monuments, which calls itself the world’s largest photo competition, has announced the winners of its 2021 contest that showcases stunning cultural heritage locations from across the globe.
Wiki Loves Monuments 2022 Competition
This twelfth iteration of Wiki Loves Monuments saw 172,000 entries from 4,914 applicants, 3,198 of which were new to the contest. An international jury of experts evaluated, reviewed, and ranked the 339 winning photos based on technical quality, originality, and usefulness for Wikipedia. Winners for 2021 hail from 11 different nations. Some countries, like Ukraine, Poland, and India, have multiple winning photographers.
The Wiki Loves Monuments competition requires that photographers donate their images to Wikimedia Commons. These photos can then be used on Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, allowing documentation of the world’s cultural treasures for present and future generations.
Participating countries in the 2021 WLM contest
Rather than focus simply on beauty, the Wiki Loves Monuments contest goes deeper.
“We consider it our responsibility to make people aware of [the world’s] beauty, and that it deserves to be shared through the eyes of the people that experience it every day,” the contest’s organizers say. “We make the commitment to create the visuals that can illustrate the stories of these places and bring them to life.”
In a recent statement, the jurors for 2021 emphasized the importance of cultural preservation worldwide, including in the context of ongoing war in places like Ukraine.
“The competition has for over a decade worked towards creating a unique visual record of places that hold cultural heritage value, and we hope that these records can be used to help keep their stories alive, or repair any damage caused, in the years ahead,” they write.
“Our final selections include pictures of monuments located in countries currently at war with other countries. In all the involved countries the Wikimedia Movement is present with Wikimedians and cultural activities in the aim of making human knowledge available to every person in the world,” the competition explains.
“Cultural places, and as an extension monuments, belong to each and every single human being on this planet. Every country, regardless of where the monuments are located, is responsible for preserving them; they are not just ‘the countries’ monuments,’ they are milestones of the whole human journey. We are all merely the current custodians of these cultural sites and must work to ensure that they are passed down to the next generations.”
The 2022 Winners
The winning photo of this year’s competition is shown below and is titled “Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading” and was captured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Donatas Dabravolskas.
Dabravolskas lives only 15 minutes away from the Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading but only came to know about the place from a social media post, which motivated him to visit and take a bunch of photographs.