Photo competition – Justice For Tibetan Nomads

Updated 30 May

We were delighted with the quality and variety of all the submissions in our photo competition. These images will be so helpful in promoting our work and communicating the story of Tibet, the land and its people. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

The winning image is displayed above. It’s by Peter Campbell and here is the caption:

‘Alone’. High above Lhasa, at Drepung Monastery, with the orderly (and out of place) city below, this shot of the lone monk cries out to me about all that is wrong with the Chinese occupation of Tibet. 2011.

This photo was chosen by a judging panel of ATC board and staff members, as well as professional photographer Michael Fountoulakis. ‘Alone’ was selected for its artistic quality, meaning and the way it captured the story of the land and people of Tibet.

One judge commented: “This image follows the classic rule of thirds in composition and it is a dramatic and beautiful image. The saffron cloaks of the monk balance perfectly with the golden roof of the monastery and the backdrop of the blue mountains. The monk’s posture and tilt in his head are somehow echoed in the lines of the mountains, the image capturing an instant in the monk’s thoughts, yet his Buddhist faith is grounded in the majesty of the mountains above.”

The top ten images will be printed, exhibited and sold at our upcoming event Grasslands: Songs and Stories From Tibet. The remaining nine in our top ten were all strong images, each one beautiful, and deserving of its place. These are:

‘Cousins on the Grasslands’ by Kunchok Gyaltsen. Photographer’s children meeting their Tibetan cousins for the first time at the photographer’s birthplace. Amdo, Eastern Tibet, 2013.

‘Rosy Cheeks’ by Kunchok Gyaltsen. Photographer’s nieces captured with their signature Tibetan rosy cheeks. Due to the high altitude the children tend to have red rosy cheeks. Amdo, Eastern Tibet, 2013.

‘Nomad Yak East of Nangchen (Qinghai: Amdo)’ by Nigel Hungerford. A nomad camp can be seen in the distance. A yak hair tent plus typical blue Chinese tents. Note the new road across the mountain in the background which the Chinese have built ostensibly to assist with trading and commerce but most probably to help control nomad movement and activities. 2014.

‘Prayers for Peace’ by Kunchok Gyaltsen. An annual prayer ritual when the men of the combined villages of the area, come together to request the local land deity protectors to protect their land, families and livelihood. Amdo, Eastern Tibet, 2013.

‘Pilgrims Resting on the Barkhor’ by Bill Crozier, 2012.

‘Gyantse Dzong and Old Town’ by Bill Crozier. 2006.

‘The Chura Maker’ by Lobsang Choegyal Khokze. Adron pours milk from a dri (female yak) to make cheese, in her summer house, Kham, Tibet, 2007.

‘Nomad Girl’ by Kunchok Gyaltsen. Photographer’s niece captured in a reflective moment. Amdo, Eastern Tibet, 2013.

‘Mt. Everest from the Pang La’ by Bill Crozier. 2006.

Posted 17 April

Tibetan nomads have adapted to the unique conditions of the Tibetan Plateau and made a sustainable living for centuries. Sadly, the Tibetan pastoral way of life is disappearing. The Chinese government has been forcibly removing nomads from their grasslands, robbing them of their land and livelihoods and harming Tibet’s fragile environment.


Next year, China is establishing a system of national parks across the Tibetan plateau, which will further accelerate the forced displacement of nomads from their land.


To coincide with the launch of our campaign Justice For Tibetan Nomads, we are running a photo competition, which will help raise funds to highlight the nomads’ plight and to illustrate the deep connection Tibetan pastoralists have with their environment.


Photos must have been taken in Tibet and can depict people, places or animals. We are looking for images that tell the story of Tibet, the land and its people.

How will it work?

All submitted photos will be shared in a gallery on our Facebook page, shortly after the submission deadline of 12 May, with supporters asked to vote by liking their favourites.

The top 10 will be selected and the photographers contacted and asked to send a high resolution version of their images. These images will be printed and auctioned at an event in Sydney to launch ATC’s new report, which documents the situation for Tibetan nomads today.

A judging panel will choose the winner from the 10 photographs with the most Facebook votes.

The winner will be announced by email.

What’s the prize?

The winner will get a Tibet gift pack including the Dalai Lama’s autobiography My Land and My People, a Free Tibet t-shirt, our new shopping bag, a prayer flag, incense and a Certificate of Appreciation from ATC.

1. Submit up to five images as jpg files, each a maximum of 2MB, by sending them to:

2. Please use the subject line: photography submission

3. Ensure that each file is labelled as: YourFullName_ImageTitle

4. Please also include a short caption containing the following information:

  • Description of the individuals in the photograph and the scene
  • Location
  • The date of the photograph
  • Any other contextual information

    1. Submissions must be received by midnight AEST, 12 May, 2019.

    2. Photos must have been taken in Tibet.

    3. People may submit a maximum of five images each and they must own the copyright of submitted images.

    4. The photographer will retain the copyright, however by submitting the images, they grant Australia Tibet Council permission to share, reproduce and use their photographs for purposes aligned with promoting the human rights and freedoms of Tibetans.

    5. Submitted photos will be used to help promote the work of Australia Tibet Council and photo credits will be included where the format allows.

    6. Photographers with the top 10 images will be asked to submit high resolution files of their work. These photos will be printed and exhibited at a report launch in Sydney, where they will be auctioned and the proceeds will go toward ATC’s Justice For Tibetan Nomads campaign. Captions and photo credits will be included in the exhibition. The photographers will receive an invitation to this event.

    8. The event will be held on 15 June at Rigpa Sydney, 158 Australia Street, Newtown.

    9. A winner will be selected from the top 10 photos by a judging panel made up of ATC staff and board members, as well as professional photographer Michael Fountoulakis.

    10. The winner will get a Tibet gift pack including a the Dalai Lama’s autobiography My Land and My People, a Free Tibet t-shirt, our new shopping bag, a prayer flag, incense and a Certificate of Appreciation from ATC.

    Time left before submission deadline