Celtus Nelson Nwadike has a remarkable story behind his winning picture at the peace photography competition

The winners of the fifth annual Alfred Fried Photography Award have been announced with Celtus Nelson Nwadike taking the top prize out of 19,107 photos.

The awards are part of an international photography competition which ask entrants one question: ‘What does peace look like?’

The joyous photo above appears in his photo series ‘Peace is the greatest thing!’ and was inspired by the peace he has found in his adult life after growing up in a war-torn country where photography was mostly unheard of.

Mr Nwadike said: “I was born in 1966, and in July 1967, a war started and my people were almost eliminated from this planet – two million of my people were killed.

“Our humanity was taken from us and our faith was almost destroyed. It was dark and the darkness continued a long time after the war. I grew up without seeing any pictures, because the soldiers had burnt all our photographs.

“My dad said that I looked like my grandfather, but I had never seen my grandfather or a picture of him.”

After the war, he went on to study photography in Sweden, where he currently lives.

His prize includes €10,000 and his photo will be displayed at the Austrian Parliament for the next year, with the runners up exhibited on the fence around the headquarter building of UNESCO in Paris for a few weeks.

Taking a stand in Baton Rouge

Alfred Fried Photography Award

Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/Alfred Fried Photography Award

This iconic photo from Jonathan Bachman in the USA of a woman confronting riot police during a protest against police brutality won the Special Award of the Jury for best single picture entry.

Activist Ieshia Evans offered her hands to the officers for arrest in the protest outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana on July 9, 2016. The protest came after the shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man and father of five, which was captured on mobile video and led to widespread protest across the country.


For more information on the Alfred Fried Photography Award and the stories behind these photos, visit friedaward.com.


Friends are there for each other

Alfred Fried Photography Award

Credit: Lina Momsen/LIRALE/Alfred Fried Photography Award

Other winners included Lina Momsen of photo group ‘LIRALE,’ who won The Children Peace Image of the Year for the above photo, which shows that, for them, friendship is peace.

See some of the other winners below.


‘Alive happily, alive strongly’

Alfred Fried Photography Award

Credit: Zongren Xing / Alfred Fried Photography Award – Alfred Fried Peace Medal winner

‘New sisters’

Alfred Fried Photography Award

Credit: Carla Kogelman / Alfred Fried Photography Award – Alfred Fried Peace Medal winner

‘Nomad’s land’

Alfred Fried Photography Award

Credit: Yoann Cimier / Alfred Fried Photography Award – Alfred Fried Peace Medal winner