The river, the city and I

Photo and drawing competition

The cities of Chemnitz (Germany), Portoviejo (Ecuador), Envigado (Colombia) and the  Greater Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica have jointly organized a photo and drawing contest for children and teenagers between 7 and 17 years.

In this competition entitled “The river, the city and I”, young people are invited to submit their own pictures and drawings that represent their connection to their city’s river and surroundings. Prizes for the best submissions will be rewarded by an international jury consisting of experts on nature and photography.

With the photo competition "The river, the city, and I" for children and young people, the INTERLACE project wants to take a closer look at rivers and nature in cities. How and where does the river in the city have benefits? How and where is it a threat to humans? Or how do humans threaten the river? Which effects can be observed of human activity and rivers in cities? Creativity is needed! Kids and teenagers are asked to think of a story to go with it: What is the art piece called? What story does it tell? What story does the river tell?

Each city of the participating cities will give out their own prizes to the winners of each category. Per category, there will be three prizes, for the three highest scoring art pieces. There will also be one overall winner, selected by the public, whose picture or drawing will be printed as a postcard across the continents.

This is how you can take part in the competition:

  1. Take a photo or create a drawing that tells a story about the river, the city and yourself. Use your creativity to capture the message in your photo or drawing.
  2. Write a short text (maximum 150 words) to go with your photo or drawing. Here you can explain your photo from your point of view, and answer the following questions, for example: What adventures did the river experience? What role does the city play? Where am I in this context? What does the river’s future look like? What changes do you see?
  3. Simply upload your photo or drawing and description together with your parents (or other guardians) on our online form. That's it! The winners will be chosen by a jury. 

Who can participate?

Our competition is aimed directly at young people, so you must be between 7 and 17 years old to participate. There will be three age categories:

  • 7-10 years,
  • 11-13 year, and
  • 14-17 years. 

Either individuals or whole school classes can take part in the competition. 

As participants are minors, we require a parental consent form for your participation. Please print this out and have it signed by a parent. The declaration must then be submitted as a photo or PDF file in the online form.

The competition is aimed at young people from the INTERLACE cities (Chemnitz, Portoviejo, Envigado, the Greater Area Metropolitana of Costa Rica).

You are the focus of the competition as an individual. However, group works are also allowed. 

What else do you have to consider?

There are no further criteria for the format of the photo or the drawing.

Each participant can submit one photo or drawing in the upload form.

The photos submitted for the competition must be originals and must not infringe any intellectual property rights of third parties, such as copyrights, related rights, trademark rights, data protection rights and image rights. Do not include images from private individuals without their consent.

By uploading your photo or drawing, you grant permission for your name, photo and short description to be published on the websites and social media channels of the INTERLACE project, the Ecologic Institute, Oppla, and the city administrations involved. You thereby transfer the rights of use for the photo to us. Your photo will of course be published with your copyright (i.e., your name).

Furthermore, you agree that we may store your data in order to administer the competition.

Your photo might be displayed online on the INTERLACE website and Twitter account.

Criteria for awarding the winners

Entries will be judged by a panel of judges based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the photo: Aesthetics, exposure, ratio of colours, resolution. Or quality of the drawing: aesthetics, exposure, ratio of colours, materials used.
  • Creativity & originality: Be creative and innovative in the choice of subject and the type of photo or drawing (e.g., choice of framing, colours, perspective). 
  • Motive: It is important that the chosen motive shows the connection to the topic of the competition: The river, the city and I. The photo or drawing should convey a message!
  • Description text: The description text should clearly show the connection of the photo with the topic. Your creativity counts here too.
  • The jury will also take into account the age of the participants, as younger participants have different requirements than older ones, both in terms of photography or drawing and description text. 
  • Selection and jury
  • The jury consists of a professional photographer as well as members of the INTERLACE advisory board. The jury will select the best 72 photos or drawings. All 72 photos or drawings will be exhibited online. The public will then choose the audience award from the 72 photos from across all four cities.


  • Each participant will get a certificate of participation. The first three places will get a certificate for their respective place.     

  • There will be three hierarchical prizes (Places 1-3) for each age category, i.e., 18 prizes in total per city. 

  • On top of that, one audience award to be chosen from all 72 selected submissions across the cities. The public can vote online. The submission winning the audience award will be printed as a postcard.

Submission Form 

Files must be less than 10 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png.
Here you can explain your photo from your point of view, and answer the following questions, for example: What adventures did the river experience? What role does the city play? Where am I in this context? What does the river’s future look like? What changes do you see? (Max 150 words)