Discover Barents Photography Competition 2023


The Discover Barents Photography Competition is a competition for anyone interested in photography to participate in! The competition is focused on the Barents region. For the first time, the competition was initiated by the Finnish region of Kainuu in 2017, during their chairmanship of the Barents Regional Council.

The overall goal of the competition is to develop and strengthen cross-border co-operation in the Barents region. Another purpose is to provide support for the joint promotion of the Barents region and improve its visibility.

The theme of the first Barents Photography Competition in 2017 was nature, and the contest was a big success. The second competition was held in 2019 with the theme being youth in the Barents region. The third competition was held in 2020 and its theme was life under COVID in the Barents region.

Discover Barents Photography Competition 2023

The previous competitions have been held by regions of the Barents area. This time around the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has assumed the responsibility for continuing the tradition and organising this competition as part of a project called “Journey of Plastic in the Barents Region”. The project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a funding programme supporting Finland’s presidency of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Inspired by the project’s focus, the theme of this year’s competition will be “Circular economy in the Barents region”. Emphasis could be made on activities related to the circular economy (people and objects in focus), but also nature photography is acceptable if there is a link to the competition’s theme. It is up to the creativity of the photographer to decide the subject matter of the photograph, but it needs to relate somehow to the circular economy.

The competition is open to everyone from any country, but the photo must be taken in the Nordic regions (Finland, Sweden, Norway) of the Barents region. The rules of the contest and eligibility criteria are presented in the Rules & Prizes section of this website. The competition period opens on March 23rd, 2023 and closes July 23rd, 2023.

After the period has ended, an international jury representing Finland, Sweden and Norway in the Barents area and the International Barents Secretariat (IBS) will select the winners. The winners will be announced in a meeting of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council on October 23rd-24th, 2023 in Joensuu, North Karelia, Finland.

The results of the competition will be published on the website All winners will be notified in person, provided appropriate contact information has been submitted. All the winners will be contacted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment for information about the prize reception.

For additional information, please contact

Ossi Tornberg, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland
+358 29 5047 390