German Youth Photo Award



A national competition for photography and imaging

The German Youth Photo Award (Deutscher Jugendfotopreis) is organised by the German Centre for Youth and Children's Films (Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum - KJF) and is financed by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend). Existing since 1961 it is one of the most important photography contests for young non-professional talents in Germany.

Thousands of young photographers participate in the competition every two years. A variety of formats (digital, print, photo books,...) are submitted, showing a wide range of subjects, techniques and skill levels.

Note: Participants must be resident in Germany.

A panel of renowned photo experts and former participants (see "Jury") chooses the best entries in the different categories:

  • Open Competition - divided into four age groups: up to 10 years, 11-15 years, 16-20 years, 21-25 years
  • Annual Theme (2024: #OK BOOMER,!?)
  • Experiments - for digital and crossmedial works

The winners have their pictures exhibited and receive prizes totaling an amount of more than 10,000 Euros during the award ceremony.

Several exhibitions of award winning photos are available for lending (see "Ausstellungen").



If you like to participate in the competition

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Explanation the annual theme: Who or what is a boomer?

The term "boomer" (often also "baby boomer") originally referred to people born in the aftermath of the end of World War II, between 1946 and 1964. During the war, the birth rate had plummeted in many parts of the world - millions of people were murdered by the Nazis, families were torn apart, and countless soldiers were sent to war, many of whom did not return. After the end of the war, these numbers recovered and there was a BOOM of births in much of the world - including the US, Europe and Germany. For a long time, the term was neutral, if not rather positive. The Boomer generation was seen as emblematic of many political innovations and social change. They campaigned for peace, women's rights, social co-determination and democracy, for so-called "denazification," a better education system, and much more.

In view of increasing global crises, however, criticism of the baby boomer generation is also growing at present. Problems such as climate change, structural racism or discrimination against women and minorities, but also the end of the narrative of overall social prosperity under capitalism, as well as unresolved questions about migration, are now also blamed on the "baby boomer generation". At their core, these accusations are based on the narrative that many of today's crises became apparent a long time ago, but that solutions were not sought with sufficient commitment. Instead, the "baby boomer generation" was primarily concerned with maintaining its own standard of living. Many young people feel very insecure as a result, are angry and see themselves cheated of the prospect of a secure future.

Against this backdrop, the comment "OK BOOMER" spread across social media from 2019 onwards - mostly used as a rejoinder to critical remarks formulated by older people in response to the demands of young people. In the course of these debates, other neologisms emerged, such as "boomer bashing" as an expression for sweeping accusations against people attributed to the "baby boomer generation." The phrase "OK BOOMER" can thus be seen as a symbolization of a current generational conflict.

Incidentally, as a kind of rhetorical reflex to "OK BOOMER", the response "Ach Greta" developed on the web - in allusion to the supposed naivety of climate activist Greta Thunberg. However, the expression has not been able to spread in a similar way to "OK BOOMER".




Please don't hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions or would like to pass a comment on the German Youth Photo Award.

Deutsches Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum (KJF)
Katharina Klapdor Ben Salem | Director of Deutscher Jugendfotopreis

Küppelstein 34
42857 Remscheid

phone: +49 (0)2191-794234