Image Credit: Pete Muller

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) announces its second international photography collaboration


The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the longest standing women’s peace organization in the world, is delighted to announce the launch of its second international photography collaboration as part of its global initiative to mobilise men for feminist peace.

In these times of wars and increasing polarisation, when men often play a pivotal role in conflict and violence, we invite submissions on the theme of men and love. We leave it to you to share your vision about who, where, how and what men can and do love.

Photographs selected by our jury will be exhibited online and in high visibility indoor and outdoor locations including potentially: the United Nations Headquarters in New York and Geneva, the European Union, the African Union, and in many of the countries in which the project is implemented in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

“We are regularly inundated with images of men’s violence. We gradually become inured to them and too easily come to equate men and masculinities with aggression and violence. With this photography collaboration, we want to generate an alternative vision that inspires conversations about men’s capacity for love. We are excited to see the images selected by our impressive jury and to share them online and in exhibitions in the many countries in which WILPF works.”

“Love is a final conversational taboo in many conventional notions of masculinity... yet, in mostly unspoken ways, the desire to give and receive love is a core motive in the lives, outlooks and behaviors of men across the world.”

As we seek to better understand and hopefully mitigate conflict and violence, we invite participants to reflect on, and share their work about, men and love. We invite photographers from around the world to interpret this call widely and show the complex ways that men exhibit, struggle with and otherwise practice and relate to notions of love in their lives and relationships.

All entries must be submitted by the 1st of January 2024.

We accept contributions in the following categories: documentary, photojournalism, and open format photography and we invite photographers from all over the world to join in visualizing this important discussion.

The winners will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges convened by Pete Muller and the public announcement will be shared by the 15th of February 2024.

Find out more about the First Photography contest here.

In Brief

Theme: Men and Love in Times of War and Polarisation. 

How to Enter: For full details and to enter please visit this page

Deadline for submissions: Monday 1 January 2024

Shortlist and winners: The shortlist and winners will be announced by 15th of February 2024

Contest Award Categories: Documentary, Photojournalism and Open Format Photography 

Award Prize: one winner and two runner-ups.  

From these, the winner will receive $1,000 and the runner-ups will receive $600.

The full submission guidelines are here

Photography Collaboration Convenor

Pete Muller is an award-winning photographer, researcher and director whose work focuses on masculinities, conflict and human ecology. Muller spent 15 years living and working in Africa and the Middle East examining the social underpinnings of armed conflicts  across those continents. He has received awards from World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, TIME Magazine, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy) and served as the Cyrus Vance Visiting Professor of International Relations at Mount Holyoke College.


The jury

Gael Almeida

Jahi Chikwendiu

Azu Nwagbogu

Sarah Leen

Ismail Ferdous

Gael Almaida

Gael Almeida is Regional Director for Latin America at the National Geographic Society where she oversees the Society’s storytelling projects and facilitates collaborations between visual artists throughout Latin America. She has over 20 years experience working with governments, academic institutions and civil society organisations.

Jahi Chikwendiu

Jahi Chikwendiu is an award-winning photographer who has worked for the Washington Post since 2001 covering a wide range of stories including the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, genocide in Darfur, the Black maternal health crisis and falling life expectancy due to chronic illness in the United States, victims of Israeli cluster bombs in South Lebanon, and the spread of malaria due to climate change in Mozambique.

Azu Nwagbogu

Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organization based in Lagos, Nigeria. Nwagbogu was elected as the Interim Director/ Head Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa from June 2018 to August 2019. He also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. He is the creator of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary African Art. Azu Nwagbogu served as a juror for the Dutch Doc, POPCAP Photography Awards, World Press Photo Contest, Prisma Photography Award (2015), Greenpeace Photo Award (2016), New York Times Portfolio Review (2017-2018), W. Eugene Smith Award (2018), Photo Espana (2018), Foam Paul Huf Award (2019), Wellcome photography prize (2019) and is a regular juror for organizations such as Lensculture and Magnum. For the past 20 years, he has curated private collections for various prominent individuals and corporate organisations in Africa. Nwagbogu obtained a Masters in Public Health from The University of Cambridge. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

Sarah Leen

In 2013, Sarah Leen became the first female Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine and Partners. In 2020, she co-founded the Visual Thinking Collective, a community for independent women dedicated to supporting visual storytelling. She worked as a contributing photographer to the National Geographic magazine for 20 years before joining the staff and becoming a senior photo editor in 2004.

She has edited numerous projects and books including the 2020 FotoEvidence and World Press Photo Book Award winner HABIBI by Antonio Faccilongo, Anders Wo by Petra Barth, Like a Bird by Johanna-Maria Fritz, The Phoenician Collapse by Diego Ibarra Sanchez which won the 2022 Lucie Book Award for Independent Book, We Cry in Silence by Smita Sharma a 2023 POY Book Award Finalist and A Troubled Home by Anush Babajanyan. 

She is the photo editor for the 2023 FotoEvidence book Ukraine: A War Crime which was shortlisted for the 2023 Arles Historical Book Award, received the International Photography Awards Book Photographer of the Year award, and was a nominee for the Lucie Awards, Book Publisher of the Year and Photo Editor of the Year.

Leen is on the Board of Directors of the International League of Conservation Photographers and an inductee into the Missouri Journalism Hall of Fame.

Ismail Ferdous

Ismail Ferdous is a Bangladeshi photographer and filmmaker based in New York, United States, who documents social and humanitarian issues of the contemporary world. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Leica Oskar Barnack Award, POYi, Alexa Foundation Grant, Getty Instagram Grant, National Geographic Society Grant, NPPA, and Days Japan. He is a frequent contributor to the National Geographic Magazine.

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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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