Featured image: U zagrlјaju Dunava (‘In the embrace of the Danube’) 7th and 8th graders from "Stefan Nemanja" Elementary' in Niš, Serbia
Taking place amidst a global pandemic that forced the vast majority of schoolchildren throughout the Danube River Basin to learn and create from home, Danube Art Master nonetheless received a tremendous number of submissions in 2020. The Danube region's flagship international arts competition for kids and young people received some 54 artworks in three different categories in 2020: Art, Video, and Maps. In the spirit of this strange year, there's an additional prize too, for the small number of submissions that were delayed beyond the deadline by pandemic-related extenuating circumstances. A breakdown of the number of artworks received per category can be found below:
- Art: Junior (6-11), 10 artworks; Teens (12-18), 10 artworks
- Video: Junior (6-11), 6 videos; Teens (12-18), 10 videos
- Map: Junior (6-11), 7 maps; Teens (12-18), 8 maps
- Special COVID contestants: 3 artworks
- Total artworks submitted: 54
Announced today by the Chairperson of the ICPDR Public Participation Expert Group, Susanne Brandstetter – during the second day of the ICPDR’s annual Ordinary Meeting – the winners of Danube Art Master 2020 are as follows. In the “Art” category, Laubfisch (‘Fish made of leaves’) Class 3b of Primary school at the Pestalozzistraße in Ingolstadt, Germany (Juniors); U zagrlјaju Dunava (‘In the embrace of the Danube’) 7th and 8th graders of the Elementary School ''Stefan Nemanja'' in Niš, Serbia (Teens).
In the “Video” category, Serbia’s winning video. Dunavski ekosistemi (“Danube ecosystems”) was made by Jacopo Marazzi and Ilija Marazzi from Belgrade (Juniors); Simona Petrova, Eva Marinova from IX.class of Vocational school “Prof. Dr. Assen Zlatarov in Vidin, Bulgaria won the best video with “The Danube River” (Teens).
In the “Map” category, Impreuna pentru dunare (‘Together for Danube’) made by Maria-Delia Dima from Elementary school School Paul Bujor, Berești Romania (Juniors) and “Prut River - Treasure of Moldova” by Iasmina Costileanu from the “Mihai Eminescu”, Highschool in Cahul, Moldova (Teens).
A special COVID category rewarded contestants from countries in which the pandemic was so bad that they could not participate in DAM 2020 as it was in previous years. In this category, the video Danes za lepši jutri (“Today for a better tomorrow”) made by seventh graders of the Tržišče Elementary school in Slovenia, Žana Bartolj & Ajda Jamšek received most points from the international jury.
"While still about bringing the most important environmental issues into our school classrooms, this year's Danube Art Master ended up being a bit different," said ICPDR President for 2020, Mr. Dorin Andros. "The children of the Danube River Basin stepped up to the challenge of working remotely and socially distanced magnificently, and retained the spirit needed to treasure the precious shared resource of the Danube River.”
Laubfisch (‘Fish made of leaves’) Class 3b, Pestalozzistraße, Ingolstadt, Germany
The Danube Art Master winners are selected by 11 countries, which share the Danube River Basin, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. The competition is open to all children and schools across the 13 countries that make up the Danube River Basin. Around 280 children from 57 schools participated, submitting 257 artworks including team submissions.
The Danube Art Master competition is an opportunity for the children of the Danube River Basin to consider and discover the health of their local rivers, and a moment to decide how they wish to help preserve these waters for the future. All eligible young artists are encouraged to use material captured, inspired, or borrowed directly from the environment itself in the creation of their artworks, and to look at their local surroundings as a key source of inspiration in the process.
The competition was jointly organized by the ICPDR and the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE), an ICPDR observer organisation and one of the largest networks focusing on water in the world.