Same But Different, a nonprofit U.K. group that uses art for social change, is inviting people to choose their favorite photographs in a calendar contest to heighten awareness of rare diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The organization’s panel of judges has pared the number of contest submissions to 24, for the voting public to select among.
The calendar will feature the top dozen vote-getters, and the submission that garners the most votes will be displayed on the front cover. The overall winner’s photographer will also get a Polaroid Snap camera.
“What a privilege it has been to see all of your photographs roll in,” Same But Different states on its website about the contest themed “A Glimmer of Hope.” The photo competition is a way to visually express the hope that exists for individuals living with rare disorders.
The contest, open to all but professional photographers, allowed participants to submit an unlimited number of photos until Sept. 22. The only requirements were that images be high resolution, and made in landscape mode suitable for calendar display.
Photos were judged for their composition, skill, originality, public appeal, relevance to the theme, and suitability for inclusion. While contestants retain copyright over their work, the organization reserves the right to publish and exhibit their photos.
The public is now being asked to scroll through the gallery and vote for their 12 favorites. In a photo titled “Silly,” an ALS patient in a wheelchair surrounded by foliage smiles as a man bends to kiss her forehead. The black and white photo is by Kyndra Peterson, diagnosed in 2019.
“This past year since her diagnosis has been the hardest year of our lives. There have been so many tears … but there has also been laughter. Laughter, smiles, hugs, stories, dreams, and most of all, hope,” her entry reads.
Another photo, by Joshua Hagan, is a gleeful boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy who is wet and slightly muddy from running through a lawn sprinkler. Another by Susan Hallmark shows a young boy with Prader-Willi syndrome peering through door windows, eagerly awaiting his ride to school and a chance “to see his friends again” after the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Glimmer of Hope calendar may be pre-ordered at a discount for £9.50 (about $12.34) until Oct.12. Proceeds will go to the nonprofit organization’s Rare Navigator, a resource that offers information, and emotional and practical support to patients with rare diseases and their families.
Over the past two years, Same But Different has exhibited works in dozens of locations, and presented images in a variety of publications. The nonprofit organization aims to use art for positive social change by working with communities, organizations, and individuals to highlight inequalities and bring communities closer together.