Capturing the jewels of nature, architectural achievements and people’s diversity. One Photo Contest and engaged volunteers that encourage others to share their memories.


Discover Europe has been present since 2004. It’s one of the biggest projects organised under the umbrella of the ESN Poland Association together with Polish National Agency for Erasmus+ Programme and the European Solidarity Corps delivered to students. Over the years, the Contest has changed and developed. But the idea remains the same: to share the passion for photography and beauty of the European continent.


Through Other Lenses


This year’s edition was different and unique for many reasons. First of all, all the actions were held online. With the outbreak of the pandemic, the organisation committee of the Contest - ESN volunteers - stood up upon a difficult challenge. The promotion of the Contest used to take place online, and offline at Polish universities. When the isolation embarked on, it became obvious that all activities oriented towards the Contest would move to the online world only. Through the whole year, communication went on Discover Europe’s main social media platforms: Facebook Fanpage and Instagram account. The Organisators did their best to engage and keep more students through social media campaigns on how to take photos, facts from the photography world, attractive cooperations, and more! 


A New Perspective


The Contest went through a transformation that proved to be an added value. With the support of the Co-organiser, the Polish National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme and the European Solidarity Corps, Discover Europe has opened its doors to students from EU countries and the UK. With that step forward, the Jury was composed of professionals: Costas Spathis (@spathumpa) from Greece, Sabina Lawrów from Poland (@samaprzezswiat), Thomas Kakareko (@thomas_k) and Michael Schulz (@berlinstagram) from Germany. Overall, 5540 works were submitted and it was a record in the history of the Contest. For the Jury it couldn’t have been a piece of cake to choose the best works. 



The Support That Took Us Further


The reach of the Contest was undoubtedly enhanced by a great amount of financial and promotional support. Among the official Partners of the Contest were: Interhome, Education First Poland, Agora Publishing House, Empik Foto, Euforma, Make Me Bio and Sylveco. Thanks to them, the winners were given amazing prizes, including a funded week in Italy, tablets and instax cameras.  The idea was also granted with honorary patronages from, among others, European Commission, Polish Ministry of Education and Science, culture TV channel TVP Kultura and Nikon’s blog Szeroki Kadr.


The One with the Gala


The Final Gala took place on 15th of May, fully online. It was streamed from the studio located in Warsaw. 3 categories, 9 main winners, 21 honorary mentions. Unforgettable impressions. The audience was led by the presenters who spilled the charm of the event and warmed up the atmosphere. The awards ceremony was preceded by a travel panel with the special Guest - lifestyle and travel blog whatannawears, Anna Skura. When the long-awaited moment came, the level of emotions was already reaching its peak. All the presented winners connected with the presenters in the studio and were able to share their common joy and stories behind the chosen works.




The winners of the 1st places in each category won a week-long stay in sunny Italy, financed by the Interhome company. The 2nd places were given tablets for professionals funded by the Polish National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme and the European Solidarity Corps, whereas the 3rd places received instax cameras to save best moments just with one click, thanks to EF Poland



1st place: Maria Biławicz The Eternal City

2nd place: Zuzanna Staręga Płynąc w codzienności

3rd place: Jakub Cieśla Promienie


Honorary Mentions:

Laurens Bison 2 am

Isidro Dacosta Wonder this time where she's gone

Jan Menażyk Touching the sky

Izabela Retka Berlin arch.

Aleksander Jura Ice palace

Zuzanna Winiarska Old Casino in Lviv

Beniamin Brągiel The Jesus of Lisbon




1st place Malina Frąckowiak Above

2nd place Dominika Koszowska Piękno natury

3rd place Dawid Stankiewicz Above the clouds


Honorary Mentions:

Safa Çalişkan Fade

Katarzyna Main Mechanical Shepherd

Klaudia Michalak Górska Koza

Katarzyna Gierat Shades

Emilia Krasucka Melancholy

Justyna Czyszczoń End of the world

Iiris Meurman Winter Wonderland




1st place: Grzegorz Jasina Behind bars. Never forget cruelty of slavery. Guadeloupe - far corner of Europe

2nd place: Piotr Cieślak Spojrzenie

3rd place: Karolina Włodarkiewicz Close your eyes


Honorary Mentions:

Hubert Pezowicz Zakonnica z Rzymu

Pauline Boyer Dodo

Maciej Proćków

Mohamed Amine El Bourari Golden Exposure

Maja Czarnecka Passion

Dawid Łobaczewski Skok

Barbara Rogoż Reaching the top



What We Take With Us

All things considered, the 18th edition of Discover Europe was groundbreaking. With a new format and first blazed trail, we hope that  the Contest will receive even more submissions in the upcoming year. Photography is a never-ending inspiration and lifetime actions kept in a glimpse. All the same, it needs young talents that grow and showcase their perspective. These are just the citizens of Europe. 




You can see all the submitted photos on Discover Europe’s website:


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