The Award

The ‘Sami Karkabi Photography Award’, will be offered for the first time at the 18th International Speleology Congress in 2021, in France. This award aims to keep the legacy of Sami Karkabi with respect to his life-long passion, speleo exploration. The procedure submission of photographs will follow the same process of the 18th ICS Spelemedia photo competition. 


This competition is open to any person except for the organizers of the congress and the members of the jury. Entrants must be registered for the UIA 2021 Congress.

All registrations must be made via the congress website no later than April 30, 2021. The entry form must be filled in online. Participation in the competition implies acceptance of the rules in their entirety.


The award will be on one photograph category: “Speleological Exploration”.
Each entrant is allowed a maximum of 5 entries. The techniques of printing are left to the free choice of the participants.


A Best in Show awarded by the jury a prize of five hundred Euro (500 €)
The jury may also award different mentions or distinctions. Their number is not determined in advance and will depend on the jury. (They will not have prizes).


The Jury will be made up of three members named by the SCL (Lebanon), the Organizers of the 18th ICS and the International Union of Speleology (UIS). It is made up of a panel of cavers and experts in the field of image photograph from different countries.

The images will be judged on their artistic and technical qualities, their impact and their speleological appeal.

The awards ceremony will take place during the Spélémédia evening on Thursday, July 29, 2021. It is strongly wished that the entrants be present at this evening. During the awards ceremony, the winning images will be shown on screen in digital version for the public to see. 


Prints must be brought personally to the exhibition site, from Sunday, July 25 2021 at 10 a.m. until Monday, July 26 2021, 2021 at 10 a.m. at the latest. Beyond this limit, entries will no longer be accepted for the competition. A team will be on site to help hang the prints in the spaces previously reserved for each competitor. These spaces must be strictly respected.

Mailings by post will not be accepted. All the prints will be picked up by participants on Saturday, August 1st 2021 before the gala evening.


Prints must meet the following criteria
Minimum size of the photo : 20×30 cm
Maximum size (including the frame if there is one) : 50×75 cm
The photos must be mounted on a rigid support, with or without frame.
Color, black and white or monochrome photos are accepted in all categories.
Each print must have a strong tie system on the back that makes it possible to hang it on metal grids. The quality and strength of this tie is the responsibility of the competitors.
Photos are anonymous and must not include a signature or the name of the author.
Each print must be given a title that will be part of the work and will be taken into account by the judges.
Labels with the title, category and number of the photo will be printed by the organization based on the information provided in the entry form. If the entry form is incomplete, the photo will not be accepted.

The entrants will write on the back of each print the following information (similar to that entered on the entry form :identification number of the photographer, category, orientation for display (top/bottom), as well as the entry number of the photo

In addition, when entering the contest, entrants must provide a digital image of each entry in a resolution of 600 pixels on the smallest side, with minimal compression. This will be used to select the submitted photos, to project the winning images during the Spélémédia evening and to promote future congresses for a period of four years (see paragraph “RIGHTS AND CONDITIONS”. This must be sent to at the same time as completing the entry form

Prints that do not comply with the above rules will not be exhibited.


The organizer reserves the right to refuse photos that do not have the quality required for an international contest. To do so, he will rely on a Selection Committee including two other experts not participating in the competition. Photographers will be informed by 15 June at the latest of the photos that have not been selected by the Selection Committee.


The organizer declines all responsibility in case of damage or loss of the prints. As the organizer is not covered by a specific insurance policy, participants wishing to insure their works must do so on their own initiative.


All entrants retain their copyright and all moral and intellectual rights to their work.
The UIS, the FFS and the SCL reserve the following rights:
show the winning photos on the screen during the awards ceremony,
publish the winning photos in the press to announce the winners, 
publish the award-winning photos in the press with the aim of promoting future congresses, for a maximum of 4 years,
use these photos in low definition (600x 600 pixels) on websites to announce the results of the contest, for a maximum of 4 years.

No other use will be made of the photos without the agreement of the author, in particular the transfer of rights to sponsors or other bodies.

The entrants must commit to respect the image rights of the persons appearing in the photos. In particular, they must have the consent of any person appearing in the photo.

By entering the contest, photographers certify that the images exhibited do not infringe the rights of third parties and guarantee the organizer against any claims (the right to one’s image, copyright, trademark rights, intellectual property, etc.).


By entering the contest, candidates accept without reservation the present rules and the principles of the contest. 

FURTHER INFORMATION: If you have any questions, please contact: