Since we launched the publication in 2020, we have published stories about the impact of technology from 100 countries. But at Rest of World, the story of tech is as big as the world that’s using it. So, last fall, we decided to launch the inaugural Rest of World Photography Contest. We asked our readers to send us images of technology’s impact in their communities — as seen from their lenses. We received 548 entries from around the world, including from Afghanistan, Mexico, Nigeria, Iraq, and Pakistan. Photographers captured a wide range of issues, from facial recognition software used at gated communities in Brazil to students studying on their phones during a power outage in India.
Here are the top three winning photographs (and seven honorable mentions) from our inaugural competition.
Abhishek N. Chinnappa
Rathnapuri, Karnataka, India
A veterinarian inserts a radio telemetry device into a Russell’s viper at the Liana Forest Farm on January 20, 2021. The Liana Trust uses radio telemetry to gather data about snake behavior to try and mitigate human-snake conflict in the region.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
An aerial view of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (Phase 5).
Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
A woman sells produce at a market stall, with an option for customers to pay with a QR code, on August 4, 2021.
Nimai Chandra Ghosh
Kausani, Uttarakhand, India
A woman uses a solar-cooking device to make a meal for her family.
Mykhailo, a 24-year-old Ukrainian soldier from Lviv, was injured on the frontline of the Luhansk region by Russian artillery on April 24, 2022. Today, he spends 24 hours a day at the Halychyna Rehabilitation Center in recovery from the loss of a leg. He says he can’t wait to be useful again, and so, he practices using a drone from his hospital bed. “This is a drone war after all,” he says.
A village near Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China
Cao Junije, a 33-year-old furniture designer, created homemade protective gear for his family, including for his 4-month-old son, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Inspired by the computer game Death Stranding, Junije built a baby safety pod using a home 3D printer, an electronic air pump, filters, and a computer to monitor air quality in the pod. It took him four weeks and 750 euros to complete the project.
Chankhu, Dolakha, Nepal
Jeet Bahadur Tamang reacts to music while using headphones for the first time in his life, in December 2020.
Mai attends an online zashiki class during the Covid-19 pandemic at the Mangerô restaurant in June 2021.
New Taipei City, Taiwan
A timed exposure photo of Lin’s nighttime screen habits during a 14-day quarantine in an apartment building after his entry into the country.
Isfey al-Fauqa, Masafer Yatta, Palestine
Children watch television with electricity generated from solar panels at their home inside a cave in January 2023. For decades, rural Palestinian communities in Masafer Yatta have lobbied for connection to the electric grid, but the Israeli state does not recognize such villages as legitimate and refuses to issue any kind of master plan for their development. Solar energy, however, is finding a place in rural Palestine, where its decentralized nature enables communities to circumnavigate the authority of an occupying power, relying instead on self-generation to meet their basic electricity needs.