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Need A Reminder Of How Gorgeous Earth Is? Peep These Photo Award Winners

Want a reminder of how gorgeous our world is — you know, back before all we were thinking about was COVID-19 and lockdowns and vaccine trials?

Take a look at the winning entries of this year's Siena International Photo Awards, an annual contest organized by a group of photographers and enthusiasts from Siena, Italy, that aims to showcase images of beauty, culture and nature across the globe.

Awash in vibrant color, texture and movement, the images feel light and carefree. A child jumps in midair. Two women pose for a selfie. Birds scatter across the sky.

Teresa Scarcella, a spokesperson for SIPA, says it was "strange" to look through the photos for this year's awards in the middle of a pandemic. "It's like when you're watching a movie and people are going around without masks and kissing each other — you think, what are they doing?"

The images make her "nostalgic" for pre-pandemic life, she says.

Next year's contest, open until January 2021, will have a category devoted to life under COVID-19.

Here's a selection of photos from the countries of the global south that we cover in our Goats and Soda blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Women take a selfie on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Thailand's Talo Kapo beach.
/ Paula Bronstein
/
Paula Bronstein
Women take a selfie on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Thailand's Talo Kapo beach.
A father and son catch fish inside a cave in Vietnam during the monsoon season.
/ Natnattcha Chaturapitamorn
/
Natnattcha Chaturapitamorn
A father and son catch fish inside a cave in Vietnam during the monsoon season.
A boy is immersed in his own thoughts as thousands of seagulls scatter across the Yamuna River in Delhi, India.
/ Navin Kumar
/
Navin Kumar
A boy is immersed in his own thoughts as thousands of seagulls scatter across the Yamuna River in Delhi, India.
Two girls play in front of a house in Sylhet, Bangladesh.
/ Suvro Paul
/
Suvro Paul
Two girls play in front of a house in Sylhet, Bangladesh.
Flamingos gather across Lake Bogoria in the Kenyan Rift Valley.
/ Jose Fragozo
/
Jose Fragozo
Flamingos gather across Lake Bogoria in the Kenyan Rift Valley.
Workers gather incense sticks into bundles at a village near Hanoi, Vietnam.<strong> </strong>
/ Azim Khan Ronnie
/
Azim Khan Ronnie
Workers gather incense sticks into bundles at a village near Hanoi, Vietnam.
An aerial view of As-Salt, a hillside town in Jordan.
/ Ibrahim Salah
/
Ibrahim Salah
An aerial view of As-Salt, a hillside town in Jordan.

Malaka Gharib is the deputy editor and digital strategist on NPR's global health and development team. She covers topics such as the refugee crisis, gender equality and women's health. Her work as part of NPR's reporting teams has been recognized with two Gracie Awards: in 2019 for How To Raise A Human, a series on global parenting, and in 2015 for #15Girls, a series that profiled teen girls around the world.