QIAMS – Ainthinai Photography Contest

Quaide Milleth International Academy of Media Studies (QIAMS) is organising a Photography competition on the subject of Ainthinai (the five geographical landscapes as described in Tamil Sangam literature) titled “Tamizharin Ainthinai”. The prize winning entries, would be featured at an exclusive international exhibition on Tamil culture titled ‘Aham and Puram: Tamil Cultural Histories’ at the Linden Museum, Stuttgart in Germany.

The exhibition showcasing aspects and highlights of the cultural histories of Tamils is scheduled from October 2021 to May 2022.

One of the exhibits would be on the subject of Ainthinai, which comprises of Kurinji (hills and hilly terrain), Mullai (Forests and forestry locations), Marutham (paddy fields and associated regions), Neithal (Sea and life around the sea) and Palai (desert and desert like areas).

Traditionally, Tamil literature and culture celebrate the five distinct landscapes since the Sangam period. Lifestyles, culinary practices, customs, music, art, literature and couture have evolved and flourished in and around these landscapes with their quintessential style and flavour, reflecting the life, aspirations and triumphs of the people.

The photography competition calls for vignettes from the five different landscapes. The images should bring out the uniqueness of the particular thinai (landscape) throbbing with life and defining its identity, social movements, daily life, patterns of thought and artistic creativity..


A total 15 prizes would be given away - three each under every Thinai. Prize money for the photographs coming first in every Thinai is Rs 3,000, Rs 2000 for those adjudged second and Rs 1000 for those placed third. Besides the prize money, winners will also receive certificates from Linden Museum and QIAMS.

The winning photographs will be selected by a jury comprising of Director KV Anand, Balasubramanian (President, Photographic Society of Madras), RR Srinivasan (Tamil Cultural & Environmental activist), Krishnapriya C P (Visual Artist based in Chennai) and Dominik Drasdow (Museum Photographer, Linden-Museum Stuttgart). Photographic Society of Madras is the adviser to the competition.

Last date for submission of entries for the photographic competition is 15th February.

Guidelines for Ainthinai Photography contest