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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 the , 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 mid-air. 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 blog.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Women take a selfie on the Moslem holiday of Eid al-Fitr on Thailand's Talo Kapo beach.
/ 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
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
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
Two girls play in front of a house in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

Flamingos gather across Lake Bogoria in the Kenyan Rift Valley.
/ 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
Workers gather incense sticks into bundles at a village near Hanoi, Vietnam.<strong> </strong>

An aerial view of As-Salt, a hillside town in Jordan.
/ Ibrahim Salah
An aerial view of As-Salt, a hillside town in Jordan.