Our "Photo of the Week" feature had an embarassment of riches this week, as the 12 winners of the Democracy Photo Challenge were unveiled. The Challenge, established by the State Department as a unique public-private partnership, celebrates the International Day of Democracy (September 15) by asking people the world over to send in images that complete the phrase "Democracy is..."
Nearly 3,000 entries from 131 countries participated in this global visual discussion of democracy. A high-level independent jury narrowed the field of entries to 36 finalist photos, representing each region of the world, which were posted online. The public -- more than 500,000 people -- voted for their favorite 12. The 12 winning photos are currently on display in the South Lobby of the United Nations Headquarters building in New York.
Our photo of the week is one of the Challenge winners, and is by Ian M. Cunningham, from the United States. In the text that accompanies his image of this June 2009 Iranian election protest in Washington, DC, Ian writes: "Democracy is... many and it is one. It is large and it is small. It is standing under harsh, beating sun and joining together to make shelter."