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Open call: 2021 photography and social justice fellowship

25 November 2020
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Magnum Foundation’s Photography and Social Justice Program builds capacity through  critical explorations of photography and social change.

Each year, the program supports a diverse, international group of Photography and Social Justice Fellows who are passionate about challenging injustice, pursuing social equality, and advancing human rights through photography. The program provides space for interdisciplinary experimentation, mentored project development, and cross-cultural, critical discourse for developing new approaches to socially engaged documentary practice. With intensive mentorship, artist- and expert-led workshops, peer-to-peer learning, and production funds, this program prepares fellows to make effective creative projects and become leaders who inspire social movements, pose difficult questions, and stimulate debate and awareness about pressing social issues.

Magnum Foundation covers the cost of participation, including all educational and programmatic activities. Fellows also receive a modest stipend to support the production of their projects. The program is produced in partnership with the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

Photography and Social Justice Fellows

Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellows are early- to mid-career photographers or individuals in aligned disciplines who are motivated to deepen their engagement with photography and social justice.
This program especially aims to support people of color, women, gender non-conforming individuals, LGBTQ individuals, individuals who are part of racial, ethnic, or religious minority groups, and others whose authorship is unevenly represented within the field of documentary photography.
Program Overview and Timeline

The Photography and Social Justice Program takes place during May through October 2021 and  includes a core seminar course, workshops, mentored project development, and mentored production. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 program will be held remotely and meetings will occur with consideration of participants' timezones.
Photography and Social Justice Seminar with Fred Ritchin (April - June)

Participants will attend a discussion-based seminar course that begins with three informal gatherings in April and May and meets biweekly in June. Through discussion and experimental exercises the seminar will explore ethics and creative strategies for advancing social justice.

Workshops (March - June)
Workshop topics include photography and activism, research methods, multimedia production, human rights law, preparedness and selfcare, bookmaking, writing, curatorial practice, public speaking, digital security and others.
Mentored Project Development (March - June)
Meeting regularly with mentors and colleagues, participants will develop their projects and begin producing work.
Mentored Project Production (July - October)
With support from mentors, participants will produce their projects, implement distribution strategies, and deliver final works to Magnum Foundation.

Application and Selection Process

Photography and Social Justice Fellows are selected through an open, international call for applications. Candidates will be notified about their status of their application in early February 2021. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and final decisions will be made by the end of February 2021.
The deadline for applications is December 1, 2020, 11:59 EST.

Applicant Criteria

  • Applicants can be documentary photographers, artists, and photojournalists, activists who use photography in their change-making practice, or scholars who incorporate images and image-making in their research and scholarship
  • We encourage applications from self-taught photographers who have not had access to formal training.
  • Applicants must be proficient in spoken and written English. English is the primary shared language that will be used for discussion among participants during seminars, workshops, and mentor sessions.
  • Applicants should be open minded, willing to experiment, and motivated to participate in critical discussion with colleagues.
Magnum Foundation
Magnum Foundation expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Through grantmaking, mentoring, and creative collaborations, we partner with socially engaged imagemakers experimenting with new models for storytelling.

The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism

The Photography and Social Justice Program is produced in partnership with The City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism. The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism prepares students from a broad range of economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism at a time of rapid change.