IAFOR Documentary Photography Award

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Simon Roberts, Simon Norfolk and Emma Bowkett as Guest Judges.

Now in its third year, the award has already been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, British Journal of Photography (Official Media Partner), Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism.

The medium of photography was invented and developed at a time when early exponents were already well aware of the unique emotional power of images to shape and influence opinion. Over the years, the supposed impartial camera that “never lies” has been used to document our existences, familiarise ourselves with the foreign, strange and unfamiliar, and help shape and control our fashions, beliefs and thoughts.

Good documentary photographers and photojournalists abide by a commitment to truth, balance and fairness. Of course, these same tenets or heuristics apply to the wider world of journalism, as well as to academia, but where these are constrained by the medium of language, form, space and place, one photograph in its power and immediacy can impact peoples and governments in a way the written word cannot.

This responsibility of this power is enormous, and strong images and their strong and frequently uncomfortable narrative have allowed documentary photographers and photojournalists with a strong commitment to social justice to force and raise awareness of certain issues, and to galvanise campaigners and reformers, ensuring that ideas that need to be communicated are put on the agenda.

From the early muckrakers and photo essayists of the nineteenth century, such as Jacob Riis in New York, who shocked the middle classes by revealing the living conditions of the poor in their own city slums, to such iconic single images as Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, which personified the Great Depression of the 1930s in a portrait of both resilience and precarity, to war photographs depicting the terrifying drama of the moment, such as Nick Ut’s image of the naked girl screaming in pain after a napalm attack in the Vietnam War. More recently, we are reminded of the unbearable stillness of the sleeping child on a Greek beach, who in a split second we realise will never awaken.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Winners of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award are announced each summer at The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia) in Brighton, UK. The award follows the theme of the conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”.

In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

Contest Themes: Photojournalism

Eligibility: Open to Worldwide

Entry Fee:

Prizes:

Grand Prize

£1,000 GBP cash award
Acceptance into the Metro Imaging Mentorship Programme together with £1,000 GBP credit to spend on Metro Imaging services such as scanning, printing and mounting
World Press Photo adds the Grand Prize winner to its final list of nominees for the prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass
Tuition fee waiver for a MediaStorm Multimedia One-Day Workshop and free access to MediaStorm’s Online Training Videos
Think Tank Photo Signature 13 shoulder bag
Photography to be exhibited in Japan, Spain, UAE, USA and UK
Invitation to an IAFOR conference

-Second Place-

Tuition fee waiver for a MediaStorm Multimedia One-Day Workshop and free access to MediaStorm’s Online Training Videos
Think Tank Photo Trifecta 10 DSLR Backpack
Photography to be exhibited in Japan, Spain, UAE, USA and UK
Invitation to an IAFOR conference

-Third Place-

Tuition fee waiver for a MediaStorm Multimedia One-Day Workshop and free access to MediaStorm’s Online Training Videos
Think Tank Photo Suburban Disguise 20 shoulder bag
Photography to be exhibited in Japan, Spain, UAE, USA and UK
Invitation to an IAFOR conference

-Commended Entries-

Free access to MediaStorm’s Online Training Videos
Think Tank Photo My 2nd Brain 15 briefcase
Photography to be exhibited in Japan, Spain, UAE, USA and UK
Invitation to an IAFOR conference

Copyright: Entrants retain all ownership rights to their images submitted.

Usage Right: IAFOR reserves the right to use any part of any images submitted for promotional purposes. Entry constitutes granting IAFOR permission to use winners’ names and likenesses for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation.

Contest Ends On 01/06/2017 (1st June 2017)

Contest Website: http://iaforphotoaward.org/

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