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Opportunity Description

We are seeking proposals from early-career South African photographers to make new work in response to a curation of the Magnum Archive by Mark Sealy (Director, Autograph ABP). Two photographers will be selected from the open submissions to join a group with two other pre-selected South African photographers from the Of Soul and Joy project (one of which is Magnum nominee Lindokuhle Sobekwa). The selected photographers will receive grants of 45,000 South African Rand, as well as access to workshops (with other selected photographers), mentoring, and will be included in a final group exhibition and publication where their work will be shown alongside the curation of the Magnum archive by Mark Sealy.

Call for Work

Magnum (and partners) are inviting proposals from photographers/photographic artists for a commission and exhibition that questions the role of the archive in creating histories, and asks for artists to respond to a curation of the Magnum archive by Mark Sealy.

What We Are Looking For

Magnum are looking for two early career photographers (or photographic artists) to respond to Mark Sealy’s curation of the Magnum Photos archive, by making new photographic work in response to the content or thematics in the selection. Applicants may interpret this in the broadest sense and possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Colonialism / Decolonialism
  • Politics and political systems
  • Public space
  • Themes of identity, belonging, community, and home
  • Economics and industry
  • Themes of culture, music, arts, leisure

Projects considered for the grant may be continuing an ongoing body of work, or creating a new body of work related to the broader themes of the exhibit. We will consider applications from visual artists working with photographic source material.

Applicants must briefly outline how they will respond to the archive and how they will use the grant.

Successful applicants will be selected by a professional jury and will be expected to participate in a short phone interview before the final selection. Successful applicants will be notified by mid November, and will be asked to participate in a kick off workshop from 26-29 January 2020.


Participants should be based in South Africa and “early career”, by which we define as under 35 years old, and having had no more than one solo show at a gallery or institution. We encourage applications from those who are underrepresented in the industry including: Non-graduates, Women and non-binary people, People from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, Disabled people, People from low socio-economic backgrounds.

What we provide

Selected participants will attend a kick off workshop in Johannesburg in January 2020. At this workshop Mark Sealy’s research will be expanded upon and participants will develop their project proposals with mentors and the group.

Selected participants will receive:

  • A grant of 45,000 South African Rand in order to create new work.
  • Access to two tailored workshops (with participation from all selected photographers) to assist with project development.
  • Travel expenses and accommodation to/from the two workshops.
  • Mentoring from Kabelo Malatsie, Mark Sealy and Magnum photographer Mikhael Subotzky.
  • Regional and international networking opportunities.
  • Personalised professional practice support.

Selected participants will also have their work shown in a group exhibition alongside work from the Magnum archive (as curated by Mark Sealy). Exhibition printing and framing will be covered, and an associated publication may be made.

Participation and Requirements

Participants are required to adhere to all production deadlines (see timeline at this link) and travel to Johannesburg for the initial and final workshop and attend the opening reception, press conference, related programming and events (September 2020).

Selected participants will be responsible for organising their own travel. Travel cost reimbursement/coverage will be provided.

The grant term shall be between 6-8 months, to start no sooner than November 2019 and end by September 2020.

How to Apply

For full requirements, visit: https://contests.picter.com/magnum-photos-re-presenting-the-archive

Register and apply at this link: https://app.picter.com/login