Wednesday 13 June 2012

The 1000 Words Award

The 1000 Words Award for European photographers is a major initiative in collaboration with The Other European Travellers, a project co-ordinated by Cobertura Photo and co-organised by Atelier de Visu, 1000 Words and Festival Voci di Foto in partnership with Magnum Photos. It is part-funded by The Education Audiovisual and Culture Exchange Agency (EACEA) under the auspices of the EU Culture Programme.

Photographers are invited to apply for an opportunity to realise a new body of work with the supervision of several high-profile photographers and industry experts.

Applications can be submitted online only. The closing date is 23 July 2012 (5pm GMT). There are 4 places available.

Fee: £25.00 (GBP)

The 1000 Words Award includes:

• £1,000 cash prize
• 18 month mentorship programme
• 3 workshops with Jeffrey Silverthorne, Antoine d’Agata and Patrick Zachmann in London, Marseille and Seville respectively, including financial assistance with accommodation and travel
• Travelling group exhibition through the UK, France, Spain and Italy
• Catalogue and DVD
• Feature in 1000 Words Photography Magazine.

The 1000 Words Award is open to photographers born or based in the EU.

An internationally renown jury will review each entry submitted. Their final 4 will join 8 other European photographers selected by Cobertura Photo and Atelier de Visu.

The 1000 Words Award selection panel is:

• Simon Baker, Curator of Photography at Tate
• Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London
• Dewi Lewis, Director at Dewi Lewis Publishing
• Tim Clark and Michael Grieve, Editors at 1000 Words Photography Magazine.

All participants will be selected according to criteria of excellence of their artistic approach, gender parity, mix of backgrounds, diversity of concepts and the multiplicity of approaches.

How to apply

1. Please email a portfolio of 10-15 images from any previous project (JPEG format, 72 dpi, each image no larger than 1MB). Links to work online will not be considered
2. An artist statement of up to 150 words or a CV (You do not need to send a proposal for the new body of work at this stage)
3. Submission fee: £25 (Through Paypal please enter your name and use the “Buy Now” button below, or send a cheque made payable to 1000 Words Photography Ltd: to 1000 Words Photography, 29 The Arthaus, 205 Richmond Road, London, E8 3FF, UK)

Deadline: 23 July 2012 (5pm GMT)
Email submissions to:


The 1000 Words Award is open to photographers of any age, born or based within the EU. Students in full-time or part-time education, including PhD students, are also eligible for the award. Applicants do not need to have completed a degree in photography or an art-based subject. Photographers working collaboratively can also apply.

Selection procedure

Application closing date: 23 July 2012
Receipt of applications acknowledged: 24 July 2012
Successful candidates announced: 6 August 2012
First local meeting: 26 September 2012
Workshop in Seville: 29 October - 3 November 2012
Second local meeting: 12 December 2012
Third local meeting: 20 February 2013
Workshop in London: March 2013
Fourth local meeting: 15 May 2013
Workshop in Marseille: July 2013
Catalogue launch: December 2013
Travelling exhibition: January 2014-


© Jeffrey Silverthorne

Through his photography Jeffrey Silverthorne explores the question of sex and death, as well as the notions of boundary and transgression. Active since the end of the 60’s, he has been accumulating series on extreme subjects: a slaughter house, a morgue, brothels or a community of transvestites and transsexuals. Silverthorne abandons any notion of objective documentation, and instead further exposes himself and explores his own psychology in a series of intense and subjectively structured images. Born in Hawaii in 1946, Silverthorne studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and has gone on to publish his work in the books Directions For Leaving, Boystown, The Perfume of Desire and most recently Travel Plans in 2011. He has had numerous international exhibitions including Rencontres d'Arles and Musée de l’ Elysée. Jeffrey Silverthorne is represented by Agence Vu’ and Gallery Vu’ .

© Antoine d’Agata

Antoine d’Agata is without doubt one of the most unique and important photographers of our age. His imagery is characterised by an intense and highly subjective experience that pushes the limits of social documentary photography. Born in Marseille, 1961, he left France in 1990 to study at The International Centre for Photography (ICP) in New York alongside Nan Goldin and Larry Clark. His work has been published in the books Insomnia, Vortex, Stigma and Agonie amongst others, and he has been exhibited internationally at galleries and festivals including Rencontres d’Arles, Noorderlicht, FotoFreo and The Photographers Gallery, London. His latest exhibition, Anticorps, a world premiere of a grand touring overview, opened on the 26 May at The Hague Museum of Photography, and runs until the 3 September. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 2004 and is represented by Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in Paris.

Their workshops are designed to allow photographers to experiment with new approaches to the creative process. You will be encouraged to build intimate rapport with your subjects, incorporating personal vision and voice into your photography.

The topic of “The Other European Travellers” specifically relates to transformations in the lives of people who have travelled or migrated across Europe. It is also broad to allow you the freedom to produce more personal and self-experienced responses as well as conceptual interpretations of the brief.

A unique element of these workshops is marked by the involvement of several guest experts comprising photographers as well as curators, collectors and critics who will provide the following:

-Talks and seminars 
-Guided tours of exhibitions
-Visits to photo archives and family albums
-Access to private collections.

Each workshop lasts 5 days, and will be conducted in English. They will form the basis of your project.


Monthly group and one-to-one meetings with the 1000 Words editors will be held in London or by Skype/Internet to report on the progress of the participants’ projects. Sessions will be frank and informal with the view to providing photographers with the following:

-Discussion and critique of creative output
-The practical and conceptual vision needed to help attain your goals and develop the photographic project
-Assistance with self-representation, portfolio presentation and approaches to potential outlets in the editorial, publishing and gallery markets
-Resources to help enhance your work and realise the potential of your ideas.


The workshop leaders (Jeffrey Silverthorne, Antoine d’Agata and Patrick Zachmann) and the participating photographers in The Other European Travellers project will show their work as a group exhibition in London, Seville and Marseille. The exhibition will then travel to other cultural venues, galleries and photography festivals across Europe. 

An innovative and engaging exhibition design will mix images, text and sound.

Catalogue and DVD

The publication will consist of the participants’ work alonside archive images and includes texts on the subject. The publication will be translated into 3 languages and have a print run of 1,500 copies. The accompanying DVD and sound files contribute to the project, and are based on material from different sources: interviews with the photographic subjects, sound files and musical scores. 

Feature on 1000 Words Photography Magazine

1000 Words will commission a highly-esteemed writer or photography critic to contribute an in-depth review of your final body of work which will be published in its distinctive and highly regarded online magazine alongside a carefully curated selection of your images.

Now on its fourteenth “issue” 1000 Words attracts approximately 140,000 unique visitors from more 120 countries every month. Its sister-site, the 1000 Words Blog, ranked at number 3 in The Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs in a survey carried out by Creative Tourist in May 2010 and was also named as the winner of Arts Media Contacts’ Photography Blog of The Year Award 2010.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Conquering composition with Roger Ballen

© Michael Grieve/1000 Words

Since 1000 Words started organising workshops in Morocco, every photographer and creative who has led them has pushed their own particular strengths in a steadfast manner. Antoine d’Agata constantly asked “what do you want”, Anders Petersen insisted to ‘shoot from the gut’ and Erik Kessels conceptualised the found image. Roger Ballen’s mantra was to emphasise the formal qualities of the picture. Sufficient attention to what makes a picture work is often overlooked and taken for granted. Photographers wonder why their images are weak and more often than not it is because they have overlooked the most basic yet complex issue of composition.

Roger Ballen is very precise and tireless in his deconstruction of the photograph to understand and achieve the perfect pictorial balance. He understands that photography is hard work in a snappy happy world. Ultimately, the success of a photograph relies on the arrangement of the content within the frame devoid of ‘negative space’.

1000 Words Workshops in Fez are challenging in different ways. The medina, with all is chaos and contradictions, provides the perfect capsule to transport your creative concerns into unknown territories. The photographers participating in the workshop were prepared to undo their preconceptions and raised the stakes in order to unlock new chambers into an imaginary world. Thanks to the following for joining us on the creative odyssey:

Jorg Sundermann (Germany)
Marlene de Lazaro (Cuba)
Mark Lanning (South Africa)
Sjoukje van Gool (The Netherlands)
Roger Mavity (UK)
Rob Houkes (The Netherlands)
Aurora Molina (Cuba)
Pier Filippo d’Acquarone (Italy)
Silvia Castro Yapur (Argentina)

1000 Words would like to thank Roger Ballen, a true gentleman, and his fabulous assistant Margeurite Rossouw. As always many thanks to photographer and good friend Omar Chennafi for his local knowledge and beautiful spirit. And Sean Stoker, 1000 Words Editorial/Programme Assistant, for his hard work, dependability and positive attitude. Finally, to Vanessa Bonnin for her hand in helping to deliver another successful workshop. A photo album of the workshop can be viewed on our Facebook page here.