CRITICAE / Online Documentary Photography Masterclass - PhMuseum


Online Documentary Photography Masterclass

From May
to November


Up to
9 seats
+1 scholarship


  • Fee


  • Application


Sold Out

PhMuseum Documentary Photography Masterclass Public Presentation

Tuesday 22 March 3 pm (CET) PhMuseum will host the online presentation of the works produced by the participants of CRITICAE, PhMuseum's first online documentary photography masterclass. Under the guidance of Max Pinckers, in the 8-month masterclass, we saw 10 photographers expand their research and develop their own documentary work into a final form. As a conclusive act for this process, Max Pinckers with PhMuseum curators will disclose "the winner(s)" whose work will be exhibited at PhMuseum Lab during 2022. Discover the projects of Alex Robertson, Camilla Marrese, Emilio Nasser, Henri Airo, Lee-Ann Olwage, Oana Nechifor, Robin Alysha Clemens, Suzan Pektas and Xuan-Phong Le.

Activate Your Practice

Documentary photography is both a critical reflection on photography itself and a way of dealing with reality in an attempt to understand it and communicate about it. How can a documentary express social concern while at the same time recognize its own shortcomings and blind spots? How can we define a shared sense of realism in a hyper-individual and confusing era of post-truth and fake news, in which there is no longer a consensus about what is real, half-truth, fiction, or entertainment?

Guided by photographer, artist and doctoral researcher Max Pinckers, participants will expand their documentary projects by developing their own critical documentary strategies. This 6-month program aims to introduce participants to documentary photography as a mode for critical questioning, social engagement, ethical sensibility and self-reflexivity. This course departs from documentary’s inherent ‘twofoldness’ as both subjective and objective, critical and poetic, collaborative and idiosyncratic, self-reflexive and emotional, philosophical and intuitive, engaged and analytical.

The program will be conducted online over the course of 6 months. To participate, simply fill in the form with your personal details, share a link to your portfolio and apply for free. If your application is successful, we will notify you and guide you to enroll in the program.

At the end of the program, one or more participants will be selected for an exhibition at the PhMuseum Lab - an opportunity for international exposure and a chance to present your work in a public venue.

2021/2022 Participants

Discover the photographers who have been selected the first edition of the International Documentary Photography Masterclass.

How it works

  • Group

    During 4 online 4-hour group classes, Max Pinckers will share his experience and working methods related to contemporary photography, guiding you in developing your project and introducing you to the theoretical frameworks of critical documentary practice.

  • One-to-one

    With these 4 online 60-min individual sessions you will have the time to engage in specific discussions aimed at working on your ideas and improving your methods. Sessions are tailor-made according to your specific needs and that of your project.

  • Studio

    To grant you industry insight and offer complementary information, we have invited expert practitioners to host 5 interactive studio visits. They will disclose the methodologies behind their work and offer a better understanding of their role in the photography industry. More info below.

  • Final meeting + work exhibited

    At the end of the program, one or more photographers will exhibit at PhMuseum Lab, our headquarters in Bologna, Italy. All participants will further benefit from dissemination opportunities through PhMuseum channels.

Head Professor

Combining group sessions with individual ones, Max Pinckers will share his expertise and methods, guiding you in the development of your project. You will be introduced to theoretical and practical strategies of documentary making in the form of tailor-made feedback with the aim of completing your work along with potential presentation formats. Moreover, at the end of the masterclass, Max and the PhMuseum team will offer an exhibition at the PhMuseum Lab (Bologna, Italy) to one or more participants. An opportunity for international exposure and a chance to present your work in a public venue. Check Max Pinckers’ complete works here.

Studio visits

In CRITICAE you will be granted unique access to the studio of recognized practitioners in the form of virtual interactive studio tours. A way to enrich your experience and learn relevant insights from other artists. Each studio visit includes a presentation by an invited artist followed by an informal Q&A session.


Why participate?

  • Acquire
    practical skills

    This program grants you first-hand experience from an international artist like Max Pinckers, enhancing your theoretical and practical approach to documentary.

  • Exhibit
    your project

    At the end of the masterclass, all the participants will have completed their projects, ready to present in a final form. Plus, one or more participants will exhibit their projects at the PhMuseum Lab in 2022.

  • Expand
    your network

    Engage with a selected group of peers and professionals from around the world, who can become a resource for you in the future. Take advantage of PhMuseum channels to promote your work.

  • Flexible

    During these uncertain times, take the opportunity to engage in a program that will always be available to you. Plus, you have the chance to learn from home while working or studying.

  • Competitive

    Enjoy a high-end program at our launching price, one of the most competitive on the market. If you don’t have the resources, you can also apply for 1 fully-funded scholarship.

How to enroll

Just click on apply now and send us your portfolio. All the applications will be reviewed by PhMuseum’s Team. What we will consider is the potential of your ongoing project, the strength of your ideas and the coherence of your portfolio. If your application is successful, you will then be able to enroll in the program.

Participation fee

31 March - If you apply by this date you can be eligible for the full scholarship. Please take care of sending a motivational paragraph that addresses why you would benefit from attending the program.

14 April - If you apply by this date you can be eligible for the Early Bird Fee of €1,500. All applications submitted for the scholarship will be automatically eligible for the Early Bird Fee.

30 April 2021 - If you apply by this date you can join the program paying the Regular Fee of €1,650. The seats are limited, so we recommend you to not wait until the last day.

Technical details

All the online classes are held on Zoom. We will grant you a specific link each time and you will need to connect at least 15 minutes before. To attend them you will need a Mac OS X 10.11 or higher or Windows 7 or higher.* Plus, a stable internet connection, a quiet environment and access to Google Drive.

Want to know more?

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