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.
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.
Discover the photographers who have been selected the first edition of the International Documentary Photography Masterclass.
A visual artist working with different forms of photography and other lens based mediums, text and archival material. Henri’s work is socially engaged, revolving around presenting perspectives on phenomena within society and communities through documentary narratives. His works are characterised by the dialectical document that engages a subject matter but at the same time inquires about the constructions and incongruities within the medium it uses to represent that subject. He defines documentary as an intention by the author to constitute and disseminate understanding, constructing his documentary narratives in polyphonic, inclusive and contradictive ways.
Graduating with a BA in photography at the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Art in 2021. His work has been a part of exhibitions at festivals and museums such as Krakow Photomonth and Amos Rex. In addition to his artistic practice, Henri is the main lecturer for photography at the HEO Institute for Further Education.
Amsterdam based photographer who visualizes scenes with a cinematographic approach. Her work revolves around (sub)cultures and a sense of community. As a visual anthropologist she examines culture, identity, traditions and the associated symbolism.
She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague in 2016. She creates autonomous projects as well as works for clients. Her work has been exhibited during the Dutch Design Week, Helsinki Photo Festival and in TETEM, among others.
Camilla Marrese (1998) is an italian photographer and designer. She holds a bachelor in visual communication from ISIA Urbino (IT), and is now attending MA Information Design at Design Academy Eindhoven (NL). Together with Gabriele Chiapparini, she is developing a collaborative artistic practice rooted in the idea of turning private, individual thinking into raw matter for a collective elaboration. They are interested in employing photography as a tool to explore and study territories, identities, and to look for answers to intimate questions.
Emilio Nasser is a photographer and multi-media artist originally from Argentina and currently based in Switzerland.
Embarking on different paths, his works are based on the interconnections with local histories, re-visited myths, oral memories, belonging, imagination and community. Seeking to expand the multiple possibilities of visual narratives and storytelling through lens-based practices, research and collaborative approaches.
After graduating in photography at Spilimbergo School of Applied Arts, he became a self-taught cook on the move when the Argentinian social-economic crisis in 2001 broke out. While living between Latinoamerica and Europe he has been engaging in multiple learning experiences; such as ISSP-Lisa Barnard, Criticae-Max Pinkers, Folio Phmuseum, Laura El-Tantawy-Sybren Kuiper, Experimental's Photobook-Julián Barón, among others. Member of Now_you_see_me_moria collective and co-editor of Brote, a collaborative platform focusing on food with local-global perspectives.
Awarded and exhibited on different platforms as; the Archive of Documentary Arts Collection Award at Duke University (US), Phmuseum Days (IT), Verzasca Foto Festival (CH), Emergentes International Photography Award-Encontros da Imagen (PT), Valongo Festival Da Imagen (BR), Yet-Magazine (CH), PHEspaña (ES), SCAN PhotoBooks (ES), Ojo de Pez (ES). Twice awarded grants by the National Arts Fund (AR).
She holds a BA and MA in Photography from ”George Enescu” National University of Arts, Iași, where she is now a doctoral candidate, with a research on photographic documentary practices regarding the Romanian economic migration. She has also pursued two Erasmus programs at Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao and Universidad de Murcia, Spain. Her work has been displayed in group exhibitions in Iași and Bucharest, Romania.
Lee-Ann Olwage is a visual storyteller from South Africa. Her work is all about identity, collaboration, and celebration. She is interested in using the medium of photography as a mode of co-creation and celebration. With her long-term projects, she aims to create a space where people she collaborates with can play an active part in the creation of images they feel tells their stories in a way that is affirming and celebratory.
In 2020 she was awarded a World Press Photo Award, Palm Photo Prize shortlist, CAP Prize shortlist, Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Award shortlist, IPA Honorable Mention, and selected for The New York Times Portfolio Review. She is a member of Native Agency, Women Photograph, and African Women in Photography.
Suzan Pektas is an Istanbul based visual story teller. She developed a passion for visual forms of expression during her high school years. Pektas has been further exploring these different forms at the intersection between visual arts and documentation since 2015. Her current projects focus on the identity of the individual in relationship to his or her environment, dealing mostly with women, urban transformation and immigration. Her works have been featured in printed and online media such as Courrier International, LFI Magazine, Leica Camera, LensCulture, 6MOIS, RedMilk Magazine, etc. and exhibited at international festivals.
Alex Robertson is a photographer living and practising in Hackney Wick, East London. Taking a documentary photography approach to his work, Alex has developed an immersive style with collaboration at the centre of his practice. By positioning himself within the environment of his work, his photography takes on an authentic and highly contextual quality.
Drawing on the many forms that documentary photography can take, Alex chooses to focus on social context and the wider political landscape within which his work sits. He also uses constructed elements within his work, exploring the staged nature of images and our relationship with photography in the era of social media, image manipulation and the internet. Whilst his images from his warehouse project are a product of the at-risk artist’s community in Hackney Wick, they also directly contribute to this rapidly changing landscape; Alex’s documentary practice allows him to explore this symbiosis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Max Pinckers ( ̊Brussels, 1988) grew up in Indonesia, India, Australia, and Singapore. In 2007 he returned to his native country Belgium to study photography at the School of Arts /KASK in Ghent, where he attained a BA, MA, and is currently doing a PhD in the arts. His work explores the critical, technological, and ideological structures that surround the production and consumption of documentary images. For Pinckers, documentary involves more than the representation of external reality: it’s a speculative process that approaches reality and truth as plural, malleable notions open to articulation in different ways. His installations and books are exhibited internationally, having received the Edward Steichen Award Luxembourg and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, amongst others. Pinckers is co-founder of the independent publishing house Lyre Press and The School of Speculative Documentary. He is represented by Gallery Sofie Van de Velde in Antwerp, Tristan Lund in London, and Claxton Projects in New York.
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.
Mathieu Asselin (FR/VEN, 1973) lives in Arles, France. He began his career working on film productions in Caracas, Venezuela, but shaped his photography practice in the United States. His work mainly consists out of long-term investigative documentary projects, such as his latest book ‘Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation, which received international acclaim, winning the Kassel FotoBook Festival Dummy Award in 2016, the Aperture Foundation First Book Award in 2017, and has been shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize in 2018. Les Rencontre d'Arles in France, Photographer’s Gallery in London, Fotomuseum Antwerp in Belgium, and the European Parliament in Strasbourg are amongst recent venues where his work has been exhibited.
Laia Abril is a multidisciplinary artist working with photography,
text, video and sound. After a degree in journalism, she moved to New York where she decided
to focus on telling intimate stories that raise uneasy and hidden realities related to
sexuality, eating disorders and gender equality.
Abril’s work has been shown wildly and published internationally and is held in private collections and museums, such as Centre Pompidou and FRAC in France, Musée de l’Elysée and Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, MoCP in Chicago, and MNAC and FotoColectania in Barcelona.
She has published several books - On Abortion (2018), Lobismuller (2016), The Epilogue (2014) Tediousphilia (2014), Thinspiration Fanzine (2012) - and over the years, her work has been acknowledged with grants and award nominations at Magnum Foundation, ICP-Infinity awards Foam Paul Huf, CatchLight, Plat(f)orm Fotomuseum Winterthur, as well as, she has been a finalist of the prestigious Deutsche Börse in 2019.
Artist and Writer
Jan Hoek (1984) is artist and writer. In his work, he is always attracted to the beauty of outsiders worldwide and always keen to collaborate intensively with people that normally are overlooked and create together a new image. He photographed movie stars like Nairobi-based motor taxi riders, an Amsterdam-based ex-heroin addicted who always dreamed of being a supermodel, created psychedelic zines about the sex tourist capital of the world Pattaya, and made a series about the Maasai who do not identify with the jumping stereotype image. In the universe of Hoek, the ‘normal’ people are the strangers and the outsiders are the funky rulers of this planet. Hoek‘s work is shown at places such as Foam (Amsterdam), Unseen Festival (Amsterdam), Photoville (New York), Fomu (Antwerp), and Lagos Photo (Lagos).
Co-founder Museum of British Colonialism
Chao Tayiana Maina is a Kenyan digital heritage specialist and digital humanities scholar working at the intersection of culture and technology. Her work primarily focuses on the application of technology within African heritage. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage, a co-founder of the Museum of British Colonialism, and a co-founder of the Open Restitution Africa project. All of which are online initiatives seeking to encourage a more critical, holistic, and knowledge-based approach to the design and implementation of digital solutions within African cultural heritage. She holds an MSc International Heritage Visualisation (distinction) and a BSc in Mathematics and Computer Science. Her research work explored the possibilities of embedding intangible histories in 3D digital environments. She is a recipient of the Google Anita Borg Scholarship for women in technology.
Collector and Artist
Since 2009, the French collector and artist Thomas Sauvin has salvaged discarded negatives from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing, negatives that were destined for destruction. His Beijing Silvermine archive, one of the largest archival projects in China, now encompasses over 850000 anonymous photographs spanning the period from 1985 to 2005, thus allowing the reconstruction of a large part of the history of popular analog photography in the country. This unceasingly evolving archive provides a visual platform for cross-cultural interactions while impacting our collective memory of the recent past. Thomas Sauvin won the prize for the Exhibition of the year at Lianzhou Photo Festival in 2013. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Photography of Chicago, the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Art, and the Guangdong Museum of Art. Over the last seven years, Thomas has published 10 photo books with the Archive of Modern Conflict (UK), Jiazazhi (CH), Skinnerboox (IT), The M Editions (FR), VOID (GREECE) as well as self-published artist books. His publications have entered the collections of TATE, the V&A, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and the Pompidou Museum.
This program grants you first-hand experience from an international artist like Max Pinckers, enhancing your theoretical and practical approach to documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.