CRITICAE 2022 / Online Documentary Photography Masterclass - PhMuseum

Criticae 2022

Online Documentary Photography Masterclass

From June
to February 2023


Up to
11 seats
+1 scholarship


  • Regular Fee


  • Deadline

    26 May


Exploring Personal Narratives

Photography is a means for communicating stories & ideas — a space for critical meditation on the world, but also a realm for self-reflection. What is the relationship between the intimate and the non-personal in photography? How do we tell stories that are "ours" to tell? How do we define our relationship with the medium in an era where everyone is empowered to tell their own story with a camera?

Guided by photographer Laura El-Tantawy, participants will be introduced to photography as a vehicle for individual storytelling. The program will delve into different modes of "personal" stories, by questioning documentary and its different media (stills, sound, moving images & text). You will explore the critical and poetic, collaborative and idiosyncratic, philosophical and intuitive, emotional and analytical.

The program will be conducted online over the course of 8 months with the goal to lead you to complete a personal project and acquire valuable skills to keep developing your career. 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.

2022/2023 Participants

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

How it works

  • Group Classes and Seminars

    With 4 online group classes and 3 seminars, Laura El-Tantawy will share her experience and working methods related to contemporary photography, guiding you in developing your project and introducing you to the theoretical frameworks for both critical and personal documentary strategies.

  • 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.

  • 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, Laura El-Tantawy will share her 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, Laura 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 Laura El-Tantawy’s complete works here.

Studio visits

In CRITICAE you will be granted unique access to the studio's 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 photographer like Laura El-Tantawy, enhancing your theoretical and practical approach to documentary photography.

  • 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 2023.

  • 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 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

5 May - 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.

12 May - If you apply by this date you can be eligible for the Early Bird Fee of €1,600. All applications submitted for the scholarship will be automatically eligible for the Early Bird Fee.

26 May - If you apply by this date you can join the program by paying the Regular Fee of €1,850. The seats are limited, so we recommend you to not wait until the last day.

Please note, in case you will be offered a place, PhMuseum will be happy to provide you with a supporting letter when you try to secure any external funding opportunities. For example, in previous editions of our masterclasses, the fee of candidates has been fully funded thanks to the generous support of IWMF Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists or other national programs.

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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