Photography Contest

Rotterdam Photo 2023 Freedom Redefined

Rotterdam Photo 2023 Freedom Redefined

Deadline |


Theme |

Freedom Redefined

Territory |


Eligibility |

Open to all

Entry Fees |


Prizes |

Rotterdam Photo is happy to announce the Single Image Open Call launch for the 2023 edition. We invite professional and amateur photographers to reflect on the theme Freedom Redefined – and submit one photo (series of 5 images).

The selected images will be printed on PVC panels and exhibited on the outside part of a designated container during the Rotterdam Photo 2023 (9 – 12 February 2023). All production costs will be covered by the Rotterdam Photo.

The theme was inspired by the COVID-19 crisis and the drastic events of recent times. The world has been in a constant condition of fear and isolation, and the war in Ukraine has only heightened these fears.

What started as distant events suddenly hit close to home. Consequently, this raised numerous existential questions about our freedom. What does freedom mean to us? Are we willing to give it up to a certain extent? How far are we willing to go to preserve and protect our freedom? And how much of it do we give up when a greater interest is at stake? How do people in other parts of the world view their freedom? For many, the freedom to study or work is not always a given.

Although covid-restrictions were being lifted in many countries, life has still not returned to its routine. People all over the globe are still fighting for their freedom — whether that is the individual freedom to express who you are, freedom of speech, or even democracy. Luckily, we have also seen that the universal languages of love, community, solidarity, and creativity have thrived during these difficult times.

The pandemic has been a hard reset for many of us, forcing us to rethink our fears and dreams. This has opened up a new dialogue about freedom. Do we take our freedom for granted? How do we establish new ways of living in a post-pandemic era? Where do we find freedom when it is being threatened? What kind of art do we need in times of urgency?

It is about time we tell new, inspiring stories. The message Rotterdam Photo wants to convey is one of resilience and authenticity. Freedom Redefined shows the strength and resourcefulness of humans in difficult times. Freedom doesn’t always have to be grand and compelling: it can also be found in the little things.

The pandemic gave us insights into who and what has had an impact on our lives. What makes us happy, and who do we miss? In which ways we can love? We found solutions. Alternatives. The pandemic has shown us that we find freedom in small things. This is exactly what makes us human. Therefore, we challenge photographers to send us their best and most meaningful work, focusing on the theme – Freedom Redefined.

Photographers can submit their work from November 2nd to December 6th, 2022 at 11:59 pm CEST. Rotterdam Photo Festival is open to submissions including different mediums, such as photography, installations, performance, digital art, and documentary works.