Photography Contest

Helsinki Photo Festival: Call for Proposals

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Open to all

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Helsinki Photo Festival is delighted to announce the Open Call for submissions from photographers and photographic artists from all around the globe! The theme of the Open Call 2023 is COURAGE.

We live in turbulent times: climate change, pandemic, war, and constant violation of human rights. All this calls for courage.
Courage can come in many forms, whether it be the ability to face pain or grief with strength or the quality shown by those who take risks and face danger. Nelson Mandela once said: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear.” To be afraid and yet be able to act is true courage. “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” - wrote stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca. But is courage an exclusively human trait?
We invite all participants to interpret the theme both broadly and creatively. You can submit up to 20 works. A written statement explaining how the submitted project fits the theme should accompany each entry. All submitted works will be reviewed by our jury consisting of leading experts in the field of photography and visual arts. Selected projects will have the opportunity to exhibit at the Helsinki Photo Festival 2023 and receive one of the festival's awards.
We aim to select 50 artists' works to exhibit in solo- and group exhibitions during the festival period, July 7-October 1st, 2023.

What winners receive
Selected artists/photographers of the Courage theme will be exhibited at Helsinki Photo Festival 2023 (July 7th to October 1st). The exhibitions will take place in art centers, warehouses, pop-ups, galleries, parks and waterfront areas in Greater Helsinki.
Moreover, the festival’s developed Nordic Village fosters emerging Nordic photographers. Since 2018, the talent platform Nordic Village has showcased to a broad audience over 20 artists from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Selected artists have been chosen for solo- and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. All selected photographers have the great opportunity of being promoted to a broad, dedicated audience, critics and curators at the newest photo festival in Northern Europe.

Selected artists/photographers will benefit from:
exhibition exposure at the Festival's main exhibition in central Helsinki and at locations all around the capital including popup events
nordic photographers to be part of a Nordic Village exhibition format
opportunities offered for exhibition and publication through festival partners
inclusion in the Festivals marketing & PR campaign
inclusion in Festival's printed and digital publications
opportunity to be selected for limited edition program and sales at auctions
long-term Festival representation and promotion
an opportunity to participate in an Instagram Residency
publication and inclusion in the Festival programme
dedicated feature on the Festival website and online gallery
international press exposure

Finalists will be selected to have their work produced by the Festival for exhibition indoors and/or outdoors.
The Nordic Village at Helsinki Photo Festival is a concept with the focus to support emerging Nordic photographers and their work(s) to a broad audience. Until now, the Nordic Village has nominated and showcased +50 artists from all five Nordic countries and arranged artist-talks, nordic and international exhibitions and pedagogy events with support of Nordic institutions