BY | February 13, 2021

A collaboration between Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and the VII Academy.

The program is designed for both self-taught photographers and recent graduates from academic courses interested in plurality of visions and methods. It intends to develop a new body of work that requires an extended period of engagement. The program offers nine selected individuals the opportunity to develop a project with the VII Academy and Pathshala Institute tutors' guidance.

A nine month mentorship program by the VII Academy and Pathshala South Asia Media Institute for emerging photographers from the region of South Asia.

Research plays a critical role in photographic practice and is especially important while doing personal, intimate, and investigative works. The program will begin from the preliminary framing of an idea, through research findings, collecting practice and the use of archives, participants will learn how to get immersed in a story intimately, which is often not found in mainstream practice.

Understanding how to analyze images from field research, effectively utilizing them as a key source of story-direction, yields powerful insights that bring visual research to its full potential.

New methods of documentary photography, examining how research has been used to invoke diverse visions and approaches, and how photographing intimate spaces can inform personal narratives will also be explored.

Learning Objectives

The program will focus on the role of research as a creative method and variants of the photographic approach: photographing personal space, investigating censored fields and using archive, text, and found materials, establish meaningful relationships with them to build a more comprehensive narrative. After concluding this program, participants will have improved their skills and comprehension in several areas:

  • Using research as a tool of practice in several photography methods.
  • Collecting images and using archives to inform a deeper understanding of archival contents, intimate interactions with people, investigating complex and censored stories.
  • Leveraging and editing the body of work as a publishing element in exhibition, book, zine, and website.

Micro grants will be given to each participants based on individual projects.

The program will take place online (Zoom) starting from April.

Phase I: April – May 2021

- Introduction & Presentation, lectures by mentors (A Week)
- Research work, on location survey (1 Month)
- Group meeting: Proposal & presentation
- Individual meetings with participants

Phase II: June - October 2021

- Fieldwork
- Group meetings: "mid-term report" (August, 3 days)
- Individual meetings with dedicated mentors

Phase III: Nov - January 2021-22

- Editing workshop (5 days)
- Revisit – reshoot (7 days)
- Format evaluation: exhibition/book/multimedia – designing the final form of the developed body of work.
- Final submission


Pathshala: Sarker Protick
VIIA: Linda Bournane Engelberth,  Stefano de Luigi

The course will have a maximum of 9 participants.

Portfolio Submission Deadline:

March 15, 2021

Please send:
A complete CV / Resume
At least one existing body of work containing stories/ series; (25-30 photographs/ video works / other materials)
Image Specification: 1800 pixel longest side JPEG Format
Share google drive or dropbox link to