Social Documentary Photography Grant
MurthyNAYAK Foundation & SACAC
In a world plagued with political and religious conflict, environmental tragedies and grave socio-economic disparity, the genre of social documentary photography is more relevant than ever before. Each country is facing its own set of challenges and issues that need to be chronicled. Rather than simply accepting problems, stepping over them, or averting our eyes, solutions can be discussed and strategies formulated when they are acknowledged. It is paramount for all of us as world citizens to spur into action and create work that reflects our concerns. With this objective in mind, The MurthyNAYAK Foundation (MNF), in association with Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communications (SACAC), has initiated two grants of INR 2,00,000 and INR 1,00,000 to be given to two photographers under the age of 35 years working on a socially relevant theme.
Some of the possible concerns for submissions to this grant could be environmental/ecological disasters, political and religious conflict, socio-economic disparity, agrarian distress, gender & LGBTQ issues, displacement, migration etc. The grant will be given to further ongoing projects. Ideally, the grant should be utilized to add more layers/chapters to the existing project while attempting to diversify, investigate further, and present new reasoning, evidence or arguments.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA• The award is open to photographers under the age of 35 years from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. • The awards are for ongoing projects and not completed bodies of work. • Applicants must not hold any other fellowship/grant for the proposed project when applying. • The grant money has to be utilized in creating new work. It cannot be utilized for the production of a photo book or to purchase photographic equipment.
TIMELINE• October 30, 2021 – Deadline for Submission of the project proposal. • December 4, 2021 – The Jury reviews the proposals. • December 6, 2021 – The awardee is announced and given a 12-month period to produce work. • May 2022 – Mid-term review to see progress made in the work by the awardee. • December 2022 – The awardee submits the final set of 20 – 25 photographs.
APPLICATION PROCESSThe application has to be emailed to the following address: [email protected]
The application should include Project Proposal & Biography, and a Photographic Portfolio
1. Project Proposal & Biography• The Project Proposal (pdf) should not exceed 500 words. In this, the applicant should articulate their intentions and define the scope and reach of the project. • The proposal should be well-researched and explain why the project is important, why the addition of new chapters to the project is needed, and what does the photographer intend to achieve with the completed project. • The applicant should clearly mention the stage their project has reached and why it needs financial support to conclude it. • The applicant must mention the exposure, if at all, this project has received across social media platforms and online magazines. • Please submit a biography (pdf) of 150-200 words in a separate document (include nationality, country of residence and address)
2. Photographic Portfolio• Applicants must demonstrate evidence of their photographic ability by submitting a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 20 photographs. • These photographs should consist of representative images from the project being proposed. • Each photograph should be JPGs, and 1500px on the long edge at 72 dpi. • The photographs need to be labelled with first name_ and last name_ of the photographer, followed by the sequence number. For example, the first photograph in the portfolio of Dev Khan would be labelled as Dev_Khan_01.jpg, the second one as Dev_Khan_02.jpg, and so on. • A separate document (pdf) needs to be submitted that provides caption information for each photograph in the portfolio.
INFORMATION FOR THE RECIPIENT OF THE GRANT Upon being informed that she/he has been selected to receive the grant, the grant recipient must confirm in writing that the proposed photography project is an ongoing project, and that it has not received any other grants/awards in the past. It is the responsibility of the recipient to determine her or his income tax liability as it relates to the grant award and to file appropriate tax forms. For photographers based in countries other than India, the grant body will get in touch with the recipient and determine the modalities for disbursing the grant. The grant recipient must agree to complete the project within 12 months of receiving the first instalment of the grant. The grant will be provided in instalments, based on the submission of a budget. A few screen-resolution files will be required to be displayed as an online portfolio, giving the grant & the artist, exposure. The grant recipient will also give permission to SACAC and MNF to reproduce the images from the portfolio for publicity – online and in their catalogue. Credit will be given to the artist and the copyright remains with the artist.
The MurthyNayak Foundation
The MurthyNAYAK Foundation is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, established by Sheela Murthy and Vasant Nayak, to locate and help with a range of projects in India and the United States.
2021 Grant Awardee
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication is delighted to announce that Gulmehar Dhillon (‘Haal Mureeda Da/The Plight of His Disciples’) and Taniya Sarkar (‘Nothing Left to Call Home’) are the two recipients of the Social Documentary Photography Grant 2021 awarded by the MurthyNAYAK Foundation and SACAC.
Born in New Delhi, Dhillon’s practice is motivated by her curiosities and questions about identity and community.
‘Haal Mureeda Da/The Plight of His Disciples’ reflects on the aftermath of the 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom and the pain, suffering and never-ending struggles of survivor families. Bringing together photographs with archival material, reports, testimonies, letters, certificates, FIRs, court files, videos, maps, slogans and her own text, the work links between the past, present and the future and illuminates it from a variety of perspectives.
Born in 1992, Sarkar’s practice leads her to dig deeper and uncover facts and truths. She is motivated by contemporary social issues with a focus on women's issues and perspectives.
‘Nothing Left to Call Home’ investigates how religious violence in her home state of West Bengal (India) is also patriarchal violence targeting women. The ongoing project seeks to memorialise under-reported traumas while honouring women’s resilience, before a generation of memories is lost.
2020 Grant Awardee
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication is delighted to announce Ritaban Ghosh (‘Tender is the Night’) and Taha Ahmad (‘Drawn into Two, which way Home?’) are the two recipients of the Social Documentary Photography Grant 2020 awarded by the MurthyNayak Foundation and SACAC.
Ritaban Ghosh hails from West Bengal
Taha Ahmad is a visual artist based in New Delhi
2019 Grant Awardee
Sri Aurobindo Centre For Arts And Communication is delighted to announce Santanu Dey as the recipient of the Social Documentary Photography Grant 2019 being awarded by the MurthyNAYAK Foundation and SACAC for his project titled "The Lost Legacy".
Santanu Dey is from Kolkata.
2018 Grant Awardee
Sri Aurobindo Centre For Arts And Communication is delighted to announce Subhrajit Sen as the recipient of the Social Documentary Photography Grant 2018 being awarded by the MurthyNAYAK Foundation and SACAC for his project titled 'Death Valley'.
The award will enable him to pursue his rigorous work on the condition of children, women and people living in Jadugoda town in Purbi (East) Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. Contamination from uranium mining, which has been on in the region for half a century, has led to cancer, tuberculosis, birth miscarriages and more.
Subhrajit Sen is from Chandannagar, a small town near Kolkata and is currently studying documentary photography at 'Counter Foto' in Dhaka, Bangladesh.