The final submission deadline for the 2019 IAFOR Documentary Photography Award has now passed.

Special thanks to everyone that entered this year’s award, and to our supporters, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), World Press Photo, University of the Arts London and MediaStorm.

This year’s Guest Judges are Indian transmedia artist, photographer and activist, Poulomi Basu, whose work is widely known for advocating for the rights of women, and Jenny Matthews, who is a documentary photographer and filmmaker working on issues of dispossession and human rights, with a particular emphasis on the lives of women and girls. Poulomi and Jenny join our Founding Judge, Paul Lowe of VII Photo and University of the Arts London to make this year’s judging panel.

Winners will be announced December 15, 2019.

About the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

The award follows the theme of IAFOR’s Media and Cultural Studies conferences, with 2019’s theme being “Reclaiming the Future”.

The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Simon Roberts, Simon Norfolk, Emma Bowkett, Monica Allende, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Maria Teresa Salvati and Ziyah Gafic as Guest Judges. Now in its fifth year, the award has been supported by World Press Photo, British Journal of Photography, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism. To date, award recipients have received prizes with a total combined value of more than £15,000, along with mentoring and scholarship opportunities.

In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

For more information please contact Thaddeus Pope, Creative Director, IAFOR Documentary Photography Award (

Image by Christian Werner | 2017 Second Place Winner

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Posted by Thaddeus Pope

Thaddeus Pope is the Director of Visual Communications for The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award.