If you are a visual storyteller, photographer or artist working on a relevant social issue in the Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia), and you have a great idea for a visual project that needs funding, you may be eligible for the VID Grant. Countries of the Balkans are hugely diverse, and yet they are often represented in conventional ways disregarding the rich societal and cultural specificities of each country.

The VID Grant supports emerging visual storytellers, photographers and artists from the Balkans to create or complete a compelling, non-stereotypical and unconventional visual story/project on social issues relevant to the Balkan region. The VID Grant looks to support work at the intersection of photography and social justice – related to issues such as: social taboos, human rights, the environment, the rise of extremism, ethnic minorities as well as other under-represented themes across the region.

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The VID Grant includes:

Cash Prize of 2.000 Euro

A cash prize to boost support for the winner to further develop, produce and complete a visual project/body of work.

Mentorship Prizes (mentors to be announced by May 2021)

The VID Foundation for Photography will select world-renowned photographers to be the mentor over the course of 6 months, based on the winners of the VID Grant. This 6-months bespoke mentorship will take place through multiple interactive online sessions and will enable regular feedback and critique from world-renowned photographers on your work. The mentor will guide you in all aspects of the creative process: from concept development, practical advice on photographing, to editing and sequencing, to the process of discovering and making a long-term project that you’re passionate about.

The Mentorship Prize is made to suit the needs of the winners, whether that be publishing or editing a project with a view to making it into a book or developing your personal or editorial projects. This mentorship will help you to identify next steps in the production process of a long-term or personal project. The mentors will be announced once the selection for the VID Grant has been made by mid 2021. The mentorship will serve to help emerging artists to build a solid regional and international network.

Curated Online Presence

An online showcase of the finalists on the VID Foundation for Photography website and other social media platforms of partner organisations. The winning projects, will be featured and promoted on the VID Foundation’s website in order to connect these stories form the Balkans to a regional and international network.

Exhibition (to be confirmed)

The winners are exhibited in 2021, in the Netherlands as well as in the Balkans. The purpose is to show the winning work to a broader international public in order to promote new, untold perspectives and representations of the social, cultural and physical landscape in the Balkans.

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The VID Grant is open to all emerging visual storytellers, artists and photographers from and/or based in the Balkans, regardless to age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic, religious, racial or any other affiliations. Please see below the Terms & Conditions for a full list of the VID Grant eligibility criteria.

Entries are welcome from anyone from the Balkans who works with an image based practice. The VID Grant is inclusive and selected work will be chosen based on the artistic merit of the submission rather than the status of the photographer.

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Downloads

To apply please fill out the Application Form above and send to application@vidfoundation.com

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Deadline for applications is Friday, 19th February 2021 at 17:00h (Amsterdam time) The jury meeting will be held in March 2021 and the winner and mentorships will be announced by May 2021

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Terms & Conditions

Applicants must comply with the following criteria: 

  • the work must the applicant’s own intellectual property;
  • photographers working with cross-media and immersive practices are encouraged to apply as long as photography is at the basis of the work;
  • you can apply with work as a collective, as long as you make that clear in the Application Form;
  • the applicant is an emerging photographer or emerging artist based in one of these countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia;
  • citizens of these countries temporarily resident elsewhere in the world are eligible to apply, but their story should be related and relevant to the Balkan region;
  • applicants must be 18 years of age or older;
  • practitioners working in a range of photography fields such as portraiture, landscape, documentary, contemporary art and architecture are welcome to apply – provided the work is relevant and fits the mission of the VID Foundation for Photography;
  • the work proposed is created in the Balkans and is relevant for the context;
  • the work proposed is related to or pertaining to a relevant social issue in the context;
  • the work proposed must be new, or if already started, then not yet completed, and not older than two years;
  • only one project entry per applicant is allowed;
  • applications must be submitted within the given deadline. No exceptions will be made for late submissions;
  • due to the large number of applications, unfortunately it is not possible to provide personalised feedback or explanations for applicants related to decisions;
  • all submitted work should follow a code of ethics, as outlined by Photographers Without Borders;
  • all proposed work must be relevant to the mission of the VID Foundation for Photography;
  • all winners of the VID Grant and their winning work will be published on the VID Foundation for Photography website;
  • by submitting your application you agree to these Terms & Conditions.

Any questions regarding the Terms & Conditions or Selection Process which have not been answered here can be sent to info@vidfoundation.com

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Copyright & Use of Images

  • the VID Foundation for Photography may use the images of the VID Grant winners only upon written permission by the photographers/artists listing the copyright and the appropriate credits for the work;
  • upon agreement, the visuals will be used to promote the VID Grant and the work of the VID Foundation for Photography internationally and for fundraising purposes;
  • the permission given to VID Foundation for Photography to use visuals will not be transferred to any third parties without the prior written approval by the artist/photographer.

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Selection Process

The selection will be made by: 

  • an international Jury composed of experts from the industry with understanding of the Balkans;
  • non-voting jury position held by Bertan Selim, founder of VID Foundation for Photography;
  • the Jury will select the winners based on artistic merit, motivation of the artist, novelty of approach and relevance of the theme.

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Jury Members

Please see the Jury information here.

Alessia Glaviano, Brand Visual Director, Vogue Italia


Photo by Teju Cole

Alessia Glaviano is the Brand Visual Director of Vogue Italia and Director of the Photo Vogue Festival.

Besides curating a series of interviews with the Masters of photography for Vogue Italia’s website, which have acquired enormous popularity among the community of people interested in photography and which are also broadcast on the Italian Sky Arte channel, Glaviano is also responsible for Photo Vogue, an innovative platform on which users can share their own photographs knowing they can rely on the curatorial supervision of professional photo editors.

Under Glaviano’s direction, Photo Vogue has reached over 180.000 users/photographers hailing from all over the world and launched a collaboration with the prestigious international agency Art & Commerce, which represents some of the most esteemed names in fashion photography, including Steven Meisel, Sølve Sundsbø, Paolo Roversi and Patrick Demarchelier. At Condé Nast, Alessia is responsible for the artistic direction of events and exhibitions for Vogue Italia and L’Uomo Vogue.

In 2016 Glaviano directed the first edition of The Photo Vogue Festival.

The event marked the first conscious fashion photography festival dedicated to the shared ground between Ethics and Aesthetics, bound to an influential fashion publication, engaging the whole city of Milano with talks, exhibitions and photography-related initiatives. The 4 editions 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 met critical and public success.

Besides the editorial activity, Alessia holds lectures and conferences on a regular basis. Some of the institutes and universities she was invited as guest lecturer include: IED, Bocconi University and the Milan Polytechnic.

Glaviano was invited to participate as jury member in numerous internationally acclaimed photography contests including the World Press Photo and the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyères; and has participated in several portfolio review sessions, including the “New York Times Portfolio Reviews”.

Anne Ruygt, FOMU Photography Museum, Antwerp


Photo by Fred Ernst for Nederlands Fotomuseum

Anne Ruygt is an art historian and works as curator at FOMU Photography Museum in Antwerp, Belgium. Previously she worked as a freelance curator and researcher for museums including Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Tate, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Nederlands Fotomuseum and photography platforms including Paradox and Unseen Amsterdam. She is also an advisor to the Mondriaan Fund and Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and co-author of the book ‘Tussen kunst en document’ (2016), an anthology of photography criticism in the Netherlands.

Justyna Mielnikiewicz, MAPS Images, Tbilisi Photography Festival

Justyna is a documentary photographer from Poland, based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Works have been published internationally and  were awarded with  mayor international competitions: World Press Photo, Aftermath Project Grant and Eugene Smith Fund among others. Most important part of her work is devoted to personal, long term projects published as a books. Member of International group of photographers MAPS and guest curator at Tbilisi Photography Festival.

Marko Drobnjakovic, Freelance Documentary Photographer


Photo by Beth Mickalonis

Marko Drobnjakovic (b. 1979) is a freelance documentary photographer based out of Belgrade, Serbia. He covered breaking news, sports and enterprise events as a photographer and videographer in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. His long-term photography largely focuses on post-conflict societies and includes work on stories related to the Iraq conflict, the turmoil and subsequent escalation of violence in Ukraine, the rise and fall of ISIS in northern Iraq, the refugee crisis in Europe and the aftermath and consequences of the Yugoslav wars. Marko worked on feature assignments for publications and clients that include The Associated Press, NBC, MSF, International Rescue Committee, Human Rights Watch, Der Spiegel, El Pais and The New York Times. Awards and grants include the Magnum Foundation Grant, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Breaking News Photography, Yunghi Kim Grant, Aftermath Project Grant finalist, Ochberg Fellowship, Logan Nonfiction Fellowship, Alfred Toepfer Fellowship Grant.

Mohamed Somji, Director, Gulf Photo Plus


Photo by Tamara Abdul Hadi

Mohamed Somji is a photographer, curator, and director at Gulf Photo Plus, a Dubai based center for photography that provides educational and artistic platforms for emerging and established photographers in the region. His personal work focuses on lived experiences of the UAE’s migrant population and issues facing underrepresented communities.  Born in Tanzania, he was raised in Dubai where he continues to live and work.

Noelle Flores Théard, Program Officer, Magnum Foundation


Photo by Alyssa Panganiban

Noelle Flores Théard is a New York based educator, photographer, and arts administrator with a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University, and an MFA in Photography from Parsons. Trained as a journalist, Noelle worked as a contract photographer for the Miami Herald for seven years, then transitioned into producing community-based participatory photography projects. In addition to her role as Program Officer at Magnum Foundation, she also teaches photography at Parsons. She is a cofounder of FotoKonbit, a non-profit that teaches photography in Haiti.

Olivier Laurent, International Photo Editor, The Washington Post

Olivier Laurent is an International Photo Editor at The Washington Post, working with the organization's  network of 27 reporters based in 19 foreign locations to offer a comprehensive international report, with a special focus on Africa, Asia and the Middle-East. He also edits the Climate & Environment section, assigning photographers to cover the climate emergency.

Sumeja Tulic, Writer and Photographer

Sumeja Tulic is a Bosnian-Libyan writer and photographer. She writes on arts, culture, and politics. She has been awarded the Magnum Foundation Fellowship for Photography and Human Rights, and her photographic work has been exhibited internationally.

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Header image: Church of Sv. Nikola, also known as the Sunken Church on Lake Mavrovo which submerged when the Radika Dam was constructed in 1953, Mavrovo 2019 © Bertan Selim

© 2020 VID Foundation for Photography.  All rights reserved.