The Workshop is funded by Murthy Nayak Foundation

The Polis Project’s UN/DO Photography workshops are designed to address what we believe traditional editorial and documentary photography workshops fail to speak about–the major transformations in the political economy of news media, the growing influence and control over media of corporate and political interests and how these have fundamentally distorted and transformed the practice of editorial and documentary photography. 

Traditional photography programs continue to teach students as if photography–editorial, documentary and other–is aloof and apart from the structural, economic and political transformations in the media economy that have been taking place since the early 2000s. 

At a time when Noam Chomsky’s thesis of ‘manufacturing consent’ is truer than ever, and when the divide between news and propaganda is narrower than ever, we believe it is imperative that students be taught new visual media skills and project design and development methods if they are to produce independent, critically engaged, dissenting and challenging bodies of work.

These are intense sessions that will challenge the student not only because they are unlike any other photography workshop, but also because they are collaborative. We expect students to not just listen to talks, or be told how to do work but to bring their ideas, experiences, and learnings to the discussions and fully participate in the design of not only their own project but that of other students. 

We will be selecting students we believe can bring something to the workshop and contribute to its direction and content.

The Workshop

This is a five-day workshop, led by Asim Rafiqui and Suchitra Vijayan of The Polis Project. Based on seminars, presentations, video and photo projections, discussion groups and project design session, the workshop is for those looking to build a stronger epistemological, structural and creative platform for the design and development of socially engaged and critically conscious visual media and documentary projects.

This is not a photography workshop for those interested in learning about the aesthetic or the technical aspects of photography. This is project design and development workshop where we discuss and debate questions about power, politics, capitalism, racism, structural violence and more, and collaboratively design projects that do justice to our communities and their struggles.

Submission Process

Please send a 500-word project concept, a CV and samples of your work whether it is audio, video, photographic and/or text. This is a free workshop.

Please email materials to: Varya Srivastava at [email protected]

Application Deadline

20th October 2019


Selected Students Informed By

5th November 2019


Workshop Date

15th to 17th November and 22nd to 24th November 2019

Please email materials to Varya Srivastava at [email protected]

The Polis Project is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) collective. If you like what we do, please support us here, or through Patreon.

These workshops are free and funded by donations from readers and subscribers. Please consider making a donation or sponsoring this workshop so we can continue taking these workshops to various communities and to those looking to experiment with and develop politically engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually dissenting projects.

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