Reimagining the family portrait - A residency program: Open Call

Date: Aug 01-31, 2019
Venue: Chennai


Important Dates for Application


The making of a family photo until the mid-20th century was an extraordinary once in a lifetime event. It was often created in a studio, subjects were lent clothes and accessories and the photograph was sometimes hand-painted to colour or embellished with gold/silver for a richer look. Setting the models, the frame, the lens was a long process and the result was nothing like an instantaneous click on the spot.?

Family photos are an essential testimony of the way of life of a given period of time. They inform on the social status of the subject family, the event for which photo was taken, the selection of family members displayed in the photo. The sociological background of the group is reflected in the print. The family was often depicted in a way to figure the social group that was by then considered as ideal. The usual family patterns have been married couples with children, sometimes along with the grandparents. The group that is now considered to be a family is no longer with the same cast. On the photographer's side, the information lies on his social status, on the image he reworks on to adjust the result to his own and the client's expectations.

This project invites photographers and lens-based artists to reimagine the Family Portrait by establishing the transition from the accepted definition of 'the family' to what it represents today. With support from the Franco-German Cultural Fund Project, the Alliance Fran?aise of Madras, Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai, the Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation invite submissions from artists and image practitioners who seek to reflect on the ?Modern Family representation?? in their work and documentary practices. In any case, an exploration of innovative ways of looking at socio-cultural and ethnographic histories, value-systems and current familial equations from different sections of society, including your own, is particularly encouraged.

This is an open call for proposals on the theme ?Reimagining the Family Portrait? - the proposals can be a work-in-progress or proposed ideas for a new project. A team of experts from France, Germany and India respectively will be mentoring 8-10 selected applicants from the ideation stage and guide them through the direction each project will take forward.?

The residency will be conducted within the period September - November 2019 in two phases with three mentors, some of it as live sessions in Chennai and remainder of it remotely via skype and email.?

Important Dates



Phase 1:?

Phase 2:?

Residency Grant

Each participant will be allotted a total grant of INR 40,000 towards travel and accommodation and required research. Participants are expected to be physically present in Chennai during all the live sessions with each mentor on the dates mentioned above. Participants will be paid the residency fee in two parts, before each phase.?

Note: Attendance is mandatory for both phases of the residency

Details of Residency

Phase 1: Sep 27 - Oct 5 | Phase 2: Nov 1 - 3?

Participants will be introduced to the mentors via skype sessions and will start ideating and discussing their respective projects with Martine Fougeron before their arrival in Chennai.?

Nov 4 - Nov 10

Markus Dressen, a Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig will help mentor the creation of zines with the works produced by the participants.

Nov 11 - Nov 17

13 Jara will mentor participants on how to use multimedia for your work produced.

Nov 17?

A final presentation for the Residency Project with all participants in attendance. On display will be the dummy copies of the Zines as well as the digital multimedia showcase. Martine Fougeron and Markus Dre?en will be looped in through Skype for interactions.

Selection Criteria?

How to Apply

Intellectual Property:?



There might be a possibility of Phase III of the residency, post-Jan 2020. This would be evaluated by the mentors and organiser basis the quality of the works produced and opportunities for further funding to develop a more significant showcase including but not limited to a published photo book and/or exhibition during Chennai Photo Biennale 3rd edition.


Similar Events

This is a standard alert.

I'm a cool paragraph that lives inside of an even cooler modal. Wins!

This is a standard alert.

I'm a cool paragraph that lives inside of an even cooler modal. Wins!

Join our Mailing list

Subscribe now and stay up to date on all our activities around the year