The OpenWalls 2019 shortlist has been announced

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Last year marked the first call for photographers to apply for OpenWalls, an international award series that creates opportunities for emerging and established photographers to exhibit their work in prestigious locations around the globe.

Naturally, the first OpenWalls stop is Arles, where, for a month each year, the leading names in photography descend on the city for Les Rencontres d’Arles – the world’s foremost photography festival. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the festival. To celebrate, 50 shortlisted and 3 finalist OpenWalls photographers will exhibit their work as part of a month-long group show at Galerie Huit Arles throughout July.

© Alma Haser

Responding to the theme Home & Away, each of the images conjure a powerful and varied sense of place, incorporating themes of belonging, escapism and identity. Comprising photography of many forms –from portraiture and landscape to fine art and conceptual photography – the exhibition includes the works of Brazilian photographer Diego Fabra, and Alma Haser, whose selected photograph Razan seeks to convey the psychological damage of a seven year old girl, who has been pulled from rubble during an attack in Syria.  

Alongside the shortlisted images are those by the three OpenWalls finalists, from whom one overall winner will be chosen during the VIP exhibition party in the first week of July. Gregory Michenaud, Louise Hagger and Urszula Tarasiewicz have each been chosen as finalists for their interpretations of the theme.

© Gregory Michenaud

Gregory Michenaud’s focus is on Jewish rituals in the Hasidic community in Leżajsk, south east Poland, which is an important Jewish pilgrimage spot. In particular, Michenaud is interested in the impact that marriage rites have on an individual’s sense of identity. Louise Hagger looks to food as a universal symbol of home and tradition, and its power to bring home with you wherever you go. Finally, Urszula Tarasiewicz’s image is taken from her series Garden Street, which documents empty flats in Lodz, Poland, following the eviction of 150 families. The winner will be announced on 04 July.

The OpenWalls exhibition will run from 01 – 30 July at Galerie Huit Arles.

You can view the entire shortlist here.

This is your last chance to apply to OpenWalls Arles 2020! Submit your work responding to the theme ‘growth’, and you could be part of a group show at Galerie Huit Arles alongside Les Rencontres d’Arles 2020. Deadline: 25 July 2019 23:59 (UK time)

© Frederic Aranda
© Tabea Simple
© Diego Fabro
© Nina Röder
© Urszula Tarasiewicz
© Louise Hagger