OpenWalls Arles 2022 Judges

Each year OpenWalls is judged by a panel of international industry leaders.

Judges from this year include editors, curators, and festival directors of international repute.  Together, they will select the winning two bodies of work and 50 winning single images that will be exhibited as part of a group show at Galerie Huit Arles.

Please note: This award is now closed for judging.
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Julia de Bierre

Gallery Director, Galerie Huit Arles

Founder of Galerie Huit Arles, Julia de Bierre is an author, gallery owner and activist for heritage protection and sustainability. She lives and works between France and Malaysia, where she was born. After attending Uplands School in Penang, Malaysia, she completed her studies at the University of Bristol, UK.

For many years, Julia curated, restored and animated one of the most prestigious medieval castles in Switzerland, using this magnificent setting for the organization of workshops and seminars on fine and decorative arts. She continues to write for leading international publications; in Malaysia, her work is published by “Areca Books”. Julia is a regular guest of photography fairs such as Paris Photo, Photo Doc Paris, AIPAD New York, Photo London and Photo Basel. In Europe, she juries for the Bourse du Talent, and the InCadaques Photography Festival and is frequently invited to read photography portfolios. She is a member of Gallery Climate Coalition and Arles Contemporain, the network of galleries and museums in Arles.

Mutsuko Ota

Editorial Director, IMA Magazine

Mutsuko Ota is Editorial Director of IMA magazine. Born in Tokyo, 1968, she started her career as an editor at Marie Claire and worked at several men’s magazines such as Esquire, GQ and others as a feature editor. Besides collaborating with several magazines as a freelance editor, she became involved in various fields including art projects, art book and catalogue editing, and film promotion.

She founded IMA magazine in January 2012 as the Editorial Director. In 2004 and helped produce a physical space called IMA Concept Store and IMA gallery in Tokyo. In addition to publishing photo books and collaborating, she is also the exhibition director of the Asama International Photo Festival with the goal of popularizing art photography in Japan.

Sarah Leen

Founder of Visual Thinking Collective and Former Director of Photography, National Geographic

Sarah Leen founded the Visual Thinking Collective, a community for independent women photo editors, teachers and curators dedicated to visual storytelling in 2020. In 2013 she became the first female Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine and Partners.

At the University of Missouri School of Journalism Leen was the first woman to receive the College Photographer of the Year award. Working as a National Geographic freelance photographer Leen published sixteen stories and had six covers. Her images and editing have won several awards including Pictures of the Year and World Press Photo. Leen works with individual photographers and agencies consulting and editing visual projects and books including the 2020 FotoEvidence and World Press Photo Book Award winner HABIBI by Antonio Faccilongo, Anders Wo by Petra Barth, Like a Bird by Johanna-Fritz Maria and soon-to-be published The Phoenician Collapse by Diego Ibarra Sanchez, We Cry in Silence by Smita Sharma and A Troubled Home by Anush Babajanyan. Leen believes in sharing her knowledge through mentoring and teaching photography and photo editing workshops at the Missouri Photo Workshops, the Maine Media Workshops, the Santa Fe Photo Workshops, the Eddie Adams Workshop and the PhotoLux Festival in Lucca, Italy.

Paris Chong

Gallery Director, Leica Gallery LA

Paris Chong is the Gallery Manager and Curator of the prestigious Leica Gallery in Los Angeles. With over two decades of experience as a Curator she has represented galleries and artists in events including Photo LA, Photo SF, Paris Photo, Paris Photo LA and The Palm Springs Photo Festival in addition to promoting Leica Gallery Los Angeles at international shows such as Art Basel and Photo Paris. Ms. Chong has also served as a respected and sought-after portfolio reviewer for The IPA Photo Awards, Fresh Look, Photoville, The Palm Springs Photo Festival and the ongoing ‘Meet the Curator’ portfolio reviews for Leica Akademie USA.

With her involvement in the art community, Ms. Chong’s duties over the many years have also seen her coordinating both intimate and large group art events at Leica Camera’s flagship store in West Hollywood. Celebrated artists range from the legendary Henri Cartier Bresson to contemporary powerhouse names such as Neal Preston, Julian Lennon, Lenny Kravitz, Maggie Steber, Melanie Pullen, Ralph Gibson, Eli Reed, and more.

Ms.Chong has also found time to give back to the community on multiple levels such as serving as a Board Member for The Foundation for The Aids Monument (“FAM”) and The West Hollywood Design District (WHDD). Ms. Chong also volunteers her time as Curator at still life photography showings held by The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) at its historical Hollywood headquarters.

Michael Famighetti

Editor, Aperture magazine

Michael Famighetti is the Editor at Aperture magazine. In 2013, he organized a relaunch and reconceptualization of the magazine, which won a 2018 National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Together with guest editor Sarah Lewis, Michael is the recipient of an ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research for “Vision & Justice,” the Summer 2016 issue of Aperture.

In addition to editing the magazine, Michael works with the digital team to shape online content, commissions and books. He is currently also visiting critic at the University of Hartford’s MFA program, and a participant in the School of Visual Arts’s Mentors program. His writing has appeared in Frieze, Bookforum, and Aperture, among other publications. He is a member of the American Society of Magazine Editors, and has been a guest reviewer and speaker at many international festivals and institutions.

Azu Nwagbogu

Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) and Director at Lagos Photo Festival

Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non- profit organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria. Nwagbogu was appointed as the Interim Director/ Head Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa from June 2018 to August 2019.

Nwagbogu also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. He is the publisher of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary art from Africa and its diasporas. Nwagbogu is a curator with a special interest in future museology.

Matt Alagiah

Editor-in-Chief, It’s Nice That 

Matt joined It’s Nice That as editor in October 2018 and became editor-in-chief in September 2020. He was previously executive editor at Monocle magazine.

OpenWalls is a unique chance to get your work seen by thousands of industry leaders, peers and members of the public around the world.