© Saumya Khandelwal .

Malala Fund x 1854 

Against All Odds Commission

In the second of three open calls, 1854 in collaboration with Malala Fund is commissioning a woman photographer to create a body of work celebrating the determination and agency of remarkable girls around the world.


This commission has now closed.

Deadline: 22nd July 2021, 23:59 (UK Time)

© Insiya Syed.

Imagine a world where every girl can learn and lead. This is Malala Fund’s mission. The Against All Odds call-to-entry is designed to unite women photographers and girls in all their fierceness and determination.

The Commission:

For the first time, Malala Fund, in collaboration with 1854, is giving three women* photographers a £2,000 creative grant each to develop and create a new body of work that together will be used to promote inspiring stories from girls all around the world.

Each month from May to August, Studio 1854 will commission one photographer to produce a major new body of work. The first theme is: Against All Odds. For the initial application stage, all you need to do is submit a sample of your images. If you’re shortlisted, we’re looking for project proposals that symbolise the challenges, the empowerment, the power, the action.

If you know a girl** in your region whose story aligns with the Against All Odds theme, then together, this could be your chance to amplify her voice.

*This includes all women (e.g. cis, trans and intersex) as well as non-binary artists
** Girls will be between the ages of 14- 24

The Process

Step 1: Show us your work

Share a sample of your style and photographic approach from any previous work.
Please note: These images are intended for us to get to know you as a photographer and do not need to relate to the theme.

Step 2: Proposal Submission

If shortlisted, we’ll reach out to ask for a 100-word proposal in response to the theme including a brief overview of the girl you are considering focusing on.

Step 3: Proposal development and selection

After further proposal development with Studio 1854 and Malala Fund your proposal will be submitted. If you are selected, you will have been chosen by Malala herself to carry out this commission.

Applications are open to photographers at any stage of their career

© Saumya Khandelwal.

‘[The commission] is a chance for us all to learn from girls about their lives and the issues they care about in their own words’

Malala Yousafzai

Free applications for photographers in low-income locations

Women and non-binary photographers located in non-high-income countries can apply to the Against All Odds Commission for free. Are you eligible? See the list of qualifying countries, and complete the form via the link below.

Frequently Asked Questions

  What images should I submit?

The images you choose to submit are entirely up to you, and should reflect your unique style as an artist. The images do not have to relate to the theme of the commission. 


How do I send you my proposal?

The Studio 1854 Team will request a short proposal from the shortlisted applicants. However, we encourage all applicants to consider what their project may look like prior to the shortlisting stage


Do I have to have a girl in my region in mind before applying?

No, however we would strongly advise it.


Do I have to be below the age of 25 to apply?

No. This commission is open to all women and woman-identifying photographers of any age and at any stage in their career, however the subject of your proposed project should be below the age of 25. 


Do I need to be located in one of Malala Fund’s main territories to apply?

No, this commission is open to women photographers anywhere in the world.

There isn’t enough room for my image title, or other text

Please note the maximum lengths that apply to these texts. The length limits are noted on the form used to enter them and are given in characters (letters), not words.

Can I send my photos by email / WeTransfer / on DVD / some other way

We can only accept images that are uploaded using our entry system. This ensures that each one is logged with your entry details, and made available to our judges.


I uploaded one image, and now want to go back to upload more, but the system will not let me do so – what’s wrong?

Either the commission deadline has passed, or you have previously submitted your entry to the judges. In order to do so you will have read a notice warning you, and ticked a box confirming your understanding that doing so would prevent you from making any further changes.

I can’t see the option to submit my entry

The Submit button appears at the top of your entry page once you have uploaded at least one image.


What happens when I submit my entry?

Your entry will be confirmed on a web page after submitting, and then we will send you a confirmation email, and your images (along with their captions, statements etc) are stored, ready to be viewed by the judges.


I have submitted my entry – can I change it?

No, once your entry has been submitted you may no longer alter it in any way.


Could you please check my images / text / entry?

I’m afraid this isn’t possible – our system receives thousands of images, so we can’t check individual ones. Please ensure that you are happy with your images and statement before submitting it.

I think I am a photographer in a non-high-income country – how do I check?

Please see here for the full list of all high-income-countries and main Malala Fund territories – if you are a photographer based in one of these countries you can apply to the commission for free!


When should I expect to receive my free application code?

Once your application has been approved, you should expect to receive your free entry code within 7 days. 

Against All Odds is a commission dedicated to celebrating women in photography. We welcome entries from a multitude of female voices, including anyone who identifies as a woman.


Professional and non-professional photographers from all over the world are eligible to enter.


Images can be shot using any camera model (film or digital) or electronic device, and images may be portrait, landscape or square in format.


Each entrant will be deemed to warrant that they own the entire copyright for the work or that they have permission from the licensee and/or copyright owner/s for the uses.


Each image can be a maximum of 10MB in size. All images must be submitted as JPEG files – any files submitted in any other format (including TIFF, PDF, PSD etc) will be discarded.


You may submit a title (200 character limit) and caption (750 character limit) for each photograph entered. You can also provide an artist’s statement (1000 character limit). All accompanying text must be written in English.


We are accepting entries until the 22nd July 23:59 (UK time).

Judging will take place shortly after the deadline.


There is no time frame for the images


Once your images and captions have been uploaded to the system you will see an option to submit your entry. Once submitted, your entry cannot be altered. Only submitted entries will be viewed by the judges.


The successful applicant must be available to supply high-res files promptly for publication.


No copyright is transferred to 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography in respect of any works entered or accepted.


A selection of images will be published through 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography digital channels.


In order to receive your application status, you must be subscribed to the Commissions Communications list on our mailing system. If you have not received your status after the deadline, you must simply resubscribe by filling out a form to our newsletter list.


Please note that 1854 Access members entering commissions as part of their membership will be required to remain a member throughout the periods when awards are judged and the shoot period, for their entries to be eligible.

All applications are subject to 1854 Media’s General Competition Terms and Conditions

Will the shoot be affected by COVID-19?

As the shoot will be taking place in the photographer’s community, we do not foresee any delay in the shoot. This is subject to any change of government guidelines in the location the shoot is due to take place. The photographer will be fully briefed with COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Show the world how girls are a force of change.

Deadline: 22 July 2021 23:59 (UK Time)

This commission is part of our 1854 Access Membership offering.

Join our community today to submit your work.