2019 Joop Swart Masterclass

Discover the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass stories

The 26th edition of the Joop Swart Masterclass took place on 17-21 September 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

This edition’s program featured master lectures; editing sessions; guest lectures by Henk Wildschut, visual storyteller, and Marina Paulenka, Unseen Platform’s artistic director; a guided tour to the international photography fair Unseen Amsterdam by Darius Himes, Christie's International Head of Photographs; and a visit to the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam. 

2019 Participants

For the first time, there was no age limit to participate in the masterclass. Chosen from 245 candidates nominated in March 2019, the 12 participants - six women and six men from 12 different countries - were (click on the thumbnail to see their masterclass project):

*Due to personal circumstances, Therese Alice Sanne was not able to participate in the 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass. Runner up Nikita Teryoshin, Russia has been selected to take part in the masterclass.

Theme: Contrast

Each year, in preparation for the masterclass, the participants produce a project on one single theme that will be discussed during editing sessions with the five masters. This year, the chosen theme was ‘Contrast’.

“In an increasingly polarized world, photographers can remind us of the importance to explore and see the world in complex and subtle ways. This year’s theme invites participants to unfold the many different layers and variations of their stories, going beyond simple binary oppositions to reveal a plurality of contrasts,” explains Juliette Garms, Programs and Outreach Coordinator, World Press Photo Foundation.

“Working in such an intense way holds the possibility of great transformations. (...) For me the masterclass is about turning instincts into meaningful engagement,” says John Fleetwood, director of Photo:, curator and 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass master.

“The whole group was challenged in different ways. That's the core of the whole program, to question your own work and see if you are on the right path. (...) It's not just about the aesthetics and the editing of your work, but also about the content and the process of how you got there, and how you plan to move forward,” said Fabiola Ferrero, 2019 Joop Swart Masterclass participant.

On Saturday 21 September 2019, the participants presented their masterclass project at the World Press Photo House as part of UNSEEN’s Open Gallery Night. 

2019 Masters

  • Aida Muluneh

    Aida Muluneh is the founder and director of the Addis Foto Fest, and a widely-exhibited visual artist.

  • Diana Markosian

    Diana Markosian is an artist whose work lives somewhere between conceptual and documentary photography. She participated in the 2013 Joop Swart Masterclass and is a World Press Photo Contest winner

  • John Fleetwood

    John Fleetwood is the director of Photo:. He closely works with the Centres of Learning for Photography in Africa and other institutions of learning and mentorship.

  • Monica Allende

    Monica Allende is an independent curator, creative producer and educator based in London. She is the Artistic Director of Getxophoto International Image Festival, and has collaborated with WeTransfer.

  • Munen Wasif

    Munem Wasif is a documentary photographer based in Dhaka. He teaches at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka, and he is co-curator of the Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography