2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

Discover the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass participants' projects

For the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 27th edition of the masterclass was held online over a period of five months, and 24 participants and eight mentors were selected to make the program more inclusive.

Since July, the participants have been working on their projects under the guidance of mentors. On 29 October, they presented their projects on the theme 'Reset' done during the masterclass to a selected group of editors and industry professionals.

2020 participants' projects

Chosen from the 198 candidates nominated in March, the participants - 11 men and 13 women from 20 different countries - were (click on the thumbnail to see their masterclass project):
*Esther Ruth Mbabazi, was initially selected but was not able to participate.
**Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo was not able to take part in the masterclass.

Online learning

Traditionally, the Joop Swart Masterclass brings together masters and participants at the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, during an intense five-day program in September. Because of the global pandemic, this year the masterclass was held exclusively online over a period of five months, from July to November 2020.

The components of the masterclass were similar to the traditional one, with online master presentations, individual mentoring sessions, group discussions, guest lectures, editing sessions, and small working groups.

There were two intensive online weeks. The first one, for introductions, presentations, and brainstorming, took place in mid-July. The second and final intensive week, for editing, output, and reflection, took place in mid-October. In between, the program of presentations, discussions, and individual mentoring will take place online. On 29 October, they gave an online presentation of their work done during the masterclass to a selected group of editors and industry professionals.

The theme for 2020: 'Reset'

The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme is ‘Reset’.

2020 has been one of the most unsettling and challenging years in modern history. However, this also means that 2020 holds possibilities for change, deep reflection, and hopefully a better future. Participants are invited to express their own vision of the theme and encouraged to explore a wide variety of subjects and angles.

2020 mentors

  • Akinbode Akinbiyi

    Akinbode Akinbiyi is a freelance photographer based in Berlin, Germany. He also works as a curator and has given photography workshops internationally.

  • Amak Mahmoodian

    Amak Mahmoodian is a contemporary Iranian artist, based in Bristol, United Kingdom. She is senior lecturer in photography at the University of the West of England, Bristol.

  • Candice Jansen

    Candice Jansen is a researcher and writer on photography. She works at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, responsible for research, archives, and exhibitions programming.

  • Emma Bowkett

    Emma Bowkett is director of Photography at the FT Weekend Magazine. She also works as a curator and is a university Associate Lecturer at the London College of Communication.

  • Jacqueline Bates

    Jacqueline Bates is Photography director of The California Sunday Magazine, and Pop-Up Magazine.

  • Monica Alcazar-Duarte

    Monica Alcazar-Duarte is a Mexican multidisciplinary visual artist based in the United Kingdom. She regularly works on independent research projects for NGOs and collaborates with academics.

  • NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati

    NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati is the co-founder of photo.circle and Nepal Picture Library. She is also the co-founder and Festival director of Photo Kathmandu.

  • Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo

    Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo is a Colombian photographer, editor and educator. He is co-founder of 20Fotógrafos and editor at Raya Editorial.

Selection committee

This year, the Joop Swart Masterclass selection committee was:

  • Adriana Teresa Letorney, Puerto Rico, founder and CEO of Visura
  • Ihiro Hayami, Japan, founder of T3 Photo Festival Tokyo
  • Jenny Smets, the Netherlands, curator, and educator
  • Mikhael Subotzky, South Africa, artist
  • Rahima Gambo, Nigeria, visual artist, and photographer