2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

Discover the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass projects 

The Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo Foundation’s educational program, identifies, supports, and educates new talent in the field of documentary photography, visual journalism, and visual storytelling.
For the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 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. We're now proud to present their projects based on the theme 'Reset.' The projects are ongoing and will continue after the masterclass.

2020 participants

This year, 24 participants were selected compared to 12 in previous editions. Chosen from the 198 candidates nominated in March, the participants – 11 men and 13 women from 20 different countries – were: Alejandra Aragón, Mexico; Cécile Smetana Baudier, Denmark; Elias Williams, United States; Felipe Romero Beltrán, Colombia; Fethi Sahraoui, Algeria; Gulshan Khan, South Africa; Isadora Romero, Ecuador; Johanna Alarcón, Ecuador; Lindokuhle Sobekwa, South Africa; Marcos Zegers, Chile; Mary Gelman, Russia; Mien-Thuy Tran, Vietnam; Miti Ruangkritya, Thailand; Muhammad Salah, Sudan; Nanna Heitmann, Germany; Pat Kane, Canada; Rohit Saha, India; Sagar Chhetri, Nepal; Salma Abedin Prithi, Bangladesh; September Dawn Bottoms, United States; Shwe Wutt Hmon, Myanmar; Sinead Kennedy, Australia; Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo, South Africa*; and Yufan Lu, China.

*Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo was not able to take part in the masterclass.

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high-resolution images, videos and captions

2020 mentors

The Joop Swart Masterclass is tailored to the participants’ specific learning needs, with industry experts mentoring the participants. Working closely with the participants were eight professionals sharing their experience and knowledge: Akinbode Akinbiyi, Nigeria/United Kingdom, photographer and curator; Amak Mahmoodian, Iran, contemporary artist and senior lecturer in photography at UWE Bristol; Candice Jansen, South Africa, researcher and writer on photography, Market Photo Workshop; Emma Bowkett, United Kingdom, director of Photography, Financial Times; Jacqueline Bates, United States, Photography director, The California Sunday Magazine, and Pop-Up Magazine; Monica Alcazar-Duarte, Mexico, multidisciplinary visual artist; NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, Nepal, co-founder of photo.circle and Nepal Picture Library, co-founder and Festival director of Photo Kathmandu; and Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo, Colombia, photographer, editor and educator, 20 Fotógrafos, Raya Editorial.

'Reset' theme

The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme that is discussed during editing sessions with the mentors. 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. ‘Reset’ is about renewal, hope, the unknown, speculation, adjustment. Participants are invited to express their own vision of the theme and encouraged to explore a wide variety of subjects and angles,” explained Juliette Garms, programs and outreach projects manager at World Press Photo.

About the Joop Swart Masterclass

Launched in 1994, the Joop Swart Masterclass has contributed to the development of generations of visual storytellers. Participants have later gone on to lead the masterclass themselves, be awarded in the World Press Photo Contests and have their work published in some of the most prestigious publications around the world.

The Joop Swart Masterclass is part of the World Press Photo Foundation’s Develop programs, encouraging diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We showcase those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

Request the media kit for high-resolution images, videos and captions