16.03.2017 - 19.03.2017
The VII Masterclass is an educational initiative which aims to sustain participants in the making of long term projects, laying the foundations for their photojournalistic identities. After the 2014/2015 Milan event, Berlin will play host to the upcoming VII Masterclass, which will take place over a period of seven months. Among the photographers who attended the very first VII Masterclass, some have obtained international recognition, such as Carolina Arantes (Prix Fondation Lagardère) and Nadege Mazars (Magnum Foundation Grant 2016).
During the VII Masterclass, participants will have direct access to six teaching Masters over three scheduled sessions of four days each. They will also be supported and monitored by a Master of their choice through a monthly Skype call, in order to evaluate progress and solve any potential issues.
Within each of the three Masterclass sessions, participants will benefit from the contribution of a number of guests hailing from the editorial, artistic and visual culture worlds. Diversity in the contributions offered is a distinctive feature of the Masterclass curriculum and reflects the commitment of VII Photo to further widen the horizons of photojournalism.
The photojournalism industry has deeply changed over the past 15 years and a different kind of training has become mandatory for the new generation of photographers, who are now required to increase their skills and expand their knowledge through interaction with disciplines culturally aligned with photography.
For this reason, some of the themes explored in the last VII Masterclass program were – amongst others – video art, crowd-funding, exhibition design, digital archiving and the concept of mental maps, which enable better and alternative work organization.
The VII Masterclass is open to all photographers, with no age limit or nationality restrictions. Classes will be taught in English. Participants will be selected by a jury after the submission of a 20-image portfolio and a text illustrating the project that they intend to develop following the year’s theme: The other.
The theme of the second VII Masterclass, The Other focuses on a fundamental issue of contemporary society: The Other is what is different to us. The Other is not us, but it is also us.
The Other is an immigrant, if we are still living in our homeland, or a foreign native that we don’t understand, if we are the expatriated.
It is an ill person, when we are in good health, or someone privileged, when we are less fortunate. The Other is our most truthful mirror, even though we often think that this mirror is distorted.
As a consequence, photographers have a duty to reflect on encountering The Other, in order to instill a positive change in people’s mentality, through the stories they portray.
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First session // September 27 – 30, 2016
Finding your story and your own style
The first session of the second VII Masterclass will focus on the importance of finding a personal style and how to hit upon the right story to tell.
Two VII photographers will guide participants through this process, starting from the experience of one of the participants of the previous Masterclass.
A guest historian will illustrate the many stories that it’s possible to uncover in the city of Berlin, and a guest journalist will help participants to acquire and use the necessary skills that are needed to search through the news and develop a narrative.
To complete the picture, two internationally acclaimed photographers, who turned their quest for a personal and unique style into a professional career, will give a presentation of their most recent projects.
VII Photographers: Stefano De Luigi, Ashley Gilbertson
Second session // December 19 – 22, 2016
Editing your work
The second session of this Masterclass will help participants to enhance and refine their editing skills. Contributions by numerous photo-editors hailing from the publishing industry will offer participants a chance to interact with the professional world of news publishing, showing them that editing one’s work is just as essential to a photographer as the selection of reality when framing a subject or scene.
From a specialized magazine dedicated to photo essays and reportages (MARE), to Germany’s leading weekly newspaper supplement (Zeit Magazin), passing through a national newspapers, ending with a monthly magazine, this session is entirely centered on the selection process, a natural step after the identification of a story and a personal style (1st session).
VII Photographers: Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Maciek Nabrdalik
Third session // March 16 – 19, 2017
The third and final session of this Masterclass will analyze the tools that are required for promoting a photographers’ work and reaching out to a wider audience. The main subjects of discussion will be: creating a personal website that works perfectly well on portable devices and is fully connected with a photographer’s presence on social networks; the importance of being published in news magazines; the new publishing industry, which, over the years, has created a community of supporters and not just one of “passive” readers; the importance of having one’s work exhibited in specialized venues for a photographer’s career.
VII Photographers: Chris Morris, Tomas Van Houtryve