general info

democraSEE is an award and mentorship platform to develop and show important contemporary photography stories and content from the Southern African region that deal with social and political issues and imaginaries. It wants to create a space to acknowledge photographers and photography’s role and position in relation to the world. Furthermore, it aims to support the growth of visual languages in photography. Photographers from Southern Africa, including Angola, DRC, Tanzania and Madagascar can enter the awards.


The recipient of the award will receive:

  • A R40,000 (South African Rand) grant towards the development of an existing or making of a new body of work
  • Mentoring support from an appointed mentor/curator (appointed in consultation with the photographer)
  • Critique sessions with appointed subject and practice experts
  • Ongoing support and mentorship from Photo:
  • Online publication of the completed work on the website


Annually, Photo: will send out calls for up to three awards.


The selection panel is appointed per award. It consists of a group of leading regional and international experts – curators, photographers, gallerists, journalists, critics or social scientists – who will consider applications.

The urgent shifts in our understanding of our worlds, democracies and identities are reflected and shaped by the multiplicities of photography and how these photographies function within our contexts. Built on the premise that photography projects often entail collaborative processes, the award offers emerging/mid-career photographers an opportunity to develop a new or existing, but yet not resolved, photography and multi-media work with the support of a mentor-curator, critique sessions, writer as well as the support from Photo:.

democraSEE is a project of Photo:, supported by the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa as well as the National Arts Council in South Africa and the Photography Education Trust.