Research and creation support programme

The Institute’s research and creation support programme aims to develop, share and compare diverse approaches to photography – the history of photography, image anthropology, visual studies, digital humanities, human and social sciences, science, plastic arts research, etc.

The call for applications is open to doctoral students, university or independent researchers, exhibition curators and artists who are available for the committed year. The projects – publication, exhibition, design of works – must address the announced theme, and the Institute will be particularly interested in projects that focus on an issue, a programme or resources connected with the Hauts-de-France Region.

The Institut pour la photographie awards four annual grants of 15,000 euros for the design and execution of a new project.

These include scientific and structural support, and are part of a promotion/dissemination programme (about four papers, presentations or workshops spread over the year) organised by the Institute, in collaboration with its partners, in the Hauts-de-France Region or beyond.

Theme of the second edition of the research and creation support programme :

Photography and visual culture of the imaginary world

For the second edition of its research and creation support programme, the Institut pour la photographie proposes that you explore the links between photography and popular visual culture, and, more specifically, collective imagination.

As a purveyor of allegorical or mythological imagery, photography has quickly become a privileged mode of expression for creating a link between the symbolic and the real. It captures the collective imaginations rooted in the oldest myths or beliefs in the most futuristic worlds (rites, legends, utopias, scientific imagery, urban fantasies, UFOs, science fiction, etc.).

Omnipresent in both our popular and scholarly imagery, these representations contribute to our awareness of the present time; some even question their participation in the social and scientific construction of reality.

Between visual culture, visual anthropology, social sciences, current affairs politics and art history, we can grasp the way in which photography triggers or reactivates shared narratives, as well as how it unearths or creates collective imaginations from all sides.

The research and creation projects will need to take into account the different aspects of the creation of collective imaginations:

– the players involved in the production and dissemination of these imaginations (popular education, the press, science, photography, artists, etc.);

– sources (literature, scientific research, beliefs, contemporary mythologies, etc.);

– activation media and platforms (books, illustrations, cinema, series, video games, social networks, etc.).

Photographers, artists, curators and researchers are invited to respond to this call by developing an original approach around the role of photography in the construction of collective imaginations.

Download the program


Early July 2019: Announcement of the theme and opening of the call for applications

4 October 2019 – midnight French time: Deadline for applications

Early December 2019: Jury for the selection of the recipients

January 2020: Public announcement of the recipients

March 2020: Start of the research and creation support programme


Your application, written in French or English, must include (in PDF or JPEG format only):

– A detailed project note of intent (8,000 characters/1,300 words maximum);

– A provisional calendar for the execution of the project over the period of the Institute’s research and creation support programme;

– 5-20 visuals (printed A4 version/72 dpi JPEG) corresponding to the project proposed by the applicant;

– A one-page summary CV containing the following elements: position currently held or work in progress, education, selection of exhibitions, publications, talks and projects made by the applicant;

– A copyright-free photographic portrait of the applicant;

– A letter of recommendation from a recognised professional in the field of art, research or publishing.


(Please carefully read the rules. Any application that does not comply with its terms and conditions will be rejected, without any exceptions):
Download the rules for the research and creation support programme

If you have any questions, please write to:

To submit your application:

THE WINNERS of the first edition in 2019

Cinema in the spirit of Pierre Zucca
Exploring the photographic work of Pierre Zucca (photographer on the sets of films by Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock, etc.) through its invisible or unmatched contours, the research will take different forms, from photography to cinema and performance.—Aurélien Froment is a graduate of the Regional School of Fine Arts in Nantes, a cameraman and film projectionist. His work is heavily influenced by cinema and features in exhibitions both in France and abroad.
He lives in Edinburgh where he teaches photography at the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh College of Art.
© Dominic Turner

Disseminating its own maps of the world and society

Agency photo collections having been used to develop editorial content in the televised news programmes of the former French broadcaster ORTF (1960-1986)
Audrey Leblanc is a doctor of the EHESS in history and civilisations. She was joint curator of the exhibition Icons of May 68: Pictures have a History in 2018 at the French national library (BnF). She teaches at the University of Lille and jointly leads the research seminar entitled ‘Photography, publishing, press: cultural history of image producers’ at Cehta/EHESS.

Greetings from Reykjavik – Disseminated archives

Curatorial research project looking at letter writing in the experimental arts scene of Reykjavik in the 1960s and 1970s, which helped extend the reach of the local artistic community through the dissemination of visual documents – particularly photography – to a much greater network abroad. A practice which, today, could be likened to the dissemination of works of art via social networks.

Christel Pedersen has a research degree in the history of art from the University of Copenhagen and Paris 8 University. She currently lives in Paris, where she is an independent researcher, author and translator of artists’ poetry, theories and writings in English, French and Nordic languages.

Photography books and liberation movements in Africa

Somewhere between militant documents and aesthetic objects, the photography books produced around the 1970s in Portuguese-speaking African countries on – and for – independence movements offer a unique reflection on the role and power of the photograph. This project aims to retrace the journey of this corpus, through an exhibition, encounters and films.
Raquel Schefer is a researcher, film-maker and programmer. Doctor of the Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 University in Film and Audiovisual Studies.
She has published a large number of works and articles, and teaches at Paris, Rennes, Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
Catarina Boieiro has a Research Diploma in Arts and Languages from the EHESS.
She is an independent curator whilst at the same time working in communication, programming and production for art centres and cultural eventspecialised in image and contemporary visual arts.

Frequently Asked Questions:

– How much time do we have to execute the project?

One year from the public announcement of the recipients.

– When does the programme start?

The programme begins with the signing of the contract between the recipients and the Institut pour la photographie.

– Is the sum of 15,000 euros only to be used to complete the project or can it also be used for living expenses?

“The amount of the grant is to be used by the recipients solely to carry out the project that has been selected in the framework of the research and creation support programme.”

– Does the 15,000-euro budget have to be outlined in detail in the application?


– Can the letter of recommendation be written by a cultural institution?

Yes, if it is signed by a representative of that institution.

– Is a letter of recommendation absolutely necessary, even if you are a freelance artist?


– What type of letter of recommendation is expected? By whom?

The letter of recommendation must support your application, specifically for the proposed project. The rules state: “Applicants must be recommended by a recognised specialist in the field of art, research or publishing.”»

– Can a person who has already recommended another applicant recommend me?

Yes, that is possible.

– Can I propose a field research project whose purpose is outside France?


– Is an exhibition within the Institute planned at the end of the year of the support programme?

At the end of the year, a public presentation of the completed project is planned by the Institut pour la photographie. Depending on the content and conditions of dissemination of the project, the Institute may support the final project.

– Do I need to speak French and English?

No. The candidate must speak English OR French.

– What visuals do I need put in the application?

The visuals that you will need to submit in your application are the ones that you will use in/for your project.

– Can several applicants apply together?

Yes, the rules state: “Applications may be individual or collective. In the event of a collective application, the group shall appoint a representative as the contact person for the Institut pour la photographie. A collective application has the same prerogatives as an