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The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP) and the Tim Hetherington Trust have announced the launch of the 2021/2022 Visionary Award. This version of the annual award takes on a Pan-African focus which is designed to discover, nurture and support talent working within the mediums of art and photography across the African continent.

Initiated to commemorate the memory of the late British documentary photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, the annual Visionary Award recognises and fosters innovative approaches to visual storytelling, by incubating visionary individuals and offering inspiration to others.

Both Javett-UP and the Trust are calling for submissions from practitioners who are currently conceptualising new bodies of work across the extended field of lens-based mediums. Submissions should showcase new experimental forms within an image-making practice, as well as diverse and alternative engagement with exhibition and curatorial processes.

“The Visionary Award will capture the ever-evolving innovative artistic production coming out of the continent of Africa. As Javett-UP we find it vitally important to create opportunities that contribute to the nurturing of the diverse voices and stories from across our continent, and to give them the recognition they deserve. This award gives us a chance to recognise and stay close to the next generation of influential artists and to provide a platform that mediates their work to the world” said Gabi Ngcobo, Curatorial Director of Javett-UP.

Tim Hetherington used his art to facilitate a better understanding of Africa and the world. Art and photography play a vital role in helping us understand the culture, conflict and nuance of our communities. We hope the recipients of this award continue to build upon Tim’s legacy and use their work to tell impactful African stories” said Stephen Mayes of the Tim Hetherington Trust.

Prospective applicants can apply by submitting a portfolio limited to seven images. The submitted images should be accompanied by written short descriptions. The portfolio should not exceed 5MB. Entrants can include links to other work and/or relevant websites (Vimeo, YouTube etc.) They should also include an artist statement not exceeding 250 words.

Applications to the Visionary Award close on the 16th of August 2021. Please send your application to connect@javettup.art  with the subject line: VISIONARY AWARD”.

Entrants to the Visionary Award need to be 40 years or younger during the year of their submission, and applicants need to live and work on the African continent at the time of entry.

The winning individual and/or collective will receive sponsorship of £20 000. This amount can be used for a research residency, as well as the production and exhibition of new work at the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria. This also includes a cash prize of £5000 for the chosen recipient of the award. The prize will be awarded by a jury consisting of members from different partner institutions across the African continent after a shortlist has been compiled by a selection committee. The shortlist will be announced on August 30, 2021.

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