South and Central America: Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Seminar, Level 1

From: September 30, 2022
To: December 23, 2022
12 weeks
Class size
Scholarship eligibility
VII Academy will offer places to 10 people who are citizens and residents of the following countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
Additional info

Course Number: S00922

Languages: This program will be conducted in Spanish.

Aunque este curso se presentará en español, es necesario tener conocimientos prácticos del inglés para asistir en este momento, ya que la solicitud tanto como las conferencias de los invitados se llevan a cabo en inglés. Esperamos desarrollar el seminario en el futuro para que todo el proceso se pueda realizar en español.

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"The cleanest neighborhood in Latin America", as it was named by Colombian and international media in 2018. The Gaviota International Awards, a Mexican organization gave this recognition to the El Regalo neighborhood for sustainability for the garbage management model that was created by the same community in the face of a garbage collection crisis in the south of Bogotá. Based on a circular economy, all waste can be raw material, either to be recycled like plastic or transformed into compost for their home gardens. ©Juan Paez


Over a period of 12 weeks, this interdisciplinary Level 1 Seminar online will be led by independent curator/artistic director, consultant and educator Monica Allende, and will be complemented with a series of presentations by leading industry professionals.

During the seminar, you’ll explore how to develop a lasting career in visual story telling, including conceiving, researching and planning story ideas. You’ll be exposed to confronting ethical challenges as you navigate the moral maze of documenting the lives of others.

Problem-solving photo assignments will help you to unlock ways to work intuitively, intellectually and emotionally, so that your photography becomes more instinctive, powerful and subtle.

Expect a transformative experience, where your current way of working will be challenged and refined through a series of one-on-one sessions, group sessions, and online live webinar lectures.


Each week will commence with a lecture on a relevant concept in photojournalism and documentary practice. This lecture will be given by the tutor or a guest with high-level experience in the topic being discussed.

After this lecture, the tutor will brief you on the weekly assignment that you will have to work on. The assignments will represent key subjects and approaches in narrative photojournalism and documentary photography.

During the week, you will work individually to produce photographs within weekly deadlines.

At the end of the week, during the weekly feedback tutorials, you will present your work for discussion with tutors and other students. Each group member will learn from the feedbacks for each student’s body of work. Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion about each student’s work. You will also be encouraged to work in pairs or small groups outside of the feedback tutorials to edit and critique each other’s work.

The first weeks are tightly structured with regular assignments and feedbacks on your work. In the second half of the program, you will begin to shoot short photo essays of a few images, building up towards a longer essay then a final extended project to be photographed and submitted at the end of the program.

You will need to identify and research ideas for these short and longer projects that should be local to you and allow for repeated access through the program. Find subjects that really fascinate you and make sure that you can get access to. The more engrossing you find the subjects you photograph, the better your pictures will be.


This seminar will develop your ability to work on short photo essays in an editorial context. It will help you to:

  • Respond professionally and creatively to photojournalistic briefs;
  • Shoot single documentary pictures and picture stories or series;
  • Edit your work;
  • Work to a deadline;
  • Professionally present yourself and your work to an editor;
  • Develop the social skills needed to get access to people at work and leisure and get permission to photograph them;
  • Understand the visual potential of ideas / situations you are researching.