Select Countries in Asia: Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice, Level 1 PNDP.1.006

From: October 10, 2023
To: January 23, 2024
Application deadline
Sunday 3rd September 2023 23:59PM EDT
12 weeks
Class size
Scholarship eligibility
VII Academy will accept 10 participants who are citizens and residents of the following countries: Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Indian-administered Kashmir, underrepresented communities in India, and Afghanistan. *Refugees from and within the region are also welcome to apply.
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A Life of Confinement by ©M Palani Kumar for Amplify x VII Academy Level 1 Seminar


Over 12 sessions, this tuition-free interdisciplinary seminar, led by Tanvi Mishra, will equip you with the necessary tools to produce photo essays suitable for publication in an editorial context.

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

Problem-solving assignments will help you to unlock ways to work intuitively, intellectually and emotionally, so that your journalism 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 lectures, group discussions and critiques, and assignments.

The first half of the course covers basic concepts to ensure a strong practical and theoretical foundation and concludes with a short photo essay. The second half advances to a higher level and includes business concepts relevant to freelance journalists, multimedia training, and presentation skills.


Each week will begin 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 assignment, due before the following week’s class. The assignments represent key subjects and approaches in narrative photojournalism and documentary photography.

During weekly feedback tutorials, you’ll present your work for discussion with tutors and other students. Everyone is expected to contribute to the critique of 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.

You will need to identify and research ideas for short and longer projects that should be local to you and allow for repeated access through the program. Find subjects that fascinate you and make sure that you can get access to. The deeper your connection to the subjects you photograph, the more effective your journalism will be.

Please note, the 12 sessions will take place over 15 weeks.


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;
* Produce short time-based media for clients.


Although the first half’s topics and assignments may initially appear too basic to a more experienced photographers, our advanced alumni found that doing the assignments helped them to become more thoughtful practitioners.

Participants will be assessed at the halfway mark of the course and any who do not show commitment will be asked to leave.

Only participants who have completed Levels 1 and 2 of the program with a passing grade may apply to attend Level 3, an intensive 4-week program held at VII Academy’s Alexandra Boulat Campus in Arles, France or Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Although Level 1 programs are offered in some cases in languages other than English, it is necessary to achieve at least a B1 level in English to attend Levels 2 and 3.

Apply Now

Eligible applicants (see details at the top of the page) who wish to be considered for acceptance to this tuition-free program should complete the application form. Please register for AwardForce, then select the name of this program.

Application deadline: September 3, 2023 at 2359 EST.


Tanvi Mishra works with images as a photo editor, curator, and writer, based in New Delhi, India. Among her interests are South Asian histories and activisms, peoples’ movements as well as the notion of fiction in photography, particularly in the current political landscape. Tanvi currently works as the Creative Director of The Caravan, a journal of politics and culture published out of Delhi. She is part of the photo-editorial team of PIX, a South Asian publication and display practice. In 2013 and 2015, Tanvi was part of the Delhi Photo Festival team in India and was a guest curator at the second edition of Photo Kathmandu, held in Nepal in 2016.