Historic England, Picturing England’s High Streets   

Open Call for Socially Engaged Photographer-in-Residence in Tower Hamlets (two years) supported by Photofusion

About High Streets Heritage Action Zones 

Historic England is working with local people and partners through grant funding and sharing our skills to help breathe new life into high streets that are rich in heritage and full of promise. The High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, backed by government funding, aims to help with the recovery of local high streets from regenerating historic buildings to helping to engage local communities through art and cultural projects. The Cultural Programme, co-funded with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by Arts Council England, has the goal of making the high street a more attractive, engaging and vibrant place for people to live, work and spend time. 

About the opportunity

Photofusion, in association with Historic England and Photoworks, are excited to offer this opportunity to work on a long-term project, Picturing England’s High Streets.  Picturing England’s High Streets is part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ) Cultural Programme, four years of nationwide cultural activity helping to make people feel proud of their high streets.  

Photofusion are looking for photographers whose practice is socially engaged, or who have a strong desire to work in a socially engaged way, to collaborate with the local community in the Petticoat Lane HSHAZ to produce a contemporary portrait of the high street, creating images which will become part of the Historic England Archive.  

This two-year residency is one of six residencies which will take place across England.  England’s high streets have a long history and have always been at the heart of our communities. They are our landmarks, points of reference and meeting places. Across centuries people have gathered together on high streets, from market days to turning on the Christmas lights; coffee dates to national jubilees. In a recent survey, 45% of respondents indicated that their primary high street use was non-retail related. (Research undertaken on behalf of the Mayor of London in 2017).

What will the selected artist receive?

The selected artist will receive a fee of £5,000 for activity on the project within a two year period. There is an additional budget for facilitation of sessions, artist’s travel, materials, DBS, and other costs associated with delivery. This budget is managed by Photofusion.  Artists will be supported throughout by Photofusion.

How to apply

This is a two stage process. For stage one, we are inviting artists who work with lens-based media and have a commitment to socially-engaged practice to submit an expression of interest for consideration for the residency. All expressions of interest will be considered in full by Photofusion and the artist, writer and educator Anthony Luvera. A long-list of applicants will be invited to a workshop on 4 September 2021 at Toynbee Hall, London. This is a development day so that we can support you to develop the strongest possible application. Stage two will be a full application. The deadline for submission of the full application will be 27 September 2021.

To express your interest please email submissions@photofusion.org with your brief response to the following 4 questions (max 500 words) by  23 August 2021

  1. Why would you like to apply for this residency?
  2. What is your understanding of socially engaged photography?
  3. Do you have a connection to the area? 
  4. Do you have an identified community or group that you would like to work with if you were to be awarded the residency. If not, what support would you need to establish this relationship?

Please also send a link to your website or blog (if you have one) and 15 – 25 images or a link to up to three minutes of Audio Visual work.

Images should be in jpg format and a maximum of 8 inches (2400 pixels) on the long side.

Audio Visual work can be sent via public or private link (please provide password) on sites including SoundCloud, YouTube and Vimeo. 

Key dates and deadline

Expression of interest deadline: 23 August 2021 

Workshop and development day: 4 September 2021, Toynbee Hall, London

Full application deadline: 27 September 2021

Equality, Diversity, Inclusion   

We are committed to addressing equality, diversity and inclusion across all our work and we welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds. The sector is experiencing one of the highest levels of loss of work in the face of Covid-19: the personal impact of this is often devastating; the loss of skilled and talented people permanently a very real worry for the future. The pandemic has disproportionately impacted the health and livelihoods of people from African, Caribbean, LatinX or South and East Asian heritage, those with disabilities or long-term health conditions, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and those facing intersecting barriers. These groups were already under-represented in the visual arts and photography sector and most likely to experience racism and marginalisation. We therefore particularly welcome applications from anyone from the groups above.   

Why do we collect Equal Opportunities Monitoring data?  

We are committed to equal opportunities, with the aim of ensuring that everyone engaging in our programme as an audience member, an artist, or those joining us for employment, receives fair treatment and we positively encourage applications from everybody regardless of age, disability, race, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership and caring status. 

The information you provide us as part of this opportunity (if you would like to) helps us track and measure performance and progress towards our equality and diversity goals and in promoting inclusion. The information collected will help us to identify disparities in outcomes and experiences between groups, identify trends over periods of time, to investigate the reasons for these differences and put suitable actions in place. To help us achieve this aim we ask you to complete this monitoring form. We collate equality information on age, location, disability, race, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership and caring status. The request for this information and how it is used is within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998 which allows for the collation and reporting of sensitive data for monitoring purposes. 

Accessible Documents :

Please download a large print version of this opportunity brief on the button below:

Frequently Asked Questions :

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Watch our event: Picturing England’s High Street’s Open Call Q&A below:

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