Skip to content


  • by

Concurso de Fotografa Documental Announces

We have powerful reasons to think that the Latin American workers are joined by something more than a simple geographical link.

Beyond the artificial limits that delineate the borders, the busy hands of the workers extract the oil, cut the aloe, cultivate the fruits of the land, extract the minerals and process the raw materials that later magically appear in the supermarkets.

But, though the abundance flows in the American lands like cornucopia, this generosity does not make it to the plate of the basic producers of the wealth, that is to say, to the workers.

We ask: why does not the fairy of prosperity touch with her magic rod the barren economies of the workers, where are those elves that turn straw into gold, hidden into the basements of the palaces?
This Contest has been created as a space of convergence of images that celebrate, repudiate or simply show the world that the anonymous producers of wealth enjoy and suffer. We invite creators of images to this space, so that they document the life and work of Latin-American workers.

RULES 1 . 1. The theme of the photographs should focus on human beings (regardless of age, sex, or race) carrying out some form of work or occupation. This does not mean that works cannot be sent where the human presence is made implicit through objects or materials; the jury will decide on the appropriateness of these treatments. In essence our proposal seeks to focus the gaze of the photographers towards humans in their role as fundamental protagonist of the productive process.
2 . As we are predominantly interested in Latin American workers, we also invite artists to send their photographs that document the social and working conditions of Latin American immigrants in developed countries.
3 . We will only accept digital images, taken by a digital camera or those that have been scanned from negatives or paper versions. The contestants can only submit their photographs through the Internet, through the format that will be available on the web page from December 1, 2007 – March 1, 2008, which is the submission deadline.
4. The photographer should identify their work or works with a TITLE. We do not accept “untitled” works, because of the difficulty in archiving and cataloging them. Each work should be accompanied by a written text, no more than 100 words or 500 characters, which concisely describes the subjects photographed and their context (for example: geographic location, names, characteristics of their work, pay scale, length of their workday, etc. We recommend that the information is concrete and substantial.) This text should be entered in the corresponding field in the form available on the Internet.
5. Each digital image should be sent as a JPG file with a resolution of 72 DPI. The largest side of the image should measure 500 pixels. If the works are selected for the exposition, the organizers of the event will advise the contestant, so that they can send the work in a resolution more appropriate for printing. We recommend that the contestants use high resolution files, between 2-3 MB (for photographs taken with a digital camera or scanned negatives), since images of this quality can be used for submission via Internet as well as for printing, if the works are selected.
6. The submission of works is free of charge.
7 . The WORKS received will be considered as individual photographs. Each participant can present a maximum of five WORKS. If several photographs make up a single work, it will be considered as such, if the collection has a sole title and each photograph is numbered and has the word “series” contained in the title (Series X 1, series X 2, etc.) A SERIES cannot contain more than five (5) photographs and will be considered in its totality as a sole WORK. Each contestant has the right to send up to five works, whether individual photographs or series.
8 . When the contestant enters the contest webpage, they should complete the fields that ask for personal information as part of the submission, such as pseudonym, title of the work (or works), name and surname, ID number, profession or occupation, complete address, city, and country, as well as e-mail address and phone number. All the fields must be completed in order to participate in the contest.
9 . PRIZES: The photographs will be put under the consideration of a jury made up of three well-known figures in the world of photography. The jury will select the photographs for the exposition. Out of these, the jury will award prizes to the three best submissions as well as award two special prizes – a special prize on the theme of child labor, and the Maria Cano Prize on Women Workers. (Maria Cano was an important union leader during the first half of the 20th century, whose pioneering activism achieved important results for Colombian workers.).
(The special prize on child labor should feature images of child or youth workers. The special prize on women workers should involve the presence of women carrying out some form of work.)
The award ceremony and the exhibition opening will be held during the week before the celebration of May Day 2008, as part of the events commemorating International Workers Day organized by the Escuela Nacional Sindical.

10 . The selected photographs and those that have been awarded prizes will become property of the Escuela Nacional Sindical, which reserves the rights to publish them or exhibit them, giving due credit to the artists. The selected and winning works will become part of the physical and digital archives of the ENS, which will be able to exhibit them and publish them, giving due credit to the artists but without any financial award to the authors

ENS Office of Communications

Jairo Ruiz Sanabria
Director, Latin American Photodocumentary Contest
Escuela Nacional Sindical
Tel: (574) 513 3100 – Fax: (574) 512 2330
Medellin, Colombia