Open Society Documentary Photography Project

There are presently no open calls for applications.


Extended Deadline: Monday, April 23, 2018, 11:59pm EDT

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is soliciting submissions for a new joint exhibition and fellowship opportunity focused on the topic of migration. Selected projects will be exhibited in the Moving Walls 25 exhibition (September 2018 – July 2019) at the Open Society Foundations’ headquarters in New York. Selected   artists will also receive a fellowship ($30,000-$60,000) to support ongoing or   future work on the same theme. Up to 7 artists will be selected.


The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is inviting proposals for an exhibition and fellowship that honors the role and agency of artists and media makers in contributing to how our societies think about and respond to contemporary issues of migration.
During what has been the largest movement of peoples since World War II, artists and media makers are playing an important role in questioning, confronting, and providing alternatives to the division and discrimination that are fostered by growing policies and representations that are harmful to migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

We are seeking artists who see themselves as catalysts for change and whose goal is to resist, question, affirm, and/or activate, not merely to reflect negative impacts as a distanced and neutral observer. We are especially interested in work that comes from the perspective of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers themselves, or is made through sustained and meaningful collaboration with these communities. Projects should honor the humanity, resilience, resourcefulness, and ingenuity of migrants, rather than focusing solely on themes of victimhood. (For more details please review the “What We’re Looking For” section of the complete application guidelines, available to download below.) 

Selected projects will be exhibited as part of the Moving Walls exhibition series. Moving Walls 25 will be on view September 2018 – July 2019 at the Open Society Foundations’ headquarters in New York.
Selected artists will also receive:

  • A 12-18 month fellowship ($30,000-$60,000) for the continuation of existing work or the creation of new work on the theme of migration. The fellowship may cover any of the following phases of the project: research/project development, production, exhibition, distribution, and/or audience engagement. 
  • Networking opportunities to meet with each other, as well as Open Society staff and grantees. 
  • In collaboration with the Open Society Arts Exchange program, fellows will have the opportunity to meet other artists and arts organizations working on migration. 


Before applying, please visit our website to download the complete guidelines, which include full details about criteria, eligibility, selection process, FAQs, and a complete list of the information requested by this online submission form.

Still have questions? Contact the Documentary Photography Project at, using the subject line “Moving Walls 25."


Who We Are
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 100 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project is a grant making and exhibition program that promotes the use of images, interactive media, contemporary and archival documents, data, and primary sources as material for socially engaged art and documentary practice. Since 1998, we have featured—primarily through our Moving Walls exhibition series—over 200 photographers in our public gallery space in New York.

Open Society Documentary Photography Project