First Masterclass Latin America 2015

In 1994 World Press Photo launched its master class, which took the name of its deceased honorary president, Joop Swart. In 2015, a regional master class was organized for the first time: World Press Photo Masterclass Latin America in collaboration with the Fundación Pedro Meyer.

The Masterclass Latin America, like the Joop Swart Masterclass, offers an educational experience that is aimed at, reflective upon and personalized to young talented photographers, with the aim of fostering their intellectual and artistic growth as much as strengthening their professional abilities in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography.

Additionally, by involving them in dialogue with others, its goal is to build relationships and communities that help sustain the future work of its participants. Ultimately, the aim is to support the creation of high quality photography and the exemplary work of young photographers, as well as improving their visibility within the world photographic community.

The Masterclass Latin America seeks above all to be a space for reflection, debate and learning. It provides the opportunity to take a step back from everyday demands and to join a community that is passionate and committed to the development of a personal oeuvre.

In the Masterclass that was held successfully in Mexico City from December 7 to 11 in Casa Coyoacán, the southern branch of the Fundación Pedro Meyer, important figures from the photography industry devoted their time to students and shared their experience and knowledge. The program was adapted to the specific needs of the students, though in general it included activities such as: review sessions to evaluate the work and perspective of participating photographers, group discussion sessions on specific issues related to the experience and knowledge of the teachers, personalized sessions and editing exercises.

At the start of our first call for participants, close to 200 nominators from across the world were invited to nominate young photographers from, or permanently resident in, Latin America. Those nominated were required to send a portfolio to be reviewed by an independent committee of experts in the field of photography, who would then select the finalists.

Participants were asked to produce a photo-essay in which they presented their personal interpretation on the theme of Invisible, the subject of the Joop Swart Masterclass the same year. The narratives produced functioned as work and study material during the Masterclass in December with the idea of publishing a volume containing the narratives of all participants.

On completing the Masterclass, and as part of the additional diffusion, the projects of participating photographers are published on this micro site and in a special edition of ZoneZero, in order to share them with the world photographic community. 

Photo: Israel Frías