Historic England Open Call

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.  

Visit HistoricEngland.org.uk/HighStreetCulture for more information.

We 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).

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.

At this stage 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 September 4 at Toynbee Hall.  This is a development day so that we can support you to develop the strongest possible application. The deadline for submission of the full application will be 27 September 2021.

To express your interest please email [email protected] 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” (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.

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