Social Documentary Photography Grant 2019 Awarded by MurthyNAYAK Foundation & SACAC

In a world plagued with political and religious conflict, environmental tragedies and grave socio-economic disparity, the genre of social documentary photography is more relevant than ever before. Our country is facing its own set of challenges and issues that need to be chronicled. Rather than simply accepting problems, stepping over them, or averting our eyes, solutions can be discussed and strategies formulated when they are acknowledged. It is paramount for all of us as world citizens to spur into action and create work that reflects our concerns. With this objective in mind, The MurthyNAYAK Foundation (MNF) in association with Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communications (SACAC) is initiating a grant of INR 2,00,000 to be given to a South Asian Photographer under the age of 35 years working on a socially relevant theme.

Some of the possible concerns for submissions to this grant could be environmental/ecological disasters, political and religious conflict, socio-economic disparity, agrarian distress, gender & LGBTQ issues, displacement, migration etc. The grant will be given to further ongoing projects


  1. The award is open to photographers under the age of 35 years from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Maldives.
  2. The awards are for ongoing projects and not completed bodies of work.
  3. Applicants must not hold any other fellowship/grant for the proposed project when applying.
  4. The grant money has to be utilized in making the work and production of the exhibition.

August 15, 2019 : Deadline for submission of the project proposal.
September 2019: The Jury, reviews the proposals and the awardee is announced
October, 2019 –September, 2020: The awardee is given a year to take her/his project forward. During this time period, the awardee will have regular reviews to evaluate her/his progress
October, 2020- The awardee submits a final set of twenty photographs

Project Statement & Biography:

  1. The Artist Statement should not exceed 500 words. In this, the applicant should articulate their intentions and define the scope and reach of the project.
  2. The applicant should clearly mention the stage their project has reached and why it needs financial support to conclude it.
  3. The applicant must mention the exposure, if at all, this project has received across social media platforms and online magazines.
  4. Please submit a biography of 100-150 words in a separate document.
  5. Please submit 3 copies each of the artist statement & the biography.
  6. All written documents must be submitted in typed format (not handwritten) on A4 sheets of paper.

Photographic Prints with Captions/Titles

  1. Applicants must demonstrate evidence of their photographic ability by submitting 10 to 15 photographic prints, 12 inches on the longer side.
  2. The photographic prints must be from the project for which the application is made. Submission of any other prints will make the grant application ineligible.
  3. The photographic prints must be labeled using a sticker on the reverse. The labels must carry the following information: Name of applicant; Working Title of Project; Caption/Title of Photographic Print; Location; Date; Serial number/Order of sequence.
  4. Applicants must submit a separate document that contains the following information about each image: caption/title, location, date.

To be noted for all those who want their work to be sent back to them
Please send us a self-addressed envelope with your submission with return postage. This in needed incase you wish to receive your work submitted back to you via post.

Please send the application form and all submissions to:

Department of Photography, Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts (SACAC)
Sri Aurobindo Society Campus,
Shaheed Jeet Singh Marg,
Adchini, New Delhi 110017

No material will be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed envelope with return postage. SACAC is not responsible for loss of or damage to any submitted material. The deadline for receipt of all submissions for the second cycle of the awards is 15th August, 2019. The grant recipient will be announced on 15th September, 2019.


Upon being informed that she/he has been selected to receive the grant, the grant recipient must confirm in writing that the proposed photography project is an ongoing project, and that it has not received any other grants/awards in the past. While this is a material condition of the application process itself, this additional confirmation in writing is expected by the MurthyNAYAK Foundation (MNF).
The grant recipient must agree to complete the project within 12 months of receiving the first installment of the grant. The grant will be provided in installments, based on the submission of a budget.
On completion of the project, the grant recipient will provide MNF with 10 archival prints (minimum 12 inches on the longer side) along with their digital files (TIFF, 240 DPI, minimum 15 inches on the longer side). The grant recipient will also provide SACAC with an additional 10 digital files from the awarded project (TIFF, 240 DPI, minimum 15 inches on the longer side). These photographs will be archived for public viewing in the years to come. The grant recipient will also give permission to MNF and SACAC to reproduce the images for publicity in their catalogue and promotional use