Project Development Lab with Mikhael Subotzky in London

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Mikhael Subotzky From the Ponte City project, A book about the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. In collaboration with Patrick Waterhouse. Ponte City from Yeoville Ridge. Johannesburg. South Africa. 2008. (...)

Apply to learn about working collaboratively and with practitioners across other disciplines, as you develop a project of your own under the guidance of a Deutsche Borse Photography Prize winning duo.

Mikhael Subotzky is known for his creative approach to storytelling and for his challenging approach to the medium of photography. His recent work Yellow Bile picks apart what the practice of photography means. By ripping and manipulating his own photographs, as well as found imagery and other materials, Mikhael attacks the very objects that his practice as a photographer results in.

During this 4-day intensive workshop, participants will have a unique chance to work alongside the 2014 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize winning duo Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse in developing a project idea or existing body of work, receiving first-hand information on their research and creative approach.

Aimed at supporting and mentoring each participant in their approach by helping them to talk about and contextualise their work in a wider professional environment, this workshop will be centered around group reviews, in-depth editing and an ideas lab where participants will be invited to dissect their projects, and create a pitch and updated project statement.

“I love to work intensely on projects that are strong and engaged. During this workshop, participants will get my full critical input, pushing them to take their work as far as it can possibly go. At the same time, there will be moments of fun and lightness, and we will explore potential unexpected directions that the work can take.”

Areas that will be covered during this Magnum Project Development Lab:

• Mentoring by Magnum photographer Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse
• Ideas Development – What makes a good photography project, how to research and develop the work
• Benefits and possibilities of collaborative work
• Writing about and presenting your work
• Presentation options – What am I trying to say, who am I trying to reach, what channels are available, what is most relevant to my work?
• Professional Practice – Advice on working as a professional photographer

For the full program, see below.

Mikhael Subotzky 'Water Out of Sunlight'

200 x 280cm. Oil and ink on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery / Magnum Photos © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos

Where & When

Magnum Print Room, London
30th June, 1st-2nd-3rd July, 10am to 6pm


The workshop will be held in English


Early Bird Price Offer £650 (incl. VAT) before June 13th
Regular Price £750 (incl. VAT) after June 13th

Upon submitting your application you will be forwarded to Magnum’s Paypal account where you can make payment. Payment is made in two instalments, 50% on application and 50% on acceptance.

Terms and Conditions apply.
See the bottom of this page for more details.

Selection and Requirements

The workshop is open to 14 participants maximum and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Photographers are required to bring an edit of up to 30-40 small work prints and any other format the project has been developed to yet.

Students attending must be comfortable using their equipment and have their own laptop with Editing Software.


To apply for this workshop click here.

Mikhael Subotzky From the Ponte City project, A book about the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa. In collaboration with Patrick Waterhouse. Johannesburg. South Africa. 2008. Copyright Mikhael Subotzky and P (...)


Saturday June 30

Day 1 – 10am-6pm
Overview of the workshop, aims and outputs
Lecture by Mikhael Subotzky (1 hour + 30 min Q&A)
Introductions and project presentations by participants
Group Discussion

Sunday July 1

Day 2 – 10am – 6pm
Lecture by Patrick Waterhouse (1 hour + 30 min Q&A)
Group reviews and editing part 1 by Patrick and Mikhael (portfolios are reviewed in groups, each participant gets 40 min with each mentor)

Monday July 2

Day 3 – 10am – 6pm
Lecture by Shannon Ghannam, Global Education Director – Advice for Emerging Photographers (1 hour + 30 min Q&A)
Group reviews and editing part 2 by Patrick and Mikhael (portfolios are reviewed in groups, each participant gets 40 min with each mentor)

Tuesday July 3

Day 4 – 10am – 6pm
Ideas lab: Based on advice from the past 3 days, participants are invited to write a concise statement and project plan for presentation to Mikhael Subotzky and Magnum Staff for feedback

Mikhael Subotzky 'Kaa-U-La Bird'. 246 x 199.2 cm. Oil and ink on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery / Magnum Photos © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos
Mikhael Subotzky 'The Therapist'. Oil and ink on canvas. 100 x 70 cm.

Courtesy the artist and Goodman Gallery / Magnum Photos © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos

About Mikhael Subotzky:

Mikhael Subotzky’s works are the results of his fractured attempts to place himself in relation to the social, historical, and political narratives that surround him both at home in South Africa and on his frequent travels. As an artist working in film, video installation, and photography, as well as more recently in collage and painting, Subotzky engages critically with contemporary politics of representation. “At the heart of my work is a fixation with revealing the gap between what is presented (and idealised) and what is hidden, coupled with a desire to pull apart and reassemble the schizophrenia of contemporary existence,” he says. Subotzky was born in 1981 in Cape Town, South Africa, and is currently based in Johannesburg.

Ponte City (Steidl, 2014) focuses a single 54-story building that dominates the Johannesburg skyline. The building is cast as the central character in a myriad of interweaving narratives that, through photographs, commissioned texts, historical documents, and urban myths, chart the convoluted histories of both the building and Johannesburg itself. The Ponte City exhibition, which consists of a single installation of thousands of photographs and documents, has been exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (Edinburgh, 2014), FoMU (Antwerp, 2014) and Le Bal (Paris, 2014). Excerpts from the series have been shown at the Liverpool (2012), Lubumbashi (2013) as well as the South African National Gallery (Cape Town, 2010). Ponte City won the 2015 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize.

About Patrick Waterhouse:

Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981) is an artist whose work spans photography, drawing, slow journalism, graphic design, sculpture and many other disciplines. His practice involves in-depth research, often working in communities and collaborating with other artists, researchers and writers.

Waterhouse’s work has been exhibited internationally in institutions. Recent exhibitions include The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2016) National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C (2015) The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2015) The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2014) FotoMuseum Antwerpen (2014) and Le Bal, Paris (2014).Awards include the Discovery Award at Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles in 2011 and the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize in 2015 for Ponte City (with Mikhael Subotzky).

In 2011 Waterhouse became Editor-in-chief of Colors magazine, creating a new editorial direction (The Survival Guides) and building a global team of photographers, designers, editors, writers, artists, researchers and bloggers. The Survival guide series consists of 10 printed issues, with touring exhibitions and workshops.

Mikhael Subotzky Samuel, Beaufort West rubbish dump. Beaufort West. South Africa. 2006. © Mikhael Subotzky | Magnum Photos

Terms and Conditions

– There are a limited number of spaces on the workshop. Students will be selected based on the work they have submitted during their registration.

– Magnum Photos reserves the right to cancel this event with less than 7 participants. In the event of cancellation students will be given at least 2 weeks advance notice and a full refund.

– Magnum Photos reserves the right to change or alter the program advertised.

– The workshop fee does not include transport, accommodation or ground expenses. International participants are responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case the workshop is cancelled. We highly recommend that you buy refundable tickets and/or travel insurance.

– Refunds to applicants who wish to cancel their place on the workshop can only be given up to 14 days in advance of the date of the workshop. After this point, refunds cannot be issued.


For enquiries relating to this project please email Sonia Jeunet: