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International Education for Artistic Photography in Sweden

News: Nov 12, 2014

Valand Academy is expanding with an international Master’s Programme in Photography and calls for applications, with deadline 15th of January 2015. The programme focuses on photographic practices and is aimed at individuals interested in advancing their practice across different modes including fine art, artists' books, archival and environmental photography.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 1 December 2014 - 15 January 2015

The M.F.A Programme of Photography is suited to those interested in both deepening and broadening their knowledge of photography, artistic practice and theory. One important part is its outreach activities, designed to provide students with experience and advanced knowledge of photography within the artistic field.

The programme also prepares students for research-level studies and provides a good foundation for further postgraduate-level studies in artistic research.

Julia Tedroff is responsible for the M.F.A Programme of Photography at Valand Academy and describes the outline and aim of the education.

- We are engaged to contemporary oriented discussions of media and contribute to an advanced understanding of photography as a creative medium of artistic practice.

Julia Tedroff further explains that the subject area of Photography has a special status within Fine Art that has to do with its technical and historical pre-conditions and its almost countless application areas in our society today. She describes the research milieu at Valand Academy as accomodating a variety of perspectives on photography's role such as archival practices, materiality and spatial possibilities.

The research also holds cross-disciplinary perspectives like environmental photography and its potential in contemporary environmental research. Another perspective within the research is photography as a tool for surveillance or used to explore and create identity. 

- All these perspectives are reflected in the research at Valand Academy which attract international key figures from a wide artistic field, she says.

Internationally Recognised Artists as Teachers 

The programme is based on individual project work extending over two years, in which students integrate their experiences and learn through their own creative work. Through joint group critique and individual meetings with teachers/ professors, students develop their photography and discuss projects and creative processes, thereby defining a personal approach to their artistic work. 

The education engage photographers, artists, scholars, critics and curators active both nationally and internationally. The group of teachers involves internationally recognised artists and top photographers such as Mary Coble, Lotta Antonsson and Niclas Östlind

The Master’s Programme in Photography consists of two years of full-time studies based on a total of 60 HE credits per year and leads to a degree of Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) in Photography. The final project of the last year results in a group exhibition, together with Valand's Master Students in Fine Art, at Göteborgs Konsthall. 

Academy Networks and Projects

The Valand Academy at the University of Gothenburg is a centre for the development of the independent artist/ author/ film-maker/ photographer. The academy is especially interested in the agency of artists, and in artist-led cultures, across the space of contemporary art, cinema, literature, photographic and curatorial practices. 

Based in the centre of the beautiful port city of Gothenburg, the Valand Academy is closely integrated into the city’s cultural life - including collaborations with Göteborgs Konsthall, Hasselblad Centre, Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA), Literature House, and many other public arts agencies.

Valand Academy is extensively networked internationally with partners all over the world and a history of providing courses in diverse geopolitical sites including collaborative courses in Europe, Russia, Central Asia and South East Asia. The academy's professors were the first in Sweden to introduce the doctorate through arts practices, and have been working with doctorate education for more than a decade. 

The academy hosts a lively research community, including several prestigious nationally funded research projects in the areas of artist-led culture, social practice, queer cinema, contemporary poetry, and photographic archives/ imaging practices in environmental and climate science. 

Learning Environment and Students

The education is characterised by small class sizes and highly competitive recruitment. The emphasis is on a peer educational environment. The pedagogical approach is that knowledge and practice are developed within a community of learners and researchers comprising students and professors operating in an intense and sustained dialogue with each other. 

Students at Valand come from different countries, cultural heritages and perspectives. The programme actively encourage cross-cultural dialogue and aim to reflect the diversity of perspective, politic and representation of the contemporary world. 

- No application och tuition fees for EU/EEA citizens - 

Photo: Be Square, Anna Strand – Lecturer in Photography


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