For the third year running, Textile Exchange is launching its annual photography competition in partnership with Magnum Photos. The 2024 competition invites emerging photographers to explore the visual stories that take place when fibers and materials are cultivated, created, spun, woven, sewn, loved and cherished – gaining cultural and emotional significance through the journey.

THEME

Share a visual story under the theme of Textile Transformations

We’re calling on photographers to explore the way we transform textiles, and how textiles in turn transform us.

Clothing and textiles connect us intrinsically to our planet and its many ecosystems, cultures, and communities. The materials used to make them come from farms, forests, or even oil from the earth – passing through many pairs of hands, transformed each time before they become the final product that we buy.

But our collective appreciation of textiles often centers around the product itself, rather than where it came from, who created it, or what it has come to mean. That’s why our competition is about placing unexpected perspectives at the center of the story, altering our attitude towards these everyday textile items, all while providing a springboard for emerging talent to embrace a more human approach to visual storytelling.

IMAGE: YICHEN ZHOU
BACKGROUND

Placing textiles at the center of the story 

Our collective appreciation of textiles often revolves around the product itself, rather than where it came from, who created it, or what it has come to mean. That’s why, in partnership with Magnum Photos, our annual photography competition invites photographers to place textiles at the center of the story. 

The initiative hopes to reframe the way we relate to their social, cultural, and environmental implications. It is about altering our attitude towards these everyday items, all while providing a springboard for emerging talent to embrace a more human approach to visual storytelling.

IMAGE: ANASS OUAZIZ
How it works

What the winners recieve and how they're selected

The jurors

Competition winners are selected by a panel, consisting of experts from a range of disciplines. The 2023 jurors include Claire Bergkamp (CEO, Textile Exchange), Joi Lee, (Head of Editorial, Earthrise Studio), Sonia Jeunet (Education Director, Magnum Photos), William Simeone (Partnerships Manager, Magnum Photos), Jérôme Sessini (Magnum Photographer), and Zied Ben Romdhane (Magnum Photographer).

The prizes

The prizes may vary from year to year and are intended to enrich the winners’ creative development and career progression. This year, the overall winner will receive a commission for Textile Exchange to the value of £8,000 to document a story about material production around the world, as well as a mentorship with a leading talent from Magnum’s network of photographers. One runner-up will also receive a commission to the value of £5,000 for Textile Exchange and coaching sessions with a Magnum photographer and the Magnum Photos Education team.

 

The exhibition

Each year, winning entries are also showcased in an original exhibition at the Textile Exchange Conference. Held annually, the event brings together leaders and experts from across the fashion, textile, and apparel industry, providing a space to collaboratively explore challenges and solutions to overcome the climate crisis.

2023

Meet last year’s winner and runner-up

The 2023 edition saw over 500 photographers from over 70 countries share their interpretations of the multitude of ways in which we transform textiles, and textiles in turn transform us.

As the 2023 competition winner, Kin Coedel received an £8,000 commission for Textile Exchange as well as mentorship with a Magnum photographer. Coedel is an analog photographer from Hong Kong who grew up in Canada. In 2020, he travelled to Tibet, Mogolia, and India on a journey that took him back to his own origins, as he set out to redefine how Eastern communities are portrayed.

Dyal Thak, the name of Coedel’s submission, means “a common thread” in Tibetan. Through this series, Coedel showcases the nomadic community’s sustainable herding practices and the stories that are woven into every thread, celebrating the transformative power of tradition preserved and revived.

As the runner-up, Madeleine Brunnmeier received a £5,000 commission for Textile Exchange and mentorship with a Magnum Photographer. A Berlin-based artist, Brunnmeier studied Visual Communication at the Berlin University of the Arts as well as at Musashino Art University Tokyo. Characterized by curiosity, explores both observationally and conceptually the relationships between individuals and their environment.

Brunnmeier’s competition entry, Gestalten, is a photo series of temporary sculptures, composed of people and all their possessions of clothing. Throughout our lives, our clothing becomes an archive – a mass of identity, culture, and memory.

IMAGE: KIN COEDEL
CONTACT

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the competition, please contact us at communications@textileexchange.org.