Textile Transformations 2024
Textile Transformations 2024
Textile Transformations 2024
For the third year running, Textile Exchange and Magnum Photos are launching a competition for emerging photographers to submit a story under the theme Textile Transformations. We’re looking for emerging photographers interested in telling 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.
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Textile Transformations

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, and they have often passed through many pairs of hands, transformed each time before they become the final product that we buy.

This transition starts with the plants, animals, or processes that give us materials like cotton, viscose, wool, or polyester. These fibers become thread, thread becomes fabric, fabrics become finished products, and finished products become cherished or symbolic items.

While each transformation brings cultural and emotional significance, 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, in partnership with Magnum Photos, we are looking for photographers interested in exploring the way we transform textiles, and how textiles in turn transform us.

By placing these themes 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.

The Winners

Winners will be selected by a panel of expert judges, and chosen based on their submitted projects.

The overall winner will receive a commission to the value of £8,000 for Textile Exchange to document the stories behind some of its members as well as a mentorship with a leading talent from Magnum’s network of photographers and support from the Magnum Photos Education team.

One runner-up will receive a commission to the value of £5,000 for Textile Exchange and some mentorship sessions from Magnum’s network of photographers and the Magnum Photos Education team.

The winning entries will also be showcased in an original exhibition at the Textile Exchange Conference. Held annually, the event brings over 800 brands, retailers, and suppliers together to ensure that fashion, textiles, and apparel are produced in a way that supports our planet, its ecosystems, its landscapes, and its communities. 

About Textile Exchange 

Textile Exchange is a global non-profit driving positive impact on climate change across the fashion, textile and apparel industry. We guide a growing community of brands, manufacturers and farmers towards more purposeful production, right from the start of the supply chain.​ 
 Our goal is to help the industry to achieve a 45% reduction in the emissions that come from producing fibers and raw materials by 2030. To get there, we are keeping our focus holistic and interconnected, accelerating the adoption of practices that improve the state of our water, soil health, and biodiversity too.  ​ ​ For real change to happen, everyone needs a clear path to positive impact. That’s why we believe that approachable, step-by-step instruction paired with collective action can change the system to make preferred fibers and materials an accessible default, mobilizing leaders through attainable strategies, proven solutions, and a driven community.  ​ ​ At Textile Exchange, materials matter. To learn more, visit https://textileexchange.org. 

About Magnum

Magnum Photos represents some of the world’s most renowned photographers, maintaining its founding ideals and idiosyncratic mix of journalist, artist, and storyteller. Its photographers share a vision to chronicle world events, people, places, and culture with a powerful narrative that defies convention, shatters the status quo, redefines history, and transforms lives.     For more than 70 years Magnum has been creating the highest quality photographic content for an international client base of media, charities, publishers, brands, and cultural institutions. The Magnum library is also a living archive updated regularly with new work from across the globe.     Since 2007 Magnum has been committed to developing the next generation of visual storytellers. They have programmed unique events focusing on education and professional development for photographers across the world.  

How to Enter

Applicants should submit at least one photo story (but a maximum of two), consisting of up to 25 images per story. They should also include an artist statement and CV.

The competition is open to any early career photographer aged 18 and above, from all nationalities who have an interest in the topics at the center of Textile Transformations.

All applicants must have a right to work and be available to travel for the winning commission at some time between Autumn 2024 and Summer 2025 (as mutually agreed).

Previous Years

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.

Kin Coedel - Dyal Thak
Winner 2023

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.

Madeleine Brunmeier - Gestalten
Runner up 2023

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.

2022

The first annual photography competition saw over 460 project submissions totalling over 7,100 images, with the winning entries showcased at the Textile Exchange Conference in November 2022. The winner and runners-up were commissioned to document stories of textile production around the world.

Anass Ouaziz was the overall winner, and received a commission to the value of £8,000 for Textile Exchange as well as a mentorship with a leading talent from Magnum's network of photographers.

Two runners-up, Cecilie Nicoline Rasmussen and Yichen Zhou, received a commission to the value of £4,000 for Textile Exchange and coaching sessions with a Magnum photographer and the Magnum Photos Education team.

Anass Ouaziz​ - Private Transmissions ​
Winner 2022

Anass Ouaziz was born in Marrakech and raised in Beni Mellal. He has long found the sublime in the mundane ​even before he became a photographer back in 2015. ​Ouaziz considers photography to be an exercise in observation, and that stories emerge by simply paying attention. For him what comes out from these seemingly insignificant moments is a celebration of the beauty of ​the everyday. The extraordinary in the ordinary.

As our 2022 winner, Ouaziz joined Textile Exchange to visit the Büyük Menderes River Basin in Türkiye. He documented how cotton farming is impacting the area’s rich biodiversity and how regenerative practices can integrate local farmers into an agricultural system that gives back to nature instead.

Cecilie Nicoline Rasmussen​ - Textile Transmission​
Runner up 2022

Cecilie Nicoline Rasmussen is currently living and working in Copenhagen. Danish by nationality, she grew up in Oman, where she relied on observing body language and tiny details of her surroundings to interact in a different cultural discourse. Through this and looking at family albums of people back home, is how she became fascinated with the possibilities of what photography as ​a medium has to offer. 

As our 2022 runner-up, ​Rasmussen travelled to northern france to document the flax pulling process at Terre de Lin, a cooperative specialized in the culture and the conversion of textile flax from seed to fiber.

Yichen Zhou​ - The Jade Branches​
Runner up 2022

Yichen Zhou is an artist working with photography, video, performance, and installations. Her performance-based work explores her identity as part of a new generation of Chinese artists and points to the challenges of living in a world where she finds multiple cultures and values in conflict. ​

As our 2022 runner-up, Zhou visited three Mongolian sheepherder families in Mandula Town, Inner Mongolia to explore the ecosystem behind nomadic wool production, documenting how these traditions are changing over time.

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