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Unpublished Photo 2021 competition calling for emerging young talent – enter today!

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Italian photographer Gabriele Milani was one of the finalists in Unpublished Photo 20, for ‘Sileno con Dionisio bambino, copia Romana 300 aC’ (2018) (Image credit: MUSEC / 29 Arts In Progress gallery)

Calling all emerging photography talent from around the world… the 2021 edition of Unpublished Photo (UP21) is currently open for entries. 

Unpublished Photo has been running since 2018 and aims to give a voice to “new trends of contemporary photography.” 

UP21’s top prize is CHF 5,000 ($5,550), and four finalists will have their work exhibited in a temporary exhibition in Lugano, Switzerland. 

So if you’re aged 18-35 and are looking for some extra recognition for your photography, all you need to do is enter a thematic portfolio of 10 images online before 28 June – be quick, though, as the deadline is approaching fast. 

There are no specific topics or categories in UP21; the submitted images just need to be a series linked by a common theme. 

Work that has been previously awarded or published can be entered in UP21, but to stay true to the spirit of the competition, entrants are encouraged to include as much “unpublished” photography as possible. 

Enter Unpublished Photo 2021 today!

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‘The Maiden Nun’ (2018), by Jian Luo, one of the finalists in Unpublished Photo 20 (Image credit: Jian Luo/MUSEC/29 Arts In Progress gallery)

Click here to enter UP21 – you will also be asked to submit an information statement about the work, and a short CV, after uploading your 10 images.   

UP21 is promoted by MUSEC (Museo delle Culture of Lugano, Switzerland) and the 29 Arts In Progress gallery in Milan, Italy. 

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View of the Unpublished Photo 2020 exhibition (Image credit: MUSEC/29 Arts In Progress gallery)

The UP21 finalists’ exhibition will take place at the Spazio Maraini at Villa Malpensata, Lugano, from 23 September 2021 to 27 February 2022. 

When the exhibition closes, the exhibited works will be added to the MUSEC collection, expanding a photography archive that features more than 40,000 works from the mid-19th century to the present day. 

And a limited edition artist’s book dedicated to the work of one of the finalist photographers will be published by the De Pietri Artphilein Foundation, one of the UP21 project partners.

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‘Playing is my right, no. 2’ (2019) by Farnaz Damnabi – another finalist in Unpublished Photo 20 (Image credit: Farnaz Damnabi/MUSEC/29 Arts In Progress gallery)

The UP21 selection committee consists of leading figures from the world of art and photography and will select the four finalists early in July 2021. 

Click here for more information about Unpublished Photo 2021, and to see the competition FAQs. 

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‘The glass island’ (2018) by Unpublished Photo 2020 finalist Gabriel Guerra Bianchini (Image credit: Gabriel Guerra Bianchini/MUSEC/29 Arts In Progress gallery)

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Niall is the editor of Digital Camera magazine and has been shooting on interchangeable lens cameras for two decades, and on various point-and-shoot models for years before that. 


Working alongside professional photographers for many years as a jobbing journalist gave Niall the curiosity to also start working on the other side of the lens, and these days his favored shooting subjects include wildlife, travel and street photography, plus dabbling with studio still life.