In so many countries around the world, LGBT+ people continue to face a disproportionate impact from COVID-19. Existing marginalization, dependence on the informal economy and pre-existing health vulnerabilities, particularly HIV, are all combining to leave queer communities horribly exposed. All this comes on top of existing challenges of the discrimination and violence queer communities were already facing. Attacks on LGBT+ people continued as more "LGBT-free zones" were established in Poland, innocent LGBT+ people were arrested and mistreated in countries like Russia, Cameroon, and Tunisia, and many were targeted by hate crimes, and denied access to basic human rights.
Throughout all these difficulties, the LGBT+ community has persisted and resisted. Here at All Out, a global movement for the rights of LGBT+ people, we have witnessed an unprecedented wave of solidarity and support from people all over the world helping those in need.
The All Out Photo Award is a photography competition that is motivated by that solidarity. Inspired by the theme of this year's International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), "Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!", the competition calls on photographers to share unique photos that capture how LGBT+ people and their communities and allies around the world resist attacks and discrimination, support each other in these difficult times, and heal together.
The All Out Photo Award is being presented by MTV and All Out.
Amateur and professional photographers alike are invited to submit photos in one or more of three categories (up to 5 photos per category) based on the three themes of IDAHOBIT 2021: Resisting, Supporting, Healing.
Show us your photos of how LGBT+ people and their communities and allies around the world resist attacks and discrimination.
Share your photos that show how LGBT+ people and their communities and allies support each other in difficult times.
Submit photos that show how LGBT+ people and their communities and allies take steps forward to collectively heal from experienced struggles and pain.
Submissions from all photographic genres and from anyone, regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, or any other characteristic or status are welcome.
All submitting photographers will benefit from:
All participants will have their work viewed by an international panel of professional photographers, and have the opportunity to win the following prizes:
The winners in each of the three categories will receive a cash prize of USD $1,000
The runners-up (two in each category) will receive a print voucher from BayPhoto.com valued at USD $300 and a one year subscription to Flickr Pro valued at $72.
The winning and runner-up photographs will
The photos will be judged by an international jury according to the following criteria: expression of the theme, inspirational power, originality, and composition.
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All Out is a global movement for love and equality. All Out is the world's largest LGBT+ online activism network, that works towards a world in which nobody has to sacrifice their family, freedom, safety or dignity because of who they are or who they love.
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Biography with up to 1500 characters
Country of residence
1 to 5 images per submission
File type must be JPG
At least 1500px on the long edge
Image date (year)
Isabel Okoro, Visual Artist
Isabel Okoro, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, is currently a Toronto-based photographer. Okoro uses photography to visualize an imagined world and eternity, as a space to immortalize family, friends & those she meets along the way. Her governing photographic thesis is predicated on the creation of a Black utopia; a world free of the anxiety, violence and oppression experienced by those of the African diaspora. Her work has been featured online with i-D Magazine, WePresent by WeTransfer, Nataal Magazine and Der Greif Magazin.
Nelson Morales, Photographer
Since 2008 Nelson Morales has dedicated himself completely to photography independently and has studied various educational programs of contemporary photography in Mexico. His work focuses mainly on issues of gender, body, identity and sexual diversity. He has made different individual and group exhibitions in 21 countries, and he has obtained different mentions and recognitions around the world. His work has been published in Aperture, New York Times, Vogue Italia, Vogue México, Vice, mexicanísimo, TETU, Loeil de la photograpie, The British Journal of Photography, Der Greif, and many more. In 2018, he published his first Photobook, “Musas Muxe” and in 2019 he published his second Photobook “Fantastic Woman”. His work belongs to different collections, both public and private.
Mengwen Cao, Photographer, artist, educator
Mengwen Cao is a photographer, artist and educator. Born and raised in China, they are currently based in New York. As a queer immigrant, they use care and tenderness to explore spaces between race, gender and cultural identity. As a board member of Authority Collective, they are championing diverse narratives and perspectives in the media industry. They were recognized by The Lit List in 2018 and PDN 30 in 2019. Their projects have been featured in publications like The New York Times and NPR. They have participated in international exhibitions like Photoville and Jimei Arles Photo Festival.
Maurizio Fiorino, photographer, novelist and journalist
Maurizio Fiorino is from Crotone, a small town located in the deepest south of Italy. At the age of 22 he moved to New York City, where he lived for about eight years and studied photography. He is skilled in documentary photography and storytelling. In 2014 he published his debut novel, Amodio. Things he loves most: his bike, boxing, Sicilian brioches, Greek statues and art in all of his forms.
Gui Mohallem, Visual artist & activist
Raised as a queer kid in a Lebanese family who settled in a small town north of São Paulo, questions of belonging and identity have permeated Gui's work from the get go.
A film degree holder, he had his first solo show in NYC in 2008. In the following years, he's showcased his work in Brazil and abroad, speaking at many photography festivals. Activism has permeated his work, especially since 2014, when he co-founded #VoteLGBT, an activist collective and NGO.
Charmaine Poh, Photographer, artist, writer
Charmaine Poh works across photography, film, and performance to create spaces for narratives in the margins. Central to her practice is considering the performativity of the everyday, and the ways tenderness can be a form of resistance and rebuilding of worlds. Her practice often employs ethnographic methods in working with communities to establish processes of co-authorship and sharing.
Her work has been supported by the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, the Singapore International Photography Festival, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Filmmaking, The Taipei Arts Festival, The International Center of Photography, Photoville, WeTransfer, and The New York Times, among others. In 2019, she was recognized as one of Forbes Asia 30 under 30 - The Arts. She graduated with an M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology from the Freie Universität Berlin, and a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.
Who can enter the All Out Photo Award?
The All Out Photo Award is an open call to photographers of all skill levels and abilities. We encourage submissions from anyone, regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, or any other characteristic or status.
Is there a theme for the All Out Photo Award?
Yes. The theme is inspired by this year's IDAHOBIT theme, "Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing!". Photographers are encouraged to submit LGBT+-themed entries for any or all of the three categories: resisting, supporting and healing.
Is there a fee for submitting photos?
No. This open call is completely free of charge.
Is there a deadline for submissions?
Yes. The deadline for submissions is 11 June 2021, 11:59 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
Is there a limit to the number of photos I can submit?
You can submit up to 5 photographs per category. That means, if you submit photos in all three categories, you can submit a total of 15 photos.
Can I email my submission or submit on social media?
No. We only accept submissions through this website.
Can I submit work that has been awarded in other competitions?
Yes. You can submit work that has been a part of other photo competitions, as long as it is in line with the themes, and as long as you have full rights to the photos.
Are there any age restrictions to this competition?
Yes. You must be 18 years of age and above at the time of submitting your photos.
Will I keep the rights to my photos after submitting them to the contest?
Yes, of course -- you keep the copyright on your photos, but you allow All Out and our sponsors and partners to use your photos for activities in all media (including social media, online, and print) in relation to the contest, the exhibition, the archive, and all LGBT+ rights advocacy and fundraising, educational, and promotional activities, without any remuneration being due. Photographers will be credited for their works. For more details on this, please read the Terms & Conditions.
How will I find out if I won or if my photos didn't make it?
We will let you know by email if your photo is chosen as a winner. You will also hear from us if you're not among the winners. The public winner announcement will be on 28 June 2021.
What happens if I win?
The final selection of artists will be made in collaboration between the Jury and the All Out team. There will be 9 selected artists including winners and runners-up.
If you're selected as a winner, you will be notified by email in late June with information about the following steps. A list of selected awardees will be published on the All Out website and social media. The decision on successful entrants is final.
What can I win by participating in the contest?
All submitting photographers will benefit from a submission review by our jury of professional photographers and opportunities for exposure (e.g. across social networks and websites).
9 photographers will benefit from cash or other prizes, be displayed on the big screen at ViacomCBS headquarters in Times Square, New York City, have their work printed and exhibited at WorldPride Copenhagen 2021 and several galleries around the world, receive International media and social media exposure, among other opportunities. See the "What winners receive" section on this website for more info.
If I'm one of the winners -- how can I be included in the exhibitions?
If you're one of the selected photographers, we will be in touch with you regarding following steps. The production of the photos (printing and transport) will be done with the support of our sponsors BayPhoto and/or Bilder.de. All Out will work with local teams at exhibition spaces to set up the shows.
Will my photos be featured on social media?
From May 17 onwards some submitted photos will be highlighted by All Out and shown through our Instagram accounts @weareallout (Global), @alloutbr (Brazil), and @somosallout (LatAm), and on Facebook. Please note that if your work is shared on All Out's social media channels this does not mean that your work has or has not been selected as a winner as successful applicants will be determined later (in June 2021) after the works have been seen by the jury. Through submitting your work you give permission for the All Out team to use your work in this way and to publish it online and on the All Out social media platforms.
Can I submit using an artist name or pseudonym?
Yes, but you must include your real name on the application form as well.
You have a question that is not included here? Don't hesitate to reach out to us through firstname.lastname@example.org.