On Tuesday, 2 June 2020, we saw an international response to issues of social justice that was widely supported by cultural organisations in the UK.
We know that the RPS needs to do much more to increase inclusivity and diversity. This is something we have become acutely aware of and steps are under way to review our governance structures, policies and approaches to diversity. However, this will take time.
After a lot of consideration, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to post a black square image. We have decided to respond by announcing a new bursary of £2,500 to support a photography project that explores the issues surrounding and arising from recent events, including the death of George Floyd.
The bursary will come out of a larger fund specifically set aside to support amateur photographers looking at issues of current importance. We encourage applications from any individuals and communities who feel best placed to tell these stories. The bursary will provide a platform for exposure and development opportunities, and the recipient's final work will be published in the award-winning RPS Journal and showcased digitally across the RPS.
Photography is one of the most accessible and powerful forms of communications. It is a medium with an ability to reveal, document and challenge issues, experiences and perspectives on our world. Our purpose is to promote photography, and we wish to enable people from all backgrounds to share their stories through photography.
We know this is a small contribution. Recent events are a powerful reminder of how much we need to do. As a public benefit organisation, we have a responsibility to better reflect the society we are a part of and we will continue to work to improve how to do this.
More information will be announced soon.
– The Royal Photographic Society, 4 June 2020