Throughout history, certain years and cultural moments mark significant changes and threats to social and political justice – equity for all people. In 2017, the newly elected government in Romania wanted to decriminalize corruption offenses, and Romanians marched in what was a comparable gathering since the fall of communism in Bucharest. Pressure from the citizens forced the government to back down and the Justice Minister resigned shortly. In 2017, the day after the presidential inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women marched on Washington, D.C. and sister cities as a gesture of protest about the treatment of women, and for the values of equity and equality.

The publication of former official White House photographer Pete Souza’s book Shade, highlights the same moment. In Kerala, Indian Catholic sisters broke rank with the church, protesting rape from a bishop, as they expressed their dissent in the streets. Time magazine named the “Silence Breakers” the Person of the Year for 2017, and in 2011, in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, the magazine bestowed the same label on “The Protestor”. In 2018, in the midst of an evolving digital era also characterized by social justice upheaval and the rise of hate crimes directed at people of color – and others seen as “others” – we find ourselves in yet another cultural moment in which struggles for equity characterize the day. This is, in short, the resistance period. People are organizing and understanding the power of prepared action in both big and subtle ways.

Resistance: The Exhibition will curate the best photographic images around the theme of resistance. Images can be experimental in nature and not just documentary as long as there is some aspect of photography associated with the work. Participants can submit up to six images for this juried exhibition.

Submission Deadline 5 pm EST, January 27, 2020 
Exhibition Dates February 3 – March 30, 2020
School of Communication, American University

Submission Requirements

  • Label your image “01_Last Name_ First Name”
  • Include the title, dates, artist statement (if needed) and a brief bio (250 words) in a PDF labeled  “Last Name_First Name”
  • size your jpgs at 1024 pixels  on the longest dimension at 72dpi- If your image is chosen for the print exhibition we will ask you to send us a higher resolution version for us to print

*Please note that any submissions that do not meet the requirements will not be considered

You retain your rights to your photograph; however, by entering the contest, you grant the Center for Media & Social Impact a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publicly display, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or later developed, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, promotion of the contest and the activities of the Center and its website, and exhibition, including but not limited to Center for Media & Social Impact publications. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. The Center for Media & Social Impact will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses.

Submit Here

Meet the Juror: KK Ottesen

KK Ottesen is an author, journalist and photographer, who shares the stories of people’s lives through first-person narrative interviews and photographic portraits. Through her work, Ottesen seeks to bring her audiences close to her subjects to break down barriers and stereotypes and allow for the discovery and celebration of common ground. Ottesen has contributed to The Washington Post Magazine over the past decade; her work has also appeared in Esquire, The San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, New York Daily News,, HUCK, Washingtonian, bitch media, and elsewhere. She is the author and photographer of ACTIVIST: Portraits of Courage (Chronicle, 2019), which features interviews and photographs with more than forty activists – from John Lewis and Angela Davis to leaders of Black Lives Matter, The Tea Party, and Standing Rock – who recount the moments and decisions that sparked their activism. Ottesen’s first book, Great Americans, explored what it means to be an American through interviews and photographs with everyday individuals who happen to share names with some of the country’s most famous and infamous icons. Ottesen earned a bachelor’s from Wesleyan University and a master’s from Yale. More of her work can be found at or @kk.ottesen.