Designed for photographers, artists and researchers whose work address notions of urban space and culture, the international Urban Photography Summer School provides a highly intensive two-week practical and theoretical training in key aspects of urban visual practice and research. The course aims to offer participants a wide range of relevant skills resulting in the production of a digital exhibition at Goldsmiths and a photography portfolio drawn from London’s urban environments.

The programme has been developed in collaboration with the Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR), Goldsmiths University London, the Urban Photographers’ Association (UPA), UrbanPhotoFest and the international Association of Visual Urbanists (iAVU). The course will be taught by tutors from Goldsmiths’ Sociology Department and the international MA in Photography and Urban Cultures. The programme draws on the advanced theoretical, research and practical image-making specialisms of key practitioners in the field.

Summer School tutors include: Paul Halliday (MA in Photography and Urban Cultures Course Leader), Les Back (Goldsmiths), Caroline Knowles (Goldsmiths), Mandy Lee Jandrell (Head of Photography, Falmouth University), Peter Coles (Goldsmiths), Manuel Vázquez (Goldsmiths), Laura Cuch (Goldsmiths and UCL), Diego Ferrari (Kingston University), David Kendall (Goldsmiths) and Gill Golding (Goldsmiths).

The programme will explore how the practice of urban image-making informs the development of a reflexive and critical research perspective and will include assignments and guided fieldtrips focusing on (1) Urban Landscapes and Architectures, (2) Urban Materialities and Objects (3) Street-based photography, Performance and Portraiture.

The Summer School will take place from 19th-31st August 2019. 

Application Deadline is 14th July 2019


The Summer School will provide participants with a structured framework of theoretical talks, discussions and debates, visual presentations, critiques and assignments culminating in a self directed visual project focusing on the urban domain. This will lead to the development of a photographic portfolio reflecting their individual interest and visual practice in relation to urban research. Participants may wish to use this portfolio for the accumulation of degree credits, as a portfolio when applying for a further degree programme, or as a form of visual and theoretical self-development. At the end of the Summer School a curated salon exhibition will be organized from a selection of participants’ photographs.

Previous participants have gone on to successfully apply for MA programmes in photography or related visual programmes (including the MA PUC at Goldsmiths, University of London) or to use the intensive programme as part of their doctoral visual training component. Other summer school members have included undergraduate students from social science and visual arts backgrounds who wish to expand their knowledge of the field and to work on an intensive, highly focused visual outcome.

iUPSS was a cathartic experience involving new thinking, new friends and the introduction of a rich vein of photographic talent and intelligence. The tutors displayed a diversity of styles, passion, informed opinion and a commitment to urban photography and the concerns of our time. An exceptional experience. James Reid

The experience has been so intense and so incredibly enriching that I can’t believe I have learnt so much. I go with my mind open to new horizons and other project’s possibilities… Marguerite de Merode

The program’s combination of urbanism, photography, and the opportunity to learn from a global city such as London richly met my objective to gain a more astute grasp of how to use images effectively to convey, elicit, and provoke critical ideas about urban culture and social space. As an educator, I found the program pedagogically inspiring as well. Kristin Koptiuch