In the cities in which we live, all of us see hundreds of publicity images every day of our lives. No other kind of image confronts us so frequently.

In no other form of society in history has there been such a concentration of images, such a density of visual messages.

One may remember or forget these messages but briefly one takes them in, and for a moment they stimulate the imagination by way of either memory or expectation. 

John Berger, 1972

John Berger wrote about publicity images in 1972. The only avenues of display of advertisement images then were in the physical space, on the streets in the form of billboards and posters, and in the form of publications, newspapers, and magazines. Today, this remains relevant in an especially exaggerated manner, when our exposure to publicity/ad imagery through the avenue of digital marketing, the webspace is taken into consideration.


This leads to questioning the role of the advertising industry as the creators responsible for the outspread of publicity imagery. Other than sharing information, does it address/represent/mirror society? Do images hold a social responsibility towards the consumers of publicity images? 


The power and virality of an image cannot be undermined in today's algorithmic environments. While selling products, ads also sell a lifestyle, a world view and more often than not, an idealized vision of how the consumer should be in 2022. These lifestyles are conceptualized having a specific target audience in mind and yet we all end up being targeted. Is the responsibility of the campaign designer/creative director/visual artist restricted only to the company they work for? Does imagery in ads resort to only meeting the campaign brief in order to tick all the ‘right’ boxes? 


How could ads be more inclusive? Inclusive of diverse body types, of gender, challenging the notions of caste, of outdated and unfortunate traditions? How could a socially and economically responsible, inclusive and diverse campaign look that doesn´t fall back on tokenism? How can the circle of misrepresentation and underrepresentation be broken? Can advertisements nudge the consumer/viewer to rethink their participation and stance by reconstructing what their images represent? 


We invite photographers and artists preferably but not restricted to working with photography for commercial promotions to share a set of works that relook at the ethics of representation in images and to present their own ethos in the form of imagery that is sensitive and inclusive. We nudge the artists to explore the idea of constructed and reconstructed images, to look at the recent and not so recent history of publicity images to formulate their bodies of work.


The selected and final works will be showcased in a physical show in Hamburg in Sep 2022 (TBC) and there are plans to bring the show to Chennai as well.



  • Open call announcement - 20 June

  • Application Deadline - 20 July 11.59 pm

  • Announcement of selected artists - 1 August

  • Final works submission - 31 August

  • Proposed Exhibition in Hamburg - Late September

Grant Details

  • 3 applications will be selected for the final showcase. 

  • An honorarium of INR 80,000 each will be awarded to 3 selected projects (The honorarium will be awarded per project and NOT per artist in case of collaborative projects/collectives). This includes an artist fee and any expenses incurred by the artist for making the final work(images) for the exhibition.

  • 3 Selected projects will be exhibited in a physical exhibition in Hamburg around September (TBC).

  • Production costs of the exhibition will be borne by the organisers.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be a resident of India or must hold a resident permit

  • Independent artists OR Collaborative Projects OR Collectives can apply

  • Artists should be at least 18 years of age at the time of submission

Submission Guidelines

  • The application has to be emailed to the following email address: with the subject line - Application_Name_Surname

  • The application should include a Portfolio, Project Proposal & Biography, and a disclosure document. All the required files need to be compressed into a zip file. The file size should not exceed 25MB

  • File Nomenclature - Application_Name_Surname(if any)_2022

All applications need to be submitted in English. The quality of the language will NOT be a selection criterion.


  • Still Images - Jpeg format - Minimum 5 - Maximum 10 numbers. 

    • File Nomenclature - Portfolio_Name_Surname(if any)_2022_sequence number

    • Artists can choose to write captions for independent images. Captions should be shared in a separate PDF.

Project Proposal approximately 500 words

  • File Nomenclature - Project proposal_Name_Surname(if any)_2022

Brief Biography

  • File Nomenclature - Bio_Name_Surname(if any)_2022

The applicant must disclose in a separate PDF any exposure this project has received in the form of 

  • Previous grants received 

  • Exhibitions in any public forum(virtual or physical)

  • Publications on any platform including social media(digital or analog)

File Nomenclature - Disclosure_Name_Surname(if any)_2022

Information for the Awardees

  • Exhibition/production costs, including printing, framing, installation, invigilation, and interpretation, will be determined and met by the organisers in discussion with the selected artists, subject to available resources.

  • In consultation with the artists, work created and submitted will be used for promoting the grant via social media, newsletters, video, and traditional media. Awarded artists will be expected to provide material from their project and remain available for interviews with the media and with CPB Foundation, Goethe Institut, and Zentrum Für Internationale Kulturelle Bildung Hamburg's social platforms. 

  • The organisers' and granters' websites will also serve as a portal for collating the processes and outcomes of the entire project.

  • Acquiring copyright permissions of all work that is a part of the project will be the responsibility of the artists, especially in the case of usage of found images. 

  • CPB Foundation has a strict Me Too policy and exerts the right to disqualify any applicant upon knowledge of any sexual harrassment accusation/charges against the applicant. In case the applicant has been in such a situation, we request you to notify us with your application.

  • By applying to this Open call, applicants implicitly agree to abide by the Open call criteria and terms.