April 18, 2019





Photo Contest on Urban Informality 

The Penn Institute for Urban Research invites you to participate in a photo contest on the theme of urban informality. In particular, They are interested in photos that capture the ways that people in urban areas create or use informal systems to survive and thrive. Photos might highlight one or multiple aspects of informality—in housing, work, transportation, food production, education—or any other facet or facets of urban life.

More Details

Informality is economic or social activity that takes place outside of formally regulated structures. Such activities are not necessarily illegal, though they may be. Some simply exist outside of the framework of a given country’s codified laws. While informality is often discussed in the context of developing countries as in unregulated labor markets, small-scale commercial enterprises, subsistence farming or slum dwellings, it also operates in the world’s richest and most developed countries. In the U.S. for example, unlicensed food trucks or street vendors are ubiquitous on some city streets, and homeowners hold furniture sales in their front yards.

They welcome photos that capture informality in any of its many forms, and from any corner of the world.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Urban informality Photography

Required Languages


Eligible Countries


Program Period

Winners will be announced on April 24 at the event Why Cities? Roundtable on Informality as a Way of Life: Challenges to Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Pennsylvania.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

  • The contest is open to the public, including all students.
  • Respect for your subjects and the communities you are documenting should always be your first consideration when taking photographs. Culturally sensitive photography requires:
  1. Considering the emotional, psychological, political, economic, cultural, social or physical circumstances of your subject before taking a photograph.
  2. Asking for consent before taking a photo.
  3. Taking into consideration privacy and confidentiality.
  4. Giving respect and context to images.

For more specific guidance on culturally sensitive photography visit the UNC Ethical Photography website. For additional information about general ethical guidelines for photographers, read the National Press Photographers Association Code of Ethics

  • File Submission: In order to ensure high quality reproduction, we will require larger versions of the winning photos. Participants must be able to submit a high-resolution version of their photograph upon request.
  • Editing: All photos must be your original work. Collage, cropping, and use of software such as Photoshop is permitted.

Opportunity Cost


  • Prizes: 1st place = $200.
  • Runners up = $50 each.

How to Apply

First Step: Tweet your image to Penn IUR (@PennIUR). Include a short description of the photo, the date and location of photo, and the hashtag #IURPhotoComp. (If you do not use social media, email your submission to

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

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This Scholarship Published by:
Reem Khaled / Egypt

Reviewed by” Areeg Salem/ Egypt
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team