Call for Applications Celebrating 50 Years of EU-Nepal Friendship Through Photography

The EU Delegation to Nepal, in collaboration with the Nepal Arts Council, invites professional photographers to participate in a photography competition celebrating 50 years of friendship between the European Union and Nepal. This event seeks to highlight the rich cultural exchange and enduring friendship between Europe and Nepal through the lens of photography.

The European Union and Nepal established political and economic relations in 1974 and signed a Cooperation Agreement on 1 June 1996.
Both partners have undergone important changes over the past 50 years. Nepal has undergone a long journey of transformation and has become a Federal Democracy; in parallel, the European Economic Community became the European Union in 1993 and developed its common foreign and security policy from 2010, with the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Over this time, the two partners have expanded their democratic and economic space and strengthened their shared interests. Today, the EU and Nepal share the commitment to protect and promote a rule-based international order, peace and prosperity, human rights, and democracy.

For over 50 years, the European Union (EU) and Nepal have been working together in close partnership and with mutual respect. Peace is part of the European Union’s DNA, as it was formed after World War II, to ensure that there could be no more wars in Europe. From the European Union’s active support to consolidate peace in Nepal, the EU remains a consistent supporter of Nepal’s democratic reforms and its inclusive constitution and is committed to assisting the government of Nepal in achieving the 2030 agenda.

The European Union supports Nepal’s development in Education since more than 20 years, including basic education, TVET, and higher education through scholarships such as Erasmus. The European Union is also active in Water and Sanitation, resilient agriculture, support to civil society, and nutrition, to name a few. The EU and its member states have also been instrumental in tackling past disasters, such as the 2015 earthquake and the COVID pandemic, and in building back together a more resilient and greener economy in Nepal. Looking forward, the European Union is supporting Nepal with Global Gateway (EU’s global connectivity investment programme) in renewable energy to accelerate economic development in Nepal.

Nepal and the European also have strong commercial and trade relations. Nepal exports to the European Union have been increasing steadily to about 10 crore euros worth of goods in 2022, chiefly textiles, including rugs, and food such as coffee, tea, and spices. Nepal imports machinery from the European Union, amongst other goods. The EU also supports Nepal’s preparation for LDC graduation in 2026, where increasing the access to decent jobs for all Nepalis will be crucial. In particular, the EU supports Nepal’s application to the GSP+ system – after LDC graduation, to ensure Nepal reaches its full economic potential for its exports to Europe and beyond.
Where the relations are strongest is in our people-to-people networks. From the almost 1000 Nepali that have studied their masters with Erasmus scholarships in several European countries, to those living in Europe now, to those who have common projects, be it cultural or economic or research, to the thousands of Europeans that come to Nepal every year, from the mountaineers to those who come for the cultural and religious opportunities, Nepalis and Europeans have formed strong bonds of friendship.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of EU-Nepal diplomatic relations in 2024, the European Union will support 4 photographers to develop their vision of the EU-Nepal friendship, culminating with an exhibit. This competition is an opportunity for photographers to advance a visual project working with mentors.

The competition aims to: (1) Promote the work of Nepali and European photographers; (2) Strengthen partnerships between the European Union and local arts organizations; and (3) Generate high-quality bodies of work that celebrate 50 years of EU-Nepal partnership.



Professional photographers from Nepal and Member States of the European Union.

Phase 1 – Application:

Participants are requested to submit their digital portfolio and a concept note that expresses their vision of “50 years of EU-NP friendship.” The concept note should detail the project the photographer wants to develop, including types of photos, themes, and locations for shooting in Nepal. The portfolio should include 15 to 25 photos, with a maximum total file size of 25 MB. The photos in the portfolio should help illustrate the capacity of the photographer to recreate ideas similar to those presented in the concept note: as an example, if the concept note proposes to focus on portraits, the portfolio should also include portraits. The concept note should be limited to one page (maximum 500 words) and can be written in either Nepali or English. It should be submitted as a PDF document.

Phase 2 – Shortlisting of applicants:

• A panel of judges will review all applications and shortlist four candidates on the basis of the submitted documents. Additionally, the selected candidates will have the opportunity to receive mentoring from highly acclaimed photographers. The cost for the submission is the responsibility of the selected photographers.

Phase 3 – Development of personal projects:

• Each of the shortlisted applicants will receive a stipend of NPR 180,000 to cover all the costs related to their work, including all travel expenses within Nepal (in addition, air tickets to Nepal for photographers from the European Union will also be reimbursed). Traveling to various locations is strongly encouraged. The four selected applicants will have 8 weeks to develop their concept note into a body of work which is to be submitted in hard copy, accompanied by mentoring from renowned photographers or artists. They will be supported to write accompanying texts if necessary.

Phase 4 – Selection of the winner of the grand prize:

• The jury will convene and select a winner from the 4 applicants. A grand prize of NPR 250,000 will be awarded to the winning photographer, and if there’s an exhibit in Europe (to be confirmed), a trip to Europe will be included.
• The photographs will be exhibited at the Nepal Art Council in Kathmandu and potentially in Europe.

Note: Photographers will have the opportunity to collaborate with content writers for the narrative aspect of their work. Copyright for these photos stays with the artist, but the EU reserves the right to use these photos for non- profit purposes. The printed copies of the photographs exhibited will be kept by the EU.


Submission Deadline 5 May 2024
First Phase Jury Selection 9 – 10 May 2024
Announcement of 4 selected photographers 12 May 2024
Mentoring Sessions (5 days) 14 to 23 May 2024
Winner Announcement 2 August 2024
Exhibition at Nepal Art Council 2 to 16 August 2024

How to Apply
Interested photographers are invited to submit their application package with the following documents to the designated email address: in a compressed folder (folder size not more than 25 MB).

• A portfolio of 15-20 photos and in the case of series a maximum of up to 25 photos, that demonstrates your storytelling abilities (ideally a previously made photo series/photo story).
• A concept note of your vision for capturing the theme of EU-NP friendship (maximum 1 page/500 words/English or Nepali in pdf format)
• An updated CV

Application Deadline: 5 May 2024

For question please contact:
Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha