Documentary photography in Norway has experienced a pronounced renaissance over the last decade, establishing its position as a self-standing genre, autonomous from Art and press photography. Owing to the Fritt Ord Foundation’s support for the Norwegian Journal of Photography (NJP), a growing number of Norwegian photographers have had a new platform to showcase their independent, long-term projects to both national and international audiences.

The first edition of the Norwegian Journal of Photography was published in February, 2013, and featured the work of 10 selected photographers. The second edition, with 8 new photographers, is now in the hands of our publisher, Journal in Sweden, for final design and printing. It will be released in Spring, 2015.

We are now issuing a call for applications from photographers for a new 2-year cycle of NJP for Norwegian based photographers. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2015.

The Norwegian Journal of Photography was established as an arena where independent photographers who work in the interface between traditional press photography on the one hand and art photography on the other can present the full scope of their projects. It offers an environment that provides encouragement and constructive criticism.

NJP brings together and supports selected Norwegian documentary photography projects. Our goal is to reflect and communicate the ever more prominent position of Norwegian photography on the international arena, as well as to improve the documentary photography milieu in Norway. We aspire to create an inspiring forum where Norwegian photographers can show their works internationally, while continuing to produce relevant and exciting visual narratives.

Following a comprehensive selection process, projects will be chosen for the third NJP publication. During the two-year cycle, these photographers will receive editing assistance as well as help to seek financial support. They will be taking part in seminars and in a master’s class with prominent international guest lecturers.

Our objective with the NJP has been to create a dynamic, relevant and representative book about Norwegian documentary photography, showcasing the finest visual expressions, combined with powerful storytelling abilities. We encourage photographers to challenge the definition of the concept ‘documentary photography’, while striving to produce robust, consistent and independent visual narratives.

Applicants to NJP should either already be working on a major photo project, or be well underway with the preparations for a project before applying for NJP. For more details, please see the web page with the criteria for submitting an application.

The Norwegian Journal of Photography has been established in collaboration with the Fritt Ord Foundation.


The Team

Rune Eraker

Rune Eraker has for more than two decades worked as an independent documentary photographer. He became a member of the Amsterdam based picture agency Hollandse Hoogte in 1990. He has had a number of exhibitions in art museums and has published widely in magazines and newspapers, both in Norway and internationally. He has also published a number of photobooks (“Øyeblikk av Lys” Aschehoug 2001, “The Smell of Longing” Wigestrand 2005 and “The Dream of Europe” Press Books 2009) and in 2009 he was the picture-editor of “Norwegian Documentary photography”, (Press Books 2009). He was awarded “Freelancer of the Year” in Norway in 2009.


Laara Matsen

Laara Matsen studied photography under Larry Fink and Stephen Shore at Bard College. She began her career as a photo editor at Magnum Photos in New York, later working as a multi-faceted supporter and producer of long-term documentary photo projects. She has edited and curated numerous international exhibitions and award winning photo books, was photo editor at D2 Magazine/Dagens Næringsliv for 8 years, and is now working as an independent consultant, curator and mentor.




Espen Rasmussen

Espen Rasmussen works as a picture editor for the magazine division of the biggest Norwegian newspaper VG. He is also working on long term independent documentary projects, as well as projects in collaboration with different NGOs, such as Doctors Without Borders, Norwegian Refugee Council and the UNHCR. He has been awarded several times for his work, including two awards in World Press Photo and seven prizes in Picture of the Year international. In 2008, he was named one of the most promising young photographers in the world by Photo District News. He is represented by the London based agency Panos Pictures. In 2011, he will release his first book, «Transit», published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.


Fritt ord

The Norwegian Journal of Photography is a project that is an extension of the Fritt Ord Foundation’s efforts to strengthen the position of documentary photography in Norway. In 2006, the Fritt Ord Foundation called for applications for project funding for civic-minded photographers. The projects selected were carried out between 2007 and 2009. The project resulted in the exhibition ‘Norwegian documentary photography’ at the Henie Onstad Art Centre in autumn 2009 and publication of the book Norwegian documentary photography today by Forlaget Press publishing house the same year. The Fritt Ord Foundation’s paramount object is to protect and strengthen freedom of expression and its terms in Norway, especially by encouraging a dynamic debate and the fearless use of free speech.