Fellowship for photographers from the South Caucasus to cover the topic of “Transportation Labyrinth”

Monday, 05 June 2023




Submission ended

Chai Khana announces a full time, three-month fellowship with flexible hours for photographers interested and motivated to improve their skills. The fellowship will include training and mentoring by Chai Khana staff, and invited mentors. Selected fellows will have weekly assignments and would be expected to produce photo stories that will be published on Chai Khana’s platforms. 


Selected fellows will be supported through individual mentorship and group works on visual storytelling, caption writing, sequencing and selecting the photos. Selected photographers will receive all necessary support to develop the photo stories. 

The stories should cover the topic of “Transportation Labyrinth.” Old buses, gridlocked traffic, closed borders. Getting from point A to point B has never been easy for most of the citizens of the South Caucasus. Today income inequality, corruption, and poor urban planning have made it worse. Stories developed under the fellowship should explore people’s struggle with  transportation in the South Caucasus.  


Photography fellows will receive 300 euro per published photo story (three per fellowship) as long as they have attended all lectures and other mandatory events. Chai Khana will cover additional production costs such as local travel and accommodation up to 200 euro. 

The selected fellows should be prepared to travel locally to complete their assignments.

About Chai Khana 


Chai Khana is an award winning, visually-driven storytelling platform. We cover untold human stories and connect  alternative, original voices across the region to reveal the lives of ordinary people in the South Caucasus. Chai Khana’s commissioned works have been nominated at internationally renowned festivals such as Visions du Reel, Annecy International Animation Film Festival and others. 

Since its foundation, Chai Khana has been supporting filmmakers, journalists and photographers from the South Caucasus by bringing their stories to the spotlight. This fellowship is a unique opportunity to receive hands-on experience and be part of a diverse editorial team. The fellowship aims to cultivate media professionals who are eager to put their stories in a larger context and be mentored by some of the best trainers from, and outside of, the region. 

We believe that this initiative will significantly contribute to creating a new generation of independent, creative media professionals from the South Caucasus - a mission that Chai Khana stands for.



The majority of the training and mentorship sessions will be conducted online between June - September 2023 (with a break in August).


- Applicants must be citizens, or residents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the conflict regions in the South Caucasus;

- Applicants with a strong command of English will be prioritized during the selection process;

- Applicants must be ready to work on photo story ideas with the photo editor;

- Applicants should have an access to character/subject and to produce a photo story in a three months period;

- Applicants should submit a draft pitch on a topic of “Transportation Labyrinth”;

- Applicants should have full time availability during the three-month period;

- Applicants must have at least one photo series in a portfolio;

- Applicants must be interested in visual storytelling and photojournalism;

- Applicants should be interested in continuing to work with Chai Khana as a freelancer by applying to future open calls.


To apply, please provide:

  1. Motivation letter
  2. CV
  3. Work samples
  4. Recommendation letter
  5. Completed application form

For any additional questions please check FAQ below




Who can write the recommendation letter?

Recommendation letters should be provided by media professionals who have worked with you or are familiar with your work. If you have not had any professional experience as a journalist, you can provide a recommendation letter from one of your professors at university or an employer at a different job. Likewise, letters from mentors or instructors are also acceptable. 


What questions/topics should the recommendation letter cover?

The purpose of the recommendation letter is to provide insight into your work/education experience and your commitment to photography. The letter can be provided by an employer, professor, instructor or mentor. 


I wish to submit my application to this program. Therefore, I would appreciate it if you could specify the requirements for the motivation and recommendation letters, especially the word limits and who should write the recommendation letters.  

The motivation letter should be no longer than 500 words and the recommendation letter should not exceed 300 words.


How many hours per day/week will be required to fulfill the fellowship? I have a job and want to understand the fellows’ responsibilities and time commitments. 

Fellows can expect to spend around 40 hours per week in training and working on assignments. Fellows are expected to turn in assignments and tasks on time and attend all workshops and lectures - conducted on site or online. 


Should I have experience in a specific field for this fellowship?

The applicant should have a basic technical knowledge of photography and photo editing.


What should I provide as work samples?

Please provide samples of your photography-related work. Please, provide several examples from your portfolio. 


Is a strong command of English important for the fellowship?

A strong command of the English language is important as some training courses and mentorship will be conducted in English.


I am a native English speaker and a resident of Georgia, Armenia, or Azerbaijan. I do not yet speak enough Georgian, Armenian, or Azerbaijani to be able to report in a non-anglophone environment. Is that ok?

Thank you for your interest in the fellowship program. Your application will be considered by the selection committee although priority will be given to applicants who are fluent in English and a local language due to the fellowship’s curriculum and training program. 


Can I send my work samples in Georgian, Armenian, or Azerbaijani languages ?

Work samples can be provided in a local language.


Can I send a motivation letter and other documents in Georgian, Armenian, or Azerbaijani languages ?

All supporting documents can be provided in a local language. 


How important is the recommendation letter for my application?

All supporting documents, including a recommendation letter, are mandatory to be considered for the fellowship.


Will the meetings and/or training be held online or in person?

The majority of the training and mentorship sessions will be conducted online between June - September 2023.


If you can not find answers on your question, please get in touch with Natali Chkhartishvili at


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