Call for photography submissions: Street signage in urban Africa

21 Aug 2017
Call for photography submissions: Street signage in urban Africa

Holon Institute of Technology (Holon, Israel), in collaboration with Centre Yavné (Bordeaux, France), will host an international photography exhibition of street signage in urban Africa and Israel/Palestine, and has called for submissions.

Memories, Identities, Politics

The exhibition will examine street signage in urban Africa and Israel/Palestine as an outcome of dialectic processes, short and long termed, of spatial production and attached imagery and symbolism. That is, beyond being a signifier of a spatial orientation per se. 

Visually and contextually, street signage in the global South normally reflects a colonial heritage of multiple European powers and post-colonial developments. However, top-down heritages have been constantly interacting with indigenous bottom-up naming systems, of the space users. We shall focus on these interactions in terms of identity/alterity interplay; and memories and counter-memories in a variety of languages. Esthetic and thematic aspects of the signage will be brought into the fore regarding generic and specific names, official and informal names, ideological and mundane names – to be read as (sub-) texts that complete and compete with each other in challenging ways. 

The exhibition not only seeks for a documentation of textual inscriptions in the cityscape, but rather, through the signage, to understand the cityscape as a text produced by wider, variegated, forces. By de-colonising the field of toponymy – traditionally governed by geographers and historians of European nationalism who tend to relay on official signage and gazetteers – the exhibition strives to bring a fresh and alternative viewpoint in terms of geography and the very character of signage in question. It is also expected to advance an in-depth, qualitative and critical perspective in area studies research, using toponymic inscriptions to gain a more comprehensive historical understanding; and, at the same time, to gain a more nuanced, situational and place-specific understanding.


Visual interpretations of (in)formal street signage are welcomed to be considered, from professional photographers and amateur, urbanists, linguists and passers-by. Each participant is expected to send not more than 3 images of a minimum resolution of 600 dpi, together with a photo description/analysis of maximum 300 words. A full name, country, affiliation/profession, and a short bio of maximum 50 words should be also attached. Please email these to .


  • Submission deadline: 15 December 2017 
  • Decision deadline: 31 January 2018 
  • Exhibiting in Holon: April 2018 
  • Exhibiting in Bordeaux: October 2018

Further Information

Click here to download the exhibition call document.

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