Open call for Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller photographers

I have applied today, wish me luck 🙂

For the upcoming book ‘Roaming Britain: Gypsy, Traveller, and nomadic communities in the British built environment’, RIBA will be commissioning a photo essay from a photographer of Gypsy, Roma, or Traveller heritage. The photographs should reflect the subject of the book, but this is left open for interpretation.

The photographs will also be acquired into the RIBA Collections and will form part of a touring display organised by RIBA in collaboration with colleagues from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller photographers, from smartphone hobbyists to professionals, who are currently living in the UK are invited to apply. The successful candidate will be awarded £3,500 and will need to complete the work by Friday 20 December 2024. The completed body of work should consist of 10 to 15 images.

The commission is funded by RIBA thanks to the generosity of Donald and Nancy Notley.

Photograph of Travellers’ encampment at Corke’s Meadow, St Mary Cray, London, by Reginald Hugo de Burgh Galwey, 1954 (Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections)

About the RIBA Collections

We care for one of the largest and most wide-ranging architectural collections in the world. Our collections brings together over four million objects in a broad range of media through a shared narrative that describes how buildings, communities, and civilisations are designed and constructed.

In striving to make our collections more diverse and inclusive, we have recognised that our existing collections relating to Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are by and large produced by people outside of these communities, often through a photojournalistic lens. Although these are an invaluable resource, it’s essential that this is not the only form of representation. We see this commission as a step towards redressing this disparity.

About ‘Roaming Britain’

Gypsy, Traveller, and other nomadic people have lived, worked, and roamed across Britain for at least 500 years. Today, there are more than 300,000 people of Gypsy and Traveller heritage reported to reside in Britain, although many estimate this figure to be far greater. Despite their centuries-long presence, they have essentially been written out of British history – and not just out of social and political history, but the history of Britain’s built environment too.

Nomadic communities have, for too long, been overlooked in the practice of architecture and planning; resulting in disproportionately negative impacts on their way of life and their unfair discrimination. ‘Roaming Britain’ seeks to challenge this, and to champion the voices of those from these underrepresented communities.

The book will be both a celebration of the rich history of nomadic communities in Britain, and an interrogation of how architects, planners and the built environment can better serve them.

‘Roaming Britain’ is due to be published in summer 2025.

How to apply

Applicants should provide an outline of how they might approach the subject, as well as reasoning behind their chosen approach. Some themes they may want to consider, but are by no means required to, are:

  • interactions with public space
  • identity, tradition, and legacy
  • adaptation and resilience

The outline can be submitted in whichever format the applicant feels most comfortable with; written, audio, or visual – or even a mix of them all. The length of submissions will naturally vary depending on format, but – as a rough guide – we suggest written applications should be no more than 300 words, and audiovisual no longer than 2 minutes.

Applicants will also need to submit examples of their existing photography. Please include five photographs (JPG) that you think best represent your practice. All methods of production are welcome.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 14 June 2024 and we will announce the successful applicant by the end of June.

Applications should be sent to An email will be sent to confirm receipt of your application.

Any questions or queries should also be sent to by Friday 7 June 2024.

Applications will be judged by:

  • Lauren Alderton (co-author of ‘Roaming Britain’ and Assistant Curator, RIBA Drawings and Archives Collection)
  • Imogen Bright Moon (British Romani textile artist, whose spinning and weaving practice brings together traditional craft and contemporary methodologies)
  • Valeria Carullo (Curator, The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection at RIBA)
  • Alice Power (co-author of ‘Roaming Britain’ and Assistant Curator of Architecture and Urbanism, V&A)

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