CALL FOR ENTRIES: Your Body Belongs to You

Graphic with an image of an apple being eaten by a bee, and the words 'YOUR BODY BELONGS TO YOU' in white in the centre

© Marisol Mendez

UPDATE – DEADLINE EXTENDED: We’ve been listening to feedback, monitoring the current situation and speaking to our partners at Festival Pil’Ours, and having thought carefully we have decided to extend the deadline for ‘Your Body Belongs to You’ to Thursday 23 September (5pm UK time). We have the opportunity to hold the exhibition in the spring, when we hope people will be able to travel more safely, and we hope that gives you time to explore the theme a bit more, too.


For the past three years Shutter Hub has exhibited at Festival Pil’Ours, in Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, France.

In 2018 we created ‘Because We Can!’ (because we could), a group exhibition showcasing almost 70 women photographers from around the world including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, United States, Qatar, and the UK. It was a huge success, and really well received alongside the other exhibitions.

In 2019 we created the main exhibition for Festival Pil’Ours 4th Edition, ‘Time to Think’, showcasing 145 women photographers from across 15 countries, and we helped deliver events that formed the basis for the Festival’s progression and inspiration.

In 2020 we were unable to travel to deliver a new exhibition, but amazingly ‘Time to Think’ had an encore and was revisited by thousands of people in the area.

Now, we’re planning to return with a new exhibition, ‘Your Body Belongs to You’ which will be co-curated by Karen Harvey (Shutter Hub Creative Director) and Marisol Mendez (Shutter Hub member and photographer of MADRE).


We’re all bodies; bodies that grow, bodies that change, bodies that age. It is through our bodies that we experience pleasure, pain, hate, love, and all the array of sensations that make up life.

Throughout history, however, feminine bodies in particular have been treated like objects to be displayed. Their bodies censored, enhanced, fetishised, desired, judged. They seem to be there to feed a capricious appetite, not to have one of their own.

‘Your Body Belongs to You’ proposes a visual criticism of our normative conceptions of the human body and its phallocentric representation in Western media.

We’re looking for images in which the portrayal of the body gains significance. This may be stemming from the layers of meanings established and shaped by the specific socio-cultural context of the image, the interaction of the human body with the surrounding space, or the captivating compositional possibilities offered by the body itself. The call gives attention to works focusing on women and non-binary people and their experiences; public or private, minor or crucial, major human tragedies or mundane life stories.

The theme is broadly construed without any photographic genre restrictions as we are interested in all possible creative photographic interpretations of the theme.

Photography has a long history of reinforcing problematic or false narratives. It’s still a field where we have to raise questions about dynamics of power and the gaze. But photography can also be a tool of empowerment. That’s the driving force behind our theme ‘Your Body Belongs to You’. Photography as a way to reclaim our bodies, share more nuanced stories about the feminine experience and challenge the status quo.


When it was founded Festival Pil’Ours served an important purpose, working with a handful of photographers to offer them one-off exhibitions and the chance to travel to France, to work together and develop skills and connections. You will know some of these photographers, Yagazi Emezi, Joana Choumali and Emily Garthwaite. Six years on things are different, the festival has adapted, it’s smaller but more powerful, and more proactive in supporting more photographers equally. We’re very pleased to have been able to play a role in the continuation of Festival Pil’Ours and to keep connecting with the creative community.

We welcome the opportunity to celebrate contemporary work by women photographers today and bring together photographic work from women who may not have yet met, but share some of the same interests and energy.

Take the notion of ‘Your Body Belongs to You’ and run with it, as broadly and as freely as you want to. No boundaries, just your best work, show us your vision of the world, share your view with the audience, put your projects out there to be seen and discussed (the only constraint is it must be suitable for family viewing).

The outdoor exhibition site is in the centre of St Gilles Croix de Vie, an area that attracts thousands of visitors day and night throughout the seasons, making the exhibition accessible to all. We’ll be following the same format that we’ve used previously (see here) and will be able to exhibit several hundred images.

The exhibition will run for three months in Spring 2022 (exact dates to be confirmed)

Each entrant can submit up to 12 images. These can be from a series or individual images. There is no upper limit to the amount of images we can exhibit at Festival Pil’Ours.

The deadline for entries has been extended and is now Thursday 23 September 2021 5pm BST

Want to take part? ENTER HERE!



Want to know more about what we’ve done with Festival Pil’Ours in previous years?
You can read about our Because We Can exhibition launch in 2018, and feedback from Shutter Hub, the exhibitors and the festival co-director, Josephine Leroux, here.
You can read about Time to Think in 2019 here and the 2020 encore here.



Your Body Belongs to You is for all women and non-binary photographers. Why is this opportunity for women and non-binary photographers? While we pride ourselves on inclusion, Festival Pil’Ours is about women photographers, and we know from past feedback that our male readership and membership fully understand and support projects that highlight this work. If you do have any questions about this please get in touch.



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