Call for images – “Genova, a fragile city”

Art. 1 Promoter

FOA.GE – Fondazione Ordine degli Architetti della Provincia di Genova (Foundation of the Professional Association of Architects of Genoa) – as part of the FRAGILE cultural programme, having regard to Legislative Decree No. 50/2016 as amended and related regulations, hereby calls for entries to a graphic/photographic competition which is open to all those involved in architecture, graphics, photography, illustration and visual art in general. The competition aims to receive contributions for an image campaign on the theme of Urban Fragility.

Art. 2 Aims

The aim of this Call for images is to highlight urban fabric elements that are often neglected. In particular, all typical places in a metropolitan city that are unresolved, precious, full of potential, but in need of care, in other words, ‘Fragile’ spaces.

In the current context characterised by a global health crisis, intense ecological debate, the recent tragedy of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, poor hydrogeological conditions, the loss of jobs and population decline of a city that seems to be stuck midway between a fast decaying industrial past and a still uncertain future, our Foundation has chosen Fragility as the theme characterising our cultural activities for 2020/21.

Fragility, intended as a positive rather than negative feature, is not conventionally linked to architectural artifacts, which are rather a symbol of durability. Yet, it effectively describes the current general condition. While typical of those in difficulty or in need of care, fragility is also a frequent feature of precious items worth being preserved. Fragility is often concealed. Sometimes it is not a physical, but rather a cultural trait. When disclosed, most of the times we are taken aback.

The place referred to in this Call for images is Genoa and its metropolitan area where interstitial spaces, neglected historical elements, a delicate system of urban and peri-urban green areas, the coastline threshold between nature and port or industrial areas, are just some of the likely suggestions that this land can offer.

Back in 1993, Leonardo Benevolo said that “Our time seems capable of preserving only the empty shell of Venice; and, as far as Genoa is concerned, not even its shell”, unexpectedly suggesting that our city could be deemed even more ‘fragile’ than Venice, with its emblematic precarity. According to Benevolo, this is due to the fact that Genoa has always experienced hypertrophic and pervasive infrastructures, so much so that it could almost be seen as an infrastructure-city. Genoa  is thus forced to change, and thoroughly update itself, often even violently, in order to guarantee a proper functioning of these infrastructures.

A multiple, careful, and deep look at the current conditions of this city can thus strongly stimulate a debate on this subject. Hopefully, Genoa has the potential to be a laboratory for reasoning, reflecting and developing proposals of a more general nature. This, after all, is the aim of this Call for entries “Genoa, a Fragile City”.

In order to achieve this goal, all graphic-photographic communication and expression techniques can be employed. Technique and contents of the images will be at the sole discretion of their authors, who are free to interpret the image subject as they prefer, by submitting documentary, critical entries or even designs proper, provided they are in compliance with the provisions set in ART. 4 below.

Art. 3 Eligible Entrants

The call is open to all Italian and foreign citizens aged 18 and over, who may submit their entries either individually or collectively.

  • Individuals involved in the organisation of this competition or its judging, their spouses, including up to third degree relatives, or their employees or with an established work relation with them; and
  • Directors and employees of the Fondazione Ordine degli Architetti di Genova and the Ordine degli  Architetti di Genova are ineligible.

An “Established work relation” means a sharing situation, also of the same work environment, whereby professional activities are mutually intertwined from a technical and organisational point of view.

Art. 4 Entries.

Entrants, either individually or in teams, shall prepare the following entries, in Italian, in an open format, as follows:

  • A/ One single image representing the proposed theme, with a graphic
    – photograph, photomontage, collage, drawing – artwork, size: 500×300 mm, 720 dpi, cmyk, PDF file without password (JPG file for photographic artwork);
  • B/ File containing the title of the entry and a brief text explaining the motivations for their proposal
  • C/ Duly filled in and signed Entry Form / personal data sheet, with the personal details of the entrant(s), including identity documents for all underwritten entrants, using Annex 1 Form.

Each entrant may submit only one entry or participate in only one project team.

Art. 5 Deadlines

Entries must be received by email not later than 11th May 2021, 1:00 p.m. (Italian time) sent in the following format:
DEADLINE extended until May 21th 2021


  • A/ pdf or jpg file (max. 100 MB), named ” title of entry-image.pdf/jpg”.
  • B/ doc and pdf file (max. 1 MB), named ” title of entry-text.pdf”.
  • C/ in pdf file (max. 10 MB) including the identity documents of all entrants named ” title of entry-entrant’s personal details.pdf

Art. 6 Grounds for Disqualification

In addition to the incompatibilities under Article 3 above, the following conditions shall constitute grounds for disqualification:

1) Failure to meet the deadline for entry submission;

2) Sending graphic (photography, photomontage, collage, drawing, text) artworks not in compliance with the thematic requirements set out in this Call for entries or that are inappropriate or contrary to public decency;

3) Failure to sign Annex C or to enclose the identity documents of all the underwritten authors.

Art. 7 Clarifications

Clarifications can be requested by email within 31st March 2021; a collective reply to all questions will be provided within 10th April 2021, on the website .

Art. 8 Jury

The jury will consist of the following five members:

  1. Chairman of the Jury, Internal FOA Member (Elisa Cagelli)
  2. PALAZZO DUCALE (Serena Bertolucci)
  3. ARCHITECT / CURATOR (Davide Tommaso Ferrando)
  4. PHOTOGRAPHER (Stefano Graziani)

Art. 9 Selection Criteria

The projects received will be selected by the Jury according to the following criteria:

– GRAPHIC/VISUAL quality (1 to 5 scores)

– THEORETICAL/CRITICAL value (1 to 5 scores)

– Relevance to the theme of the Call for entries (1 to 5 scores).

Within 20 days of the closing date of the Call for entries, the jury at its sole discretion will select and rank all eligible entries. Should none of the submitted entries be judged to meet the competition requirements, no prize will be awarded.

Art. 10 Campaign Deployment

Winning entrants will be notified using the contact details given on the entry form.

The winning entry/project will be deployed in June-July 2021, in Genoa.

A selection of the winning entries will be displayed in public places in the city using urban spaces usually reserved for advertising. An open-air exhibition will be directly organised and funded by FOA in the city of Genoa: an exhibition route will run from the city centre to the suburbs, highlighting the artifacts that stand out for their intrinsic, currently underestimated quality and value.

Art. 11 Conditions for Entry and Entrant’s liability

Each entrant, individually or as a group, shall retain all intellectual property rights to the submitted entries, but grants FOAGE the right to use them, on a non-profit basis, for display as specified in the previous Articles.

Submitted entries will not be returned and will remain the property of FOAGE.

Each entrant is solely responsible for their entries and therefore agrees to fully indemnify FOAGE against all claims from third parties.

Entrants shall guarantee to be the sole authors of the submitted entries, which should be original, unpublished work and not under consideration for publication, as well as not infringing the rights of third parties. Further, should any subjects be depicted for which consent or authorisation is required, entrants should have obtained it.

FOAGE is intended to be the Promoter of the initiative or, in case of co-funding, the Co-promoter.

Art. 12 Prizes

A cash prize of €1,000 for a maximum of 3 prizes will be awarded to each entrant (group/or individual) selected for display and exhibition.

Art. 13 Time Schedule

  • 9th FEBRUARY 2021: Publication and public presentation of Call for images
  • 31st MARCH 2021: Deadline for question submission
  • 10th APRIL 2020: Publication of replies to questions
  • 11th MAY 2021: Deadline for entry submission. DEADLINE extended until MAY 21th
  • 11th JUNE 2021: Publication of selected entries and public presentation of winning entries
  • BY THE END OF JULY 2021: Campaign Implementation

Art. 14 Patronage

The competition has been granted patronage from:

  • Liguria Region
  • Municipality of Genoa
  • University of Genoa – DAD (Department of Architecture and Design)
  • Professional  Association of Architects of Genoa

Art. 15 Data Protection

Personal data provided by entrants in the Competition will be collected and processed by FOAGE in compliance with EU Regulation (GDPR) No. 79/2016.