Shifting Ground Call for Submissions

A call for visual reports capturing our changing surroundings during an unprecedented time.

Shifting Ground was an open call for visual reports about how the events of 2020 and 2021 reconfigured our relationship with both public and private space. Selected entries were posted on the League’s Instagram account.

The following call for submissions was posted in July 2020.


2020 has radically reconfigured our relationship with our immediate surroundings. The outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent shutdown of cities around the world have kept many people confined to their homes and neighborhoods, prompting them to observe both their domestic spaces and the surrounding streets at a new level of detail. A few months later, the murder of George Floyd led to protests on a scale not seen since the civil rights movement, with people around the world taking over public spaces to demand justice for Black and brown communities.

At a time in which our relationships to both private spaces and the public realm have been thrown open to question, what lessons can we learn from looking carefully at the world around us? How can we better understand the places where we live—the histories that have shaped them; the social, economic, and political mechanisms that make them function as they do today; the communities they structure; their possibilities for the future? Can we learn to document our surroundings not only in terms of color, composition, and texture, but by thinking through their impacts and their potential to shape more healthy, just, and resilient communities?

We invite you to submit photographs, videos, or drawings accompanied by short written observations about the spaces around you, with the goal of creating a visual archive that captures the relationship between society and the built environment in this unprecedented time. The League will review, edit, and select reports to be published initially on our Instagram account on a rolling basis and, eventually, on and in our weekly newsletter.


Submissions must include:

  • 3–10 photos (jpeg or png), OR 1 video (60-second limit; mp4 or mov), OR 1–10 drawings (jpeg or png)
  • Accompanying text (750-character limit)
  • One-sentence bio (100-character limit)

Images and videos should follow the specifications below:

  • Square, landscape, or vertical format (no panoramic)
  • Individual image files should not exceed 2MB
  • Individual video files should not exceed 20MB
  • Each filename should contain an image number and the submitter’s last name, following this format: “1_LastName”.

Please use this Formstack link to upload files and provide the requested information.

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.