Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 24 April 2020

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – Head On Photo Festival goes online and Dysturb’s Covid-19 paste up programme encourages citizens to stay home.


Head On Photo Festival – Online 1-17 May  

For more than a decade Head On has been a fixture on the annual festival calendar. Every May hundreds of photographers from around the country and the world gather in Sydney for the largest, and most diverse, photography festival in Australia. Head On is a major cultural attraction for Sydney with hundreds of thousands attending the expansive program of exhibitions, talks and events.

While the global pandemic has closed down events en masse, Head On’s team was determined to press ahead. On Friday 1st May the Head On Photo Awards will be announced live online in an unprecedented event that may draw thousands – that has certainly been the case for the physical events in past years. If you want to attend the live stream event see the Head On launch.

Head On Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig OAM says, “This online version of the Festival will be accompanied by an exciting program of online seminars and events throughout the Festival period. At a time when many people will be in isolation, this digital platform will provide our audiences around the world with a variety of interesting artworks, images and activities to engage and interact with. Thank you to everyone for their understanding and support in this difficult and uncertain time.”

Online Talks and Events

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There are a host of online talks, panel discussions and workshops. I’m participating in two discussions on Sunday May 3 and it would be great to “see” you there.

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Sunday May 3 11am AEST Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renée C. Byer in conversation with Alison Stieven-Taylor discussing her long-term project Living on a Dollar a Day. Register here. 

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Sunday May 3 6pm AEST Australian Photojournalism: a panel discussion on the best of contemporary Australian photojournalism with Meredith O’Shea (Sunday Age), Ben Bohane (Degree South), freelancers Jessica Hromas, Tracey Nearmy and Brian Cassey and Moshe Rosenzveig. Moderator Alison Stieven-Taylor.


Dysturb’s international urban poster campaign in response to Covid-19

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Poster ‘Stay Home’ © Ashley Gilbertson / VII Photo

I’ve been following the work of Dysturb since it was launched in 2014 by a group of photojournalists, writers, and artists to raise awareness of contemporary global issues. Dysturb’s approach involves “pasting mural-sized guerrilla blow ups in public places.” The media group also has implemented an impressive education program for schools.

Its latest campaign is designed to remind people what’s at stake with Covid-19 reinforcing the need to stay home.  This new campaign features photographs of the health crisis in the United States from photographers Ashley Gilbertson (VII), Nina Berman (Noor), Ismail Ferdous, and Gaia Squarci (Prospekt); Oscar B. Castillo in Venezuela; Fabio Bucciarelli in Italy; Nichole Sobecki (VII) in Kenya; Laurence Geai and Hugo Aymar in France.

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© Benjamin Petit / Dysturb
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Pradalunga Italy. March 15, 2020. Claudio Travelli (61), a Covid-19 patient, is resting in his bed after being seen by the IRC volunteers. After being examined, Travelli decides to remain at home. The following day – 16th March – his family decided to call the ambulance again because Claudio’s condition was worsening. Claudio had a second Covid-19 swab, after the first one proved negative. This time the test was positive. © Fabio Bucciarelli for The New York Times
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Kibera, Kenya. April 2020. Daniel Owino, a musician who goes by the name Futwax, and his four-year-old son, Julian Austin, performs his latest ballad, “Have you sanitized?” After learning about the havoc COVID-19 has caused in Europe, Futwax, who lives in Kibera, thought his music could help people. “It’s my duty to make sure that everyone knows what’s happening and are doing what they can to try and stay safe. We have to be our own solution,” he says. © Nichole Sobecki / VII Photo

As usual, photographs feature detailed captions highlighting the impact of Covid-19 along with reminders of safety measures. Dysturb says, “The goal is to encourage the public to remain vigilant (e.g.: “Stay at home, save lives”).” Additional illustrations by Studio Jeremyville, New York, accompany these visuals.

Dysturb is also raising funds by selling the poster Stay Home for 15 Euro plus postage. “For each poster purchased and shipped by Dysturb, an additional poster will be pasted in public spaces to amplify prevention and the spread of information.” Buy the poster here.

Additonally, “Dysturb extends its intervention online through a series of live Instagram interviews (@dysturb) with photographers from around the world who cover the crisis from different angles – its impact on health, the economy, women and the environment. Among the photographers interviewed are Diego Ibarra Sanchez (Lebanon), Rafael Yaghobzadeh (France), Greta Rico (Mexico), Yuyan Liu (China), Kiana Hayeri (Afghanistan), and Finbarr O’Reilly (Democratic Republic of the Congo).”

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