Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 28 May 2021

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the Auckland Festival of Photography starts on 3 June with an impressive programme. Plus entries close on 31 May for the 2021 Stories.

Awards: Stories

(C) Matthew Newton

Get your entry in for Stories, the long-form visual storytelling competition founded by Melbourne’s Photo Collective, headed up by photographers Tom Goldner and Harriet Tarbuck.

Stories seeks to discover, promote and amplify the important work being made by Australian photographers. We are calling for series work and photo-essays exploring traditional, artful and new modes of storytelling which reflect our current times. While this award is open to anybody residing in Australia or Australians living abroad, the themes of the work do not need to be Australian focussed.”

I was a judge last year and was delighted to see many exciting, innovative and well conceived entries. There are few awards that celebrate the photo essay, and recognise the import of narrative in visual storytelling. Three winning stories will be chosen and along with the finalists, will be published in the annual Stories Journal, which is a brilliant way of creating a living archive of Australian photography.

Entries close: 31 May, 2021, 11:59pm.

Special Feature:

Auckland Festival of Photography

Isolation and participate are central themes for the 2021 Auckland Festival of Photography (AFP). This year the festival will be held across 50 regional venues throughout June. There are also various online events.

“As naturally social animals, humans living in a state of isolation suggests an abnormal circumstance or tragedy. A space of aloneness can suddenly be filled with the difficult questions in life too profound to confront in company, a space in which creativity can flourish. This is perhaps why we reserve a certain mythical and mystical belief in the isolated artist. We believe they have confronted the questions.” (AFP programme)

Core Exhibitions

There are over twenty core exhibitions this year with artists from New Zealand and around the world responding to the notion of isolation. Some of my favourites include German fine art photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten’s Looking Out from Within, which was shot while the artist was in lockdown in London;  UK artist Mitchell Moreno’s Pandemaniac which “queers common motifs of Covid-19 as a means to explore mental health,” and New Zealand Nocturnes by Cody Ellingham, “which explores the story of the places we call home under the mysterious glow of moonlight”. Illuminated from within, Ellingham’s images will be displayed on lightboxes outdoors.

(C) Julia Fullerton-Batten
(C) Mitchell Moreno
(C) Cody Ellingham

Then there is New Zealand photographer Conor Clarke’s ethereal As far as the eye can reach, images that were created through collaboration “with members of the blind and low vision community” who shared their memories of various landscapes with the artist. And my final pick is Cronostasi by Italian photographers, Gianfranco Ferraro and Chiara Panariti, which was shot in Milan during lockdown and captures lives suspended in the time of Covid-19.

(C) Conor Clarke
Gianfranco Ferraro and Chiara Panariti

Contemporary African Photography

The festival will also present for the first time the Contemporary African Photography (CAP) Prize which is awarded annually to five photographic portfolios that engage with the African continent or its diaspora. The festival features images from 2019 and 2020.

2020 Winner (C) Gambo Rahima

Talking Cultures

The annual Talking Culture series features panel discussion on various topics including historical photographic processes which continue to enjoy resurgence. New Zealand photographer Cameron McLaren who shot the series on Auckland From Lockdown to Re-Opening for The Washington Post will chat with the paper’s foreign photo editor Olivier Laurent. This will be on Zoom and McLaren’s images on display in the city. Mitchell Moreno will chat about Pandemaniac with Louise Fedotov-Clements, curator of Format Festival Derby, which also featured this series.

This is just a small selection of what’s on offer. There’s a cool app for this year’s festival where you can view the entire programme and find links for the online activities. It’s super easy to navigate and will make participating in person and online a breeze. Download it here.

Auckland, various locations from June 3-30.

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