By Simon Hall
Established back in 2010 by award-winning photographer, cultural entrepreneur, and PHM 2018 Women Photographers Grant juror, Aida Muluneh, Addis Foto Fest has established itself as one of the leading photography festivals in Africa and in the world. “The driving force to organise the AFF has always been my core belief that not only in Ethiopia, but across the continent, the creative sector is an important component in our development” Muluneh writes. “Hence, AFF represents a unique platform to share with the audience the vital role that photography plays in influencing how the world perceives us, and crucially, how we see ourselves.”
In this year’s primary events, Fatoumata Diabate showcases an installation of Le Studio Photo de la Rue, her street studio series that looks at how new generations can honour the heritage of their elders; Dudley M. Brooks (Photo Editor, The Washington Post Magazine) will host a talk that delves into the effective ways of mapping out creative visual concepts; a group show titled Excitement and Hope provides a platform for Zimbabwean artists to reflect and interrogate the social and economic fabric in the country in light of its most recent political transition; Roger Ballen presents a retrospective of his work that celebrates his self-defined ‘documentary fiction’ style; and Francois Beaurain will lead a workshop covering topics such as stop-motion animation, how to create a seamless loop, and the creative possibilities of GIFS.
The festival will also once again organise a series portfolio reviews that aim to facilitate the formation of new networks and create opportunities for emerging talents across Africa to grow professionally and participate in the international market. The reviewers include M.D. Shahnewaz Khan (Journalist / Curator), Grace Aneiza Ali (Curator / Editor / Educator), Illa Donwahi(President of the Donwahi Foundation for Contemporary Art), and Jennifer Pritheeva Samuel (Photo Editor, National Geographic) among others. Visit addisfotofest.com for more information.
Celebrating its 14th edition, Angkor Photo Festival is today the longest-running photography event in Southeast Asia, on a mission to provide a vibrant and dynamic platform to help nurture the region’s photographic community. Featuring the work of over 100 photographers from more than 40 countries, this year’s program aims to introduce a range of contemporary practitioners with different approaches to the craft, creating room for discussion and dialogue amongst local artists and visiting professionals.
At the core of the event is a six-day intensive workshop aimed at offering an affordable and accessible educational experience for emerging talents in Asia. Under the tutelage of renowned photographers Veejay Villafranca, Antoine d’Agata, Sohrab Hura, Kosuke Okahara, Ian Teh, Tania Bohórquez, and Katrin Koenning, 30 young visual storytellers will be coached on how to nurture their own unique vision and approach to the various disciplines within photography. Each participant will produce a photo essay culminating in a special showcase on closing night.
Elsewhere, in the supporting program of exhibitions and projections, Huiying Ore documents a Chinese land concession projects in Laos, creating loose and often ironic narratives around themes of power, identity and sovereignty; Nepal Picture Librarypresents photographs bearing testimony to the history of social, economic, political, and intellectual disadvantage that Nepalese Dalits have had to endure; Shana and Robert Parkeharrison employ a poetic visual language to investigate the triangular interaction between nature, technology, and human existence; and a Sharon May retrospective offers an intimate look into how the people of Cambodia rebuilt their lives and culture following the country’s civil war in the 1970s. To learn more, go to angkor-photo.com.
The Miami Street Photography Festival is set once again to take over the HistoryMiami Museum for four days of exhibitions, workshops, and lectures promoting and disseminating the best of contemporary street and documentary photography. The festival’s focus will continue to be on advancing the work of visual storytellers striving to capture the life and culture of public spaces; those searching for what photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson termed the “decisive moment”.
Among the packed program this year, Maggie Steber presents a series of work departing from her documentary style, letting loose her subconscious and imagination to reveal her fears and private memories; Jamie Rose, CEO of Momenta Workshops, will host a talk about how to create and fund a personal project such as a picture story or dummy photobook; Vladimir Marcano will hold an open discussion centred around images from his exhibit La Tempestad (The Tempest), a tribute to the Venezuelans involved in the massive and brutal protest of 2017; Meryl Meisler will share images and insights from her personal photographic journey and her 40-year archive of street style photographs; and Stella Johnson will discuss how she investigates culture, community, and family in a lecture looking at how to develop lifelong relationships with subjects.
In other public events, 90 selected finalists from the MSPF Singles Photo competition will feature in a special exhibition, former president of Magnum Photos, Nathan Benn will display nearly 100 photographs and other artefacts related to his 20-year career at National Geographic, and street photography collective, Flanares will showcase their work depicting everyday life in cities across their native Brazil. For further information, visit miamistreetphotographyfestival.org.