FORMAT International Photography Festival announces 2021 theme
“If you don’t control your mind, someone else will” – Barbara Kruger
We can be in control, out of control, beyond control. Control can be passive as with a remote control or progressive as in birth control. It can offer science a control group and be an expression of power as in command and control.
We all seek to control our own lives while resisting control by others. Control has come to denote power and oppression yet we want to “take back control”.
We live in a transformative time as the COVID19 virus challenges our way of life, our economies and potentially our politics. Political control through lockdowns may have saved lives but mistrust of government propaganda has led people to take to the streets to march against the old order and protest against the prescribed colonial histories. What will the “new normal” look like?
“Who controls the past controls the future:
who controls the present controls the past”
George Orwell 
We invite you to take part in FORMAT21 by entering the Open Call with work that looks at CONTROL. We welcome a wide range of interpretations of the theme and look forward to being challenged by your ideas and approaches.Send us your projects that involve archives, documentary and conceptual photography from all image-based genres including VR, moving image, performance and multi-media.Both individual artists and collectives are invited to submit their work and we also encourage curators to put forward proposals based on the theme.
Open Call details:Advisory Jury
Erik Kessels (Netherlands), Gwen Lee (Singapore), He Yining (China), Gemma Marmalade (UK), Brian Griffin (UK), Wang Peiquan & Isabella Xueke Wang(China), Azu Nwagbogu (Nigeria), Wang Baoguo (China), Fiona Shields (UK), Tanya Habjouqa (Jordan), Skinder Hundal (UK), Simon Bainbridge (UK), Tanvi Mishra (India), Emma Bowkett (UK), Anna Kucma and Stella Nantongo (Uganda), Louise Fedotov-Clements (UK), and MacDonaldStrand (Gordon MacDonald & Clare Strand) (UK)Awards, Prizes and OpportunitiesAll participants selected to exhibit will receive
A FORMAT21 bursary
Inclusion in the FORMAT21 exhibition programme
Featured in, and a copy of, the FORMAT21 special edition festival catalogue
Featured on the FORMAT21 website
10% off tickets for selected events at FORMAT21
20 reduction off the FORMAT21 International Portfolio Review fee
FORMAT21 Award, of £2000
The Genesis Imaging Award of £1000 for print and framing services
RPS Award selected by a RPS Honorary Fellow; a feature and interview in the award-winning RPS Journal; a mentoring session (online) with an honorary Fellow of the RPS matched to the award recipient’s photography, plus one year’s free RPS membership
The Spectrum Imaging Award of £750 in printing services
Everyone who applies will receive
Visibility with the FORMAT21 international jury and FORMAT curators
The opportunity to be featured on the FORMAT Festival curated Instagram feed
Early Bird: €17 (ends 23rd August 2020, 11pm GMT)
Standard: €23 (from 23rd August, 11pm GMT)
Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2021 call for entries
The call for entries for Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2021 is still open until July 31, 2020. Major event dedicated to contemporary practices of moving image, the next Rencontres Internationales will be held in Paris in February 2021. The event offers every year a curated international programme gathering works by internationally renowned artists and filmmakers, along with works by young artists shown for the first time.
Any individual or organization can submit one or several works. The call for entries is open to cinema, video and multimedia works. There is no restriction for length nor genre. Any submission is free, regardless of geographical origins.
Film and video
► Video / Experimental video
► Fiction, exp. fiction / Short, middle and full length
► Documentary, exp. documentary
► Experimental film
Multimedia, expanded media
► Video installation, multimedia installation
► 360° video, VR, AR, XR art
► Multimedia concert/performance
Read more on our web site →
Submissions are open until July 31, 2020.
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More about RIPB
Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin offers a forum for reflection and discovery dedicated to pratices of contemporary moving images. It introduces guests from all over the world: artists, filmmakers, institutions and emerging organizations, giving us a picture of an on-going creation, of new issues raised by the evolution of the production methods and ways to present new works, and of the different emerging artistic and cultural contexts.
Its programme reflects specificities and convergences of artistic practices between new cinema and contemporary art, explores emerging media art practices and their critical purposes, and create a necessary time during which points of view meet and are exchanged.
The event aims at presenting works to a broad audience, at creating circulations between different art practices and between different audiences, as well as creating new exchanges between artists, filmmakers and professionals.
It seeks to contribute to a reflection on our contemporary culture of image via a compelling programme opened to everyone.
Theme: Back to the streets
Place: shop windows of Algorta, Getxo
Collaborators: Algortako dendak and Basque Government
DEADLINE: AUGUST 2
The popular participation of GETXOPHOTO is a space open to people, professional or amateur, who would like to participate in the Festival sending their potos about the theme proposed in each edition. The result of it is a diverse and rich mix of styles.
This call revolves around the theme Back to the streets, that is, how to return to normal life after the confinement to which we have been subected due to Covid-19. We are looking for images related to the uses of the public space as an updated place for meeting, enjoyment, play or protest. We want each participant to send us what it is considered to be the best image in relation to these ideas.
Everyone. All those who wish may participate: interested, amateur or professional photographers, sending only one image per participant. If you are a child, with the permission of your parents.
To participate you have to fill out the registration form and send your image to email@example.com. The photograph must be a file in .jpg format with a minimum resolution of 1024 x 682 pixels and a minimum weight of 2 MB.
All the photographs received will be edited in a video that can be seen on the web during the entire month of the Festival and 41 of them (selected by the organization according to the suitability of the format and place of exhibition) will be displayed in the windows of some Algortako Dendak shops: Adore, Algorta Centro Veterinario, Amaren, Amets, Bea Moda y Complementos, Berezi, Calzados Vito 52, Centro Diétetico, Cerebrito Pérez, Conformata, Croissanterie Getxo, Eko Denda, Ferretería Elorri, Flores Arantza, Foto Ricardo, Fresa Decoración, Her, Ilestimakeup, Iñaki Bi, Irati, Kala, Kantxa Kirol Moda, Librería Itxas Ikus, Librería Zugatzarte, Mabe, Mercería Maite Lencería, Mi mundo de azúcar, Next, Óptica Algorta, Oso, Peke Shoes, Peluquería Itziar Olabarria, Peluquería Marsun, Reformas Mareva, Snoopy, Supersonido, Teima, Tuink, Uranga Moda, Ytaluca, Zapatería Vázquez.
As a novelty in this edition, the Algortako Dendak Association will select the one that it considers as the best photograph made by an author from Getxo and will award a prize consisting of a € 100 voucher to be consumed among the participating shops of the association.
In addition, for second consecutive year a guide will be published where the selected images and the shops where they will be placed will appear.
The deadline for receiving images is from June 24 to August 02, 2020 The winners will be published on Thursday, August 10, 2020
In collaboration with LensCulture, KAUNAS PHOTO festival announces an Open Call for its 17th edition, inviting photographers to propose their works and offering exhibiting opportunities as well as participation at New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award, consisting of a solo exhibition at the largest photography gallery in the Baltic States, Kaunas Photography Gallery and a 2500 EUR monetary prize. Open Call provides opportunities to be selected to the festival exhibition and projection program. All exhibiting artists, selected via KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Open Call will be offered artist fees.
KAUNAS PHOTO festival opening events will start on September 3, 2020 with KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Exhibition. Festival’s events and outdoor exhibitions will run until the end of October.
Even if we are already halfway through the year, this article posted on May 25th at PHmuseum was called “10 African Photographers to Watch in 2020”.
So what? Let’s repost it anyways, because the timing could not be better …
On the occasion of Africa Day, we asked Africa is a Country‘s contributor Drew Thompson to highlight 10 artists from the continent we should follow and support this year.
Founded by Sean Jacobs in 2009, Africa is a Country is a site of opinion, analysis, and new writing started as an outlet to challenge the received media wisdom about Africa. Drew Thompson is the photography section contributor of the platform and Africana Studies Director at Bard College, read his words to discover more about the selected photographers and their practice.
Working between Portugal and parts of Portuguese-speaking West and Central Africa, the Lisbon-based artist uses photography and video installations to model and interrogate the complex historical and architectural spaces that the descendants of formerly colonizing and colonized populations in Africa and the Diaspora occupy. Through a combination of storytelling and reenactment, she introduces still and moving images that allow for a visualization of the transmission of history along with the forms of looking at self and others that mark documented spaces.
Currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa at the famed Market Photo Workshop, the Egyptian photographer uses a highly-trafficked tram in Alexandria as her photographic backdrop. In ways strikingly similar to the late South African photographer Santu Mofokeng’s 1986 series “Train Church,” she photographs the intimate spatial and personal relationships commuters enter in order to travel. Seemingly invisible to her sitters, she looks outside and through the tram’s windows, giving form to passengers’ stolen glances, unsaid thoughts, and the conversations overheard. Here, daily life is about onetime moments of escape and reprieve.
How do you photographically tell the story of Nigerian female students who have been kidnapped by armed militias, and leave behind no visual trace. How do you photograph daily life within a space characterized by such violence? Elements of disappearance and recovery characterize the creative process of Rahima Gambo whose multi-media installation “A Walk” involves sculptures, collages, and still photographs. Drawings that resemble tree branches and plant stems provide new lines of sight by uniting and separating the torn photographs, thereby reinforcing the imaginative meanings mapped onto photographs and the memories that photographs impart.
Eric Gyamfi adamantly resists the notion that he photographs marginalized LGBT+ groups in Ghana. Instead, his photographs embrace and showcase highly-stigmatized and misrepresented aspects of sexuality and create a much-needed archive of people whose daily lives are cast to the shadows of history. His most recent work involves the layering of two photographs, one of himself and the other of the American composer Julius Eastman, and considers how the look and form of photographs change over time.
The childhood memory of seeing a dead body profoundly marked the South African photographer who grew up in shebeens, an informal social establishment. He disassembles and reassembles the photographic surface first by re-photographing elements of printed images, and by marking prints in obscuring and defacing ways. Aspects of his body appear intermittently throughout the series, thereby problematizing notions of self-portraiture. In the process, he mobilizes photography as a tool of healing and references personalized and fragmented histories of trauma and violence.
Born in Angola and having lived in Portugal without the privilege of citizenship, Jasse creates photographic archives out of largely found images with the aim of questioning the place of black populations in white settler rule. His experimentation with film printing processes and screen printing expose the gaze of colonizing populations and the normalizing effects of the images they viewed. His latest collages highlight the tensions between histories of colonization and independence in Congo’s Katanga province.
Photography is intensely personal for Lubondo whose father was a photographer. Coming off her participation at the 2019 Lumumbashi Biennale, she stages her own historical memories as well as those of the people of Congo. In “Imaginary Trips” (2016), she recreates the journeys of people and the activities they performed in specific spaces, like train cars and classrooms. Lubondo actively photographs herself as a participant in these explorations of Congo’s history, and, in doing so, offers a fresh and enlightening perspective on the moments of disappearance that are formative to the making of historical memories.
Far too often, fashion photography is an underrecognized genre in African photography. Barbara Minishi takes her cues from carefully constructed sets in order to showcase her clients’ rich sartorial designs. Her deftness at photographing her sitters from striking angles under stark lighting makes fiction become reality. The stories she tells through her colorful pictures are playful and mystical.
Exile is a condition in which a person is separated, or broken apart, from a place, and Shanan’s series “Exile” involves trying to catch glimpses of circumstances and possible feelings of exile in Algeria. While sentiments of alienation and displacement can be intensely felt, we cannot see how they appear in the moment; Shanan explores this concept. By picturing scenes people deem unworthy of photographing or are not in a position to photograph themselves, notions of belonging appear ambiguous and unclear.
In her early body of work “Even this will pass” (2013), Silvestri focused on the experiences of Eritrean migrants to Great Britain. Rather than showing the faces of her sitters, she blurs their images and maps the routes they travelled through dots and lines. Almost in complete opposition to the fear many of her sitters confront with being photographed, in the recurring series “the Black History Month” (2018 and 2019), Silvestri presents an untitled and collective portrait of black existence—the often undepicted side of migration that exposes the identities not afforded to black migrants by nationality or citizenship alone.
Drew Thompson is a contributor at AIAC and serves as an Assistant Professor and Director of Africana Studies at Bard College. He recently authored, Filtering Histories: The Photographic Bureaucracy in Mozambique, 1960 to Recent Times (University of Michigan Press, 2021), and is currently at work on a book about the history of the Polaroid in Africa.
This is a repost of an article from the very useful resources provided by filmmaker and cultural activist Benoît Labourdette . The article is also available in French on his website.
What methodology should be adopted to build cultural projects that have the capacity to tame uncertainty and thus become more deeply rooted in their objectives? Methodological proposal, based on the thesis of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the philosophy of François Jullien and the psychological studies of Olivier Houdé.
Report on the state of the cultural sector post-Covid-19
It would be salutary, a fortiori after the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020 which led to an extremely destructive containment for the cultural professions (among other sectors of society), to question the methodologies in order to envisage being able to make cultural projects more antifragile in the face of uncertainty.
During this period of confinement, there have been many very inspiring cultural innovations, which are still going on: film festivals that have reinvented themselves online, remote theatre projects, collective dance or music via videophony, calls for graphic, photographic, cinematographic creation, etc.
So, is everything all right? Everybody has resisted ? I’m not sure that this is the opinion of a theatre company whose tours for the next two years are being jeopardized by the cancellation of the Festival d’Avignon, the theatres, concert halls and cinemas empty for long months, the artists leading the very many artistic practice workshops cancelled, the authors, publishers and booksellers… The State and local authorities intervened by extending the unemployment insurance for temporary workers in the entertainment industry for one year, by setting up specific aid for the performing arts, cinema, plastic arts, music, museums, publishing, etc… These were indispensable supports, it is the role of the common good. They were probably not sufficient in France, Germany for example having affirmed the centrality of the cultural sector by supporting it to the tune of 50 billion euros after the confinement (in France it is about 100 times less). But what about the causes of what appeared to be an extreme fragility in the face of health contingencies? And the next crisis, unpredictable, will be of a different nature.
I propose, in 6 steps, definitions of concepts that will serve as solid support, in my opinion, for antifragile methodological paths in the cultural sector, i.e. that allow projects to be able to exist and even strengthen themselves in situations of uncertainty or intense stress.
1. Risk prevention: a limiting belief
The first idea that comes to mind is the risk prevention approach: trying to predict everything that can happen, based on past experiences. For example, foreseeing that a new epidemic could occur, and therefore having already prepared distant alternatives for all cultural projects. Just as in a film shooting plan, the unpredictability of the weather is anticipated by a “Plan B” of shooting indoors nearby in case of rain. Or, for an outdoor event, folded barnums are always ready to be deployed in case of bad weather.
This risk prevention, while necessary and very useful, does not protect against the unpredictable. It only prevents the predictable. It is important, but not sufficient. Risk prevention presents itself as reassuring (“We have foreseen everything”), which is false: it is impossible to foresee everything. And it is infinitely rare for the past to repeat itself identically.
The reality is that we live in an uncertain world, in which what will happen and destabilize us is precisely what could not be foreseen. We saw this at our expense during the Covid-19 crisis, which weakened the whole world, hitting the weakest hardest. What we can only admit after 2020 is that the world is uncertain and certainly promises unpredictable surprises! It would be salutary not to forget this lesson.
Let us therefore assume the obvious: it is absolutely impossible to predict everything. But then, how can we prepare for the unpredictable? This is the difference between the risk prevention attitude, which is limited to what it can imagine, and the antifragile attitude, which prepares for the unimaginable, only to come out of it stronger. This thesis may seem very theoretical, not very “realistic”, because how to tame the unknown, the impossible, the unthinkable? However, intuition makes us feel that this would be the best way. But what is it concretely, and how to make a cultural project antifragile?
2. Definition of antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a former trader, is today a writer, statistician and essayist specialising in the epistemology of probability (i.e. the critical study of the subject of probability). He is one of the very few people to have anticipated and warned about the extent of the financial crisis of 2008, for example. His atypical thinking and his critical stance seem to me to be a solid support to nourish reflection in the field of culture. Let’s first discover the concept of antifragility, before moving on to implementation paths, adapted for the cultural field.
Just as the human body grows stronger as it is subjected to stress and effort, just as popular movements grow when they are suppressed, so living things in general develop all the better when they are confronted with factors of disorder, volatility or anything that might disturb them. This faculty to not only take advantage of chaos but to need it in order to become better is the “antifragile”, like the ancient Hydra of Lerna, whose heads multiplied as they were cut off.
Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (back cover).
Indeed, these words make us dream: who wouldn’t want us to be strengthened by hardship? Who wouldn’t want to be able to put Nietsche’s aphorism “What doesn’t make me die makes me stronger” into practice for their cultural projects? But isn’t that a bit theoretical and utopian? The Hydra is a myth, not reality… On the other hand, concerning the human body, our personal experience validates Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s hypothesis, because we can see that the human body is strengthened when it is subjected to stress, within a certain limit: physical exercise, vaccination, fasting… among other examples.
The point here is not to question the importance of preventing known risks. Of course, we must be prepared for the obvious risks that we know about: supervising children crossing the street, having national stocks of masks, etc. Let’s not confuse antifragility with inconsistency. But we must not give in to the naive belief that risk prevention would protect us from everything. On the contrary, the excess of forecasting and risk prevention, seen as the only horizon in organizational decisions, reassures us, but paradoxically is a factor of great fragility. Why is this? Because we believe we are protected from everything, so we lower our guard on a deeper vigilance, intrinsic to the projects themselves. Thus, in good conscience, excessive prevention can paradoxically weaken projects, perhaps even more than before the widespread practice of risk prevention since the early 2000s. Why is this so? Let Nassim Nicholas Taleb explain it to us very simply:
We have never had as much data as we do today, yet we are more unable than ever to predict. More data — paying attention to the colour of the eyes of the people you meet when you cross the street, for example — can lead to missing the essential — the big truck coming across the street, in this case. When you cross the street, you’re eliminating data, except for data that could be a critical threat. As Paul Valéry wrote: There are many things to ignore in order to act.
Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (page 372).
Of course we can only agree. But then, what are the relevant facts to remember, and how do you go about taking a antifragile path? What exactly are we talking about? Here is a first, very simple example of antifragility. It is not a model, it allows us to start grasping the concept in terms of concrete action :
A do-it-yourself system and a test-and-error method would have the attributes of antifragility. If one wishes to become an antifragile, one must put oneself in the “fault-loving” situation — to the right of “fault-hating” — by making faults numerous and not very damaging.
Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (page 34).
Here is a table (page 36) that summarizes this example:
I hate mistakes
Spiteful mistakes are just information
Worship of mistakes (since they’re light)
We are beginning to perceive, I think, that antifragility is about a method of designing projects, a certain approach to work, to development, to construction, to the way we relate to the public. But then, should we only do “do-it-yourself” cultural projects, i.e. without any real artistic project, not very fragile because they are not very ambitious? On the contrary, it is thanks to the highest artistic standards that we will be able to build cultural projects that are antifragile, whether they’re “small” or “big”, as we will now discover.
3. Cultural Policy Missions
By the way, what is the framework for the implementation of cultural projects in France? Cultural policies, and therefore funding frameworks, have for mainspring the development of artistic creation, its dissemination and its practices. This is at the heart of the missions of cultural institutions in France, as the french official texts indicate:
The mission of the Ministry of Culture is to promote artistic creation in all its components and to enable the democratization and dissemination of cultural works.
The mission of the Ministry of Culture is to make the capital works of France and humanity in the fields of heritage, architecture, plastic arts, performing arts, cinema and communication accessible to the greatest number of people. It promotes the development of artistic works in all their components in the territories and throughout the world. It is the guarantor of artistic education.
These missions are engaged in two directions: cultural democratization, to make works accessible to the public, and cultural democracy, which consists in fostering artistic practices of audiences. These two facets of cultural policies are complementary, and in my opinion, they always benefit from being combined. There is much debate in the political and financial stakes between these two perspectives, the answer to which lies in what are now called cultural rights. This is a subject in itself, which I do not deal with here, the cultural projects I am talking about are indifferently related to both approaches.
In what way is art a lesson, no longer just a lesson of life, as so much has been said, to decorate life or because one is sculpting one’s life. Whether one aestheticizes one’s life as much as one wants, the notion of “art of living” is unfortunate: it is compromised with the renunciation of the adventurous inherent in wisdom and withdrawn into convenience. On the other hand, the demand for the dissonance that is proper to art, and which is more radically enlightened by modernity, puts the capacity for ex-existence at work from the outset, inscribing it in the sensible. In the de-coincidence, art and existence discover their common origin, and at first in opposition to “Creation”: discover that the new – the unheard of – is indeed possible, but precisely because it is not naively a beginning. Because it is the result of a disengagement and de-enclosure that keeps us out of the confinement of a world and its adapted adequacy. Or that it is by coming out of the hinges under which the possibilities are sealed, out of joint — possibilities that we did not suspect — that comes an audacity that, in its challenge, can redeploy from the infinite and allows us to finally begin. What each work of art does, in short: that the first morning of the world, then, becomes fleetingly within reach.
Dé-coincidence, où viennent d’art et l’existence ?, François Jullien, 2017 (page 136).
To summarize, François Jullien thus demonstrates that artistic creation is inherently antifragile, because art is by nature always reinventing, reinstating the first time at each of its occurrences. It is a lesson in life. The essence of artistic creation is to be adventurous, unseemly, uncoincidental.
4. Antifragility of a resolutely artistic and innovative approach to culture
Artistic creation is what cultural projects are meant to develop and disseminate, so let’s nourish ourselves on its deep logic of functioning, let’s allow it to express itself fully. Let us not seek to reduce what is the greatest strength of art: the requirement of audacity. Let’s take a risk in the cultural projects themselves, without which we would destroy the meaning of art, which we are here to defend! This audacity is precisely what will help our cultural projects to become antifragile. We can give it its name: innovation.
The approach to building a cultural project must therefore be innovative in order to be antifragile. But how can we identify that we are indeed in an attitude of boldness and innovation, and not in a race to reassure ourselves by trying to anticipate everything? How can we identify criteria to guide us? It is a question of our relationship to “error” and “uncertainty”: Do we seek to avoid uncertainty at all costs, i.e. the risk of error, or do we actively prepare to receive them in order to be enriched by them? Nassim Nicholas Taleb sums it up very well :
Mistakes make some things break, and some things don’t. Some theories fall apart, and some don’t. Innovation is precisely something that benefits from uncertainty; and some people sit back and wait for uncertainty and use it as raw material, just as our hunting ancestors did. …an ethical life is not ethical when it is free of personal risk.
Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2018 (page 512).
We could synthesize these ideas into one formula:
Innovation is therefore not an empty word, which would mean following fashions, in a form of demagogic and often technophile headlong rush, such as making absolutely “digital” projects or systematically using “social networks” without even really knowing why.
Innovation is an approach, a method, which integrates into the heart of its process openness to the unexpected, and is enriched by it. It is an attitude of openness to what, a priori, destabilizes us and that we would tend to reject out of fear. But beware, innovation is not a simple messy Spanish inn either. An innovative project can be extremely vast and structured, but it must cultivate its agility, which lies in everyone’s attitude towards the unexpected: “it surprises me, it worries me, it destabilizes me, well I’m going to do my best to deal with it and I’m going to try to find out how I can make the most of it!
5. A method: mourning work
It is counterintuitive to accept the unexpected, because the unexpected represents the loss of what was expected. It is necessarily a disappointment at the outset, which we fight against by reflex: denial, anger, guilt, etc. We would like to be enriched by this new situation, as advocated by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, but we have to admit that our brain does not take us in this direction spontaneously, far from it.
To be able to adopt a antifragile approach, whether at an individual level or collectively (within the framework of a project), we must learn to go through the stages of mourning very often. It is usually a rather slow process, because there is little awareness of it. It is a mourning training that must be practiced in order to become more and more able to go through the stages of mourning in an agile manner. The 5 stages of mourning work are :
Shock and denial.
Acceptance (or resilience).
It’s important to know that these stages can be quite disorganized, with jumps and flashbacks, which is particularly destabilizing.
antifragility is therefore above all a real work on oneself, dynamic and difficult, because it is to be produced precisely in those moments when one is in great difficulty, when one has lost what one imagined and is caught up in one’s unpredictable reactions in the face of this loss. So, the method is to practice the work of mourning, at high speed. To go faster in mourning, so that, thanks to the resilience that the work of mourning produces, we can consider the opportunities that lie behind the loss.
In fact, antifragility is at the heart of our learning system from childhood. In his book Learning to Resist (2019), educational psychologist Olivier Houdé explains through neuroscience that from childhood and throughout life, learning and reflection are based on cognitive resistance (another way of naming antifragility):
Cognitive resistance is our brain’s ability to inhibit automatisms of thought to allow us to think But it goes far beyond that: this ability is also essential in many situations of everyday life. Indeed, we must learn to resist automatisms of thought when they are oversimplifying and dangerous.
6. A path strewn with constructive pitfalls
Preparing for the unpredictable in order to take advantage of it, in the cultural sector, means adopting, collectively and in the structure of the systems that we put in place, be it planning, technique, organisation in teams, artistic work, communication, etc., an attitude of taking distance, a less reflexive, counter-intuitive time of thinking, in short, a true algorithmic approach, which involves sharing information, combined with autonomy in decision-making.
The method to adopt this attitude, as we have just seen above, is the work of mourning, which seems to be slower to approach, but which allows us to build in reality, and not in the fantasy of what we have lost and what we would like to find again. The challenge is to get back in touch with reality as quickly as possible, which has just changed in an unpredictable and irreversible way.
This brings us to places we hadn’t anticipated. It is destabilizing at first glance, but the cultural projects will only be better, more anchored in reality, and will respond even better to their initial objectives, because they will have been able to adapt to the changing reality.
To develop antifragility in the construction and exploitation of cultural projects is to choose the path that is the least easy, the riskiest, the most agile, the least reassuring, a path of successive innovations. It is the path that will come up against the most pitfalls, but which guarantees that the project will come out of it grown and perennial.
Choosing this type of approach has profound impacts on the forms of artistic projects, working methods, professional training, management attitudes, etc. If this approach is very difficult, it is above all because it implies accepting the loss of a form of power of domination, of mastery. It implies a change in our relationship to the world, which goes against the majority ideas about effective action and organisation. Thus, it often happens that the people who weaken projects the most are the leaders themselves (artists, elected officials, directors, etc.), because they are too afraid to let go of their power. In my opinion, taking these risks is the best guarantee for building ambitious cultural projects that will fully meet their objectives in our uncertain world.
This text is the introduction to the antifragile method for cultural projects. It will be followed by other texts that will develop proposals for the field.
Thanks to Robinson Labourdette for discovering the work of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and to Véronique Guiho-Leroux and Isabelle Altounian for their attentive rereading.
The 2020 Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography
Special COVID-19 Edition
Winner will receive a $20,000 grant for the publication of a photography book
The Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography, a collaboration between PHOTO IS:RAEL and the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund, will be awarded for the fifth time this year to a photographer whose works demonstrate excellence in the field of photography.
Following the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s award process will feature a unique format that will adhere to the necessary restrictions without compromising its goal of supporting excellent photographers and the stories they tell, which are now more important than ever.
This year’s winner will receive a $20,000 grant for the publication of a professional photography book through BLOW UP PRESS, a Warsaw-based boutique publishing house. The winner will be announced in November 2020, and the book will be published and launched in November 2021 at the 9th International Photography Festival. During the course of that year, the winner will work on the production of the book together with PHOTO IS:RAEL’s Chief Curator and BLOW UP PRESS’ Head Designer. The book will then be distributed through various professional platforms around the world.
The winner will also receive royalties from the sale of the book.
A professional panel of judges will review all award finalists and will select a photographer who demonstrates thought, quality, originality and excellence in photography, as well as the potential to create a comprehensive body of work suitable for publication as a book. The submitted portfolios will be delivered to the panel anonymously, with no identifying markers, and will be judged based on their excellency, quality and originality.
Of the works submitted, the panelists will select 20 finalists for a group exhibition at the International Photography Festival, which will take place in November 2020 in Tel Aviv.*
David Adika, Photographer and head of the Photography Department at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem
Michael Benson, Founder, Candlestar/Photo London
Maya Benton, Curator, Art Historian and Visiting Professor at Yale University
Dr Susan Bright, Curator and Writer, France / UK
Krzysztof Candrowicz, Curator and Researcher
Sian Davey, Artist, UK
Mirjam Kooiman, Art Historian, writer and Curator at Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam
Grzegorz Kosmala, Founder and Director, BLOW UP PRESS, Poland
Dafna Meitar Nechmad, The Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund
Rivka Saker, Chairman of Sotheby’s Israel, Founder and board chair of ARTIS
István Virágvölgyi, Curator, Photo editor, Secretary of the Capa Grand Prize Hungary
Bob Newman, 2019 Meitar Award Finalist
The Registration will be open from 17.6.2020 – 20.7.2020 23:59 (Israel time)
Registration rate is $35.00 – a subsidized rate for this year’s special edition
Photographs must be submitted via the award website
For questions and additional information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO IS:RAEL, an independent not for profit organization, active since 2009 with the aim to create social change through the language of photography.
*It should be noted that considering the latest global situation around the COVID-19 outbreak, PHOTO IS:RAEL will make every effort to hold the festival as planned. In case the festival will not be able to open as planned, PHOTO IS:RAEL will make all reasonable efforts to reschedule the IPF within a reasonable period of time. If need be, we will consider the option hold an online version of the festival, including exhibitions and a program of online lectures and events.
submit your work now
Join us for an Online Lecture by by Gloria Oyarzabal
2019 Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography Winner
Tuesday, the 30th of June at 19:00 (Israel time zome)
Gloria Oyarzabal, 2019 Meitar Award Winner
Join us for an online lecture with Meitar Award 2019 Winner – Gloria Oyarzabal on her winning series “WOMAN GO NO’GREE” and other works.
The project “WOMAN GO NO’GREE” was shot in Nigeria between 2017-2019. Through this work, Oyarzabal investigates the effect of colonization on the concept of women and the impossibility of universalizing feminist discourses.
The lecture will be online and free of charge.
Please pre-register here: https://forms.gle/pDPrcAeZgeLYTSBP9
A link to a ZOOM conference will be sent to your email prior to the lecture.
submit your work now
Stay in touch with PHOTO IS:RAEL
(Also available on Whatsapp: +972 58 6601519)
Moshe Maor 3
Tel Aviv 6607742
FOTOGRAF issues an open call for professionals, amateurs and students who are invited to submit their photo projects. These projects may be related to this year’s theme of the Fotograf Festival and magazine Uneven Ground. Projects that are not related to the topic, but represent a distinctly defined project of an independent and non-commercial character will be accepted as well.
Two selected projects will be published in a printed issue of the Fotograf magazine in October 2020. The winners will be chosen by the jury whose members including professionals and experts on contemporary visual art.
Despite constant movement, networking, exchange and an abundance of information, we rarely come into contact with the really unknown, the unexpected. Medium of photography indicates closeness and at the same time it incites disaffection. Is it possible to share the same view when viewed from a different perspective? Who we are and who are the others?
The deadline for the competition submissions is June 21, 2020.
Submission terms and conditions:
Project description + images (description maximum on one page A4, all in one file .pdf)
Any e-mail attachments must be properly identified – CV / Portfolio / Project / Name
Send your projects to email: email@example.com and write “OPEN CALL” in the email subject line
The number of projects submitted by one author is not limited
The participation fee per project is CZK 450 / EUR 20
Please send the fee to the following bank account number: 2800358798/2010, IBAN: CZ8420100000002800358798, BIC code/SWIFT: FIOBCZPPXXX (please add “OPEN CALL_surname” in the note).
The winners will be chosen by the jury whose members including: Stephanie Kiwitt, Anna Voswinckel, Tereza Rudolf, Gábor Arion Kudász, Joanna Gorlach, Erik Vilím, Andreas Müller-Pohle and Kateryna Radchenko.
Adriana Ferrarese IT
Adrienn Józan HU
Alexandre Pruvost FR
Anabela Pinto PT
Anaïs Lesy BE
Andrea Re IT
Anna Twardowska PL
Annette Wijdeveld NL
Benjamin Lindner DE
Bowen Fernie US
Camilla Rocca IT
Carlos Barradas PT
Cecilie Fang DK
Celine Croze FR
Chanel Irvine AU
Christelle Boulé CH
Christine Mooijer NL
Corinna Hopmann DE
Cristiano Volk IT
Daniel Heilig HU
Daniela Constantini MX
David Hummelen NL
Davide Cerretini IT
Diego Costantini IT
Dienie Brouwer NL
Djulita Hoeks NL
Elena Orta IT
Eliška Sky CZ
Elizabeth Alderliesten NL
Emma Scarafiotti IT
Ester Sabik SK
Ezra Bohm NL
Fred Mungo IT
Frédérique Dimarco FR
Giacomo Infantino IT
Greet Weitenberg NL
Guido Belli IT
Guillem Ayora ES
Hanciu Dragos RO
Hannah Oseid NO
Heiko Kienleitner AT
Helene Goedl AT
Hester Baars NL
Ioanna Natsikou GR
Ioanna Sakellaraki GR
Ivelina Bridges BG
Jackie Mulder NL
James Hensby UK
Jan Philipzen DE
Jann Höfer DE
Jensy Franco NL
Jeremy Knowles UK
Jesse Wallace US
Jildo-Tim Hof NL
Joan Alvado ES
Joep Hijwegen NL
Johanna Laleh von Holst DE
Johannes Bosgra NL
Joost Wensveen NL
Julija Goyd LT
Katerina Motylova UA
Klim Kutsevskyy UA
Laila Mubarak NL
Lars van Straalen NL
Lidewij Mulder NL
Linda Zhengová CZ
Lizzy Mooiweer NL
Lotte Ekkel NL
Lucia Sekerková SK
Marco van den Arend NL
Maria Munzi IT
María Viñas ES
Marivan Martins BR
Markus Korenjak AT
Martin Tscholl DE
Mateo H. Acosta CO
Maxime Puteaux FR
Mirka van Renswoude NL
Monika Jagusinskytė LT
Myriam Escudero Polo ES
Naïs Bessaih FR
Nanouk Prins NL
Niccolò Quaresima IT
Nosh Neneh NL
Nynke Brandsma NL
Romain Bagnard FR
Sandra Mickiewicz PL
Sara Punt NL
Sebastian Steveniers BE
Sergey Korovayny UA
Silvia De Giorgi IT
Snejana Barteneva BY
Sonya Mantere FI
Teiksma Jankava LV
Turkina Faso RU
Uma Damle PT
Victoire Eouzan FR
Vito Sardone IT
Yara Jimmink NL
This is a repost of today’s tweet by the British Journal of Photography. Please have a look at this wonderful list of resources.
Black Lives Matter: Anti-racism resources for the photography industry
Written by British Journal of PhotographyPublished on 5 June 2020
George Floyd’s murder has sparked global protests against racism, inequality, and police brutality. Here, we compile a growing list of books, articles, and initiatives to learn from and support
At the time of writing, people in all 50 states in the US, and 18 countries worldwide, are protesting for the Black Lives Matter movement. The demonstrations follow the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 25 May 2020, and have amplified the anger and outrage at the racism and inequality that continue to pervade all aspects of society, including the creative industries.
Here, we have compiled a growing list of educational anti-racism resources, along with petitions and initiatives to support, for those in the photography industry and outside of it. We will continue to update the list going forward; if you have any suggestions or comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is by no means a definitive list, but it may be a good place to start.
Mark Sealy — Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time Director of Autograph ABP Mark Sealy MBE unravels how Western photographic practice has been used as a tool for creating Eurocentric and violent visual regimes. He demands that we recognise and disrupt the ingrained racist ideologies that have tainted photography since its inception in 1839. A free chapter from the book is also available via the link above.
Antwaun Sargent — The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion Curator and critic Antwaun Sargent addresses the radical transformation taking place in fashion photography and art today. In his opening essay, Sargent opens up the conversation around the role of the Black body in the marketplace and the institutional barriers that have historically been an impediment to Black photographers participating more fully in the fashion and industries. The publication features 15 artist portfolios and a series of conversations between generations of practitioners.
Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa — One Wall a Web Employing a range of mediums, which include archival imagery and text, Wolukau-Wanambwa’s book questions whether the historical and contemporary realities of anti-Black and gendered violence serve to veil the essential function of violence in the maintenance of “civil” society.
Daniel C. Blight — The Image of Whiteness: Contemporary Photography and Racialization Blight introduces readers to some important extracts from the troubling story of whiteness, highlighting its falsehoods, paradoxes, and oppressive nature. This book argues that the invention and continuation of the “white race” is not just a political, social and legal phenomenon, but also a complexly visual one, and explores what photographic artists are doing to subvert and critique its power.
1619 project, The New York Times An ongoing initiative, which started in August 2019 — the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It reframes the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and contributions of black Americans, at the centre of the US’s contemporary narrative.
The American Nightmare, Ibram X. Kendi for the Atlantic“We don’t see any American dream,” Malcolm X said in 1964. “We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.” A nightmare is essentially a horror story of danger, but it is not wholly a horror story. Black people experience joy, love, peace, safety. But as in any horror story, those unforgettable moments of toil, terror, and trauma have made danger essential to the black experience in racist America.
Vision and Justice: A Civic Curriculum — free ebook from Aperture Foundation edited by Sarah Lewis A free curriculum including thirty-one texts on topics ranging from civic space and memorials to the intersections of race, technology, and justice. Highlights include a wide-ranging conversation between filmmaker Ava DuVernay and cinematographer Bradford Young; an interview between Lewis and Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; and Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s essay on Frederick Douglass.
Do no harm: Photographing police brutality protests — free e-guide from the Authority Collective “As photographers/filmmakers, we need to ask ourselves, is this image sousveillance (from the bottom pointing up, holding power-holders and oppressors accountable) or are we furthering surveillance (from the top pointing down, adding to a history of violence and surveillance of Black, Indigenous, and POC bodies, and creating a document that can be used to further that violence)? — Filmmaker Ligaiya Romero.
A full list of resources for photographers and beyond on anti-racism from the Authority Collective can be found here.
The Authority Collective A collective of over 200 womxn, non-binary and gender expansive people of colour working in the photography, film and VR/AR industries, with a mission to empower marginalised artists.
Diversify Photo An initiative to encourage photo editors and commissioners to hire more POC photographers.
BBFA Collective Born out of a lack of representation, the Black British Female Artist Collective was created to provide a platform for the best female emerging artists of the diaspora.
Donations and Petitions
The Earth Issue’s Freedom FundraiserIn response to the murder of George Floyd and the global protests that have followed, The Earth Issue have initiated a print sale, with all proceeds to be donated to organisations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement
Photographers of Colour petition Sign this petition calling for photography industry leaders and corporations to use their platforms to speak out against the racism Black and minority photographers are facing within the industry
To donate to organisations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, follow this link.
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