Futures 2020: Calvert Journal, CAMERA and Triennial of Photography Hamburg

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In the second week of Futures 2020 Digital Festival, we explore more of the selected talent and topics presented by the 12 member institutions in response to the theme RESET

“There’s an emphasis on crisis in everything we see and read right now,” says Liza Premiyak, Managing Editor of the Calvert Journal. One of 12 Futures members institutions, the award-winning online magazine — which celebrates the culture and creativity of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia, and Central Asia — presents seven of the region’s brightest emerging artists for this year’s festival.

“The question of how we recover from major instability has a particular poignancy across the former communist countries our artists are from, which have experienced revolutions and economic upheaval in recent memory,” Premiyak continues. “We wanted to pick artists that are disruptive, boldly optimistic, both humorous and empathetic.”

Image © Sasha Chaika.

Among the Calvert Journal’s selected artists are Kacper SzaleckiGeroge StamenovAndrii DostievLia DostlievaOlga Shurygina and Sasha Chaika. Their work encourages us to look closely at urgent and devastating issues like the ongoing war in Donbass and Ukraine, or ecological disaster, while challenging the way these stories are told: Shurygyna, for example, explores one of the worst human-made environmental disasters of the 20th Century, the Soviet destruction of the Aral Sea; Szalecki’s bright and buoyant POTOPIA, meanwhile, imagines an alternative Poland.

“Protest”, the Calvert Journal’s Assembly Talk, will take place on 15 October at 4PM CEST. “We seem to have a visual vocabulary for big political events and demonstrations but no imagery comes to mind that evokes the feeling of stagnancy,” Premiyak says of the event. “What should the contemporary ‘protest image’ look like, and should it include the moments of passivity? Not so much the calm before the storm — rather the fatigue after the fight?”

“Protest” features conversations with Tanya Kapitonova (Belarus), Rafal Milach (Poland) and Yulia Krivich (Ukraine). Watch the live stream recording here.

Image © Andrii Dostiev and Lia Dostlieva.

Centro Italiano per la Fotografia’s CAMERA project — a specialised centre dedicated to photography as a form of language, documentation and artistic expression — also returns to Futures this year, bringing five of Italy’s newer artists to the fore.

Among them is Camilla Ferrari, a multimedia visual storyteller who mixes stills and vertical moving images to explore the relationship between human beings and their surroundings. Also nominated, Camillo Pasquarelli adopts photography as a tool of knowledge contaminated by the self-reflective approach of anthropology. Giovanna Petrocchi creates imaginary landscapes inspired by surrealist paintings, virtual realities and ancient cultures; Marco Schiavone uses photography and graphics to explore notions of functionality and beauty, while Marina Caneve grapples with aspects of human existence that cannot be controlled — only adapted to.

CAMERA’s virtual Assembly Talk, titled “Decolonization, Representation and Power,” features conversations around postcolonialism in contemporary culture with artist Nicola Lo Calzo and writer Igiaba Scego. Watch the live stream recording here.

Image © Olga Shurygina

Triennial of Photography Hamburg this year presents Arne PiepkeLukas KreibigManuela BraunmüllerMaximilian Mann and Sina Niemeyer; between them, they explore issues of climate change, species extinction and the search for identity and love in times of globalization.

“Since all five talents take a documentary approach, they have been dependent on taking pictures on location and also traveling, which was not possible due to the virus,” says Stephanie Bunk, a member of the jury and board of the Freundeskreis des Hauses der Photographie. “So the artists all share the experience of having to abandon their plans and start over.”

Triennial of Photography Hamburg’s virtual Assembly Talk will take place on 17 October at 4PM CEST, exploring how artists are dealing with the pandemic.

“Survival Artists” will feature conversations with Manuela Braunmüller, Lukas Kreibig, Maximilian Mann, Sina Niemeyer and Arne Piepke. Register to watch online here.

Don’t miss the online exhibition RESET, a central part of the Futures Digital Festival.⁠ Curated by Salvatore Vitale, the exhibition investigates one of the most tumultuous years of modernity through the eyes of seven Futures artists: Julie Poly, Ela Polkowska, Eva O’Leary, Garry Loughlin, Sanne De Wilde, Dávid Biró and Ana Zibelnik

Flossie Skelton

Flossie Skelton joined British Journal of Photography in 2019, where she is currently Commissioning Editor across awards, Studio and partner content. She does freelance writing, editing and campaign work across arts, culture and feminism; she has worked with BBC Arts, Belfast Photo Festival and Time’s Up. She is also an illustrator, with artwork published in Marie Claire, ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style and the Guardian.