Futures 2020: PHotoESPAÑA & Photo Romania

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As Futures 2020 Digital Festival continues its online programme, we explore more of the talent and topics presented by the 12 member institutions in response to the theme RESET

“Futures gave us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the current situation in Spain — how the pandemic is directly affecting our visual arts landscape,” says Ana Berruguete, Director of Exhibitions at PHotoESPAÑA. The Spanish festival — which has forged Madrid’s space at the forefront of photography since 1998 — returns to Futures this year, bringing five nominated artists to the fore.

Among them, documentary photographer Ire Lenes examines ethnic minorities in the Baltic States. Jon Gorospe focuses on new approaches to contemporary landscape photography; Mar Saez explores the complexity of identity and biopolitics, and Ruth Montel investigates the human relationship with natural territory. Between them they span a range of practices, from documentary photography to fine art and physical installations. “Contemporary Spanish photography is rich in this way,” says Berruguete. “It stretches beyond the traditional forms of representation and focuses on a much more interdisciplinary language. Our five Futures artists are good proof of this.”

“Resistances in Solidarity”, PHotoESPAÑA’s Assembly Talk, offers a triple perspective on how different image agents are facing the impacts of COVID-19. Featuring conversations with Pia Ogea, Sandra Maunac and Nicolás Combarro, the event explores the need to establish new strategies and solidarities across artistic practice, community and government support.

Watch the live stream recording here.

Photo Romania also returns to Futures this year with five nominated artists. Combining photography alongside his career in medical research, Greek-born photographer Vassilis Triantis explores themes of isolation and identity and the collective versus the individual. Hanna Jarzabek is a Polish photojournalist whose projects address discrimination and societal dysfunctions in western society, while documentary and fine art photographer Paulina Metzscher tells intimate people-led stories. David Arribas reports on anthropological and social issues, and lastly, Alin Barbir covers a range of perspectives through fine art.

In Photo Romania’s Assembly Talk, “RESET Your Mindset and Adapt in the World of Photography”, photojournalist and Photon Festival director Tania Castro discusses the skills and competencies needed by photographers amid the current pandemic, moderated by Sebastian Vaida, artistic director of Photo Romania.

Watch the live stream recording here.

Don’t miss the online exhibition RESET, curated by Salvatore Vitale, investigating 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.