The “Reframe History” photographers at the Photo Vogue Festival



Leonard Suryajaya, “Moss” (2020) from the series Quarantine blues. A collection of food and drink containers acquired during coronavirus quarantine in South Loop, Chicago, Illinois. (All images courtesy of the artists and Photo Vogue)

While fashion tends to be very faithful to the aesthetic, at least one fashion photography festival seeks to focus on the middle ground between ethics and aesthetics. The Photo Vogue festival is in its sixth year and the theme, Reframing the story highlights “projects that have recovered an alternative and different way of telling a story, projects that reframe omitted, forgotten and neglected historical figures to those that recover an idea of ​​beauty that has been diminished, stereotyped or exoticized”.

The show features 35 artists who were selected from a pool of applicants of some 25,000 images by an international jury with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Some of the jurors included the cultural director and director of the Mexican and Latin American Contemporary Photography Competition Alfredo De Stefano Farías; curator at the Barbican Art Gallery Alona Pardo; art historian, critic and curator Christine Eyene; and Azu Nwagbogu, founder and director of the African Artists Foundation. These are just a few of the nearly four dozen jurors who sifted through the open call nominations to create a hard-hitting exhibit at the crossroads of ethics and haute couture. Launched in 2011 by Alessia Glaviano, PhotoVouge “has always been about defending talent, improving visual culture and shaping a fairer, more ethical and inclusive visual world,” according to a press release.

Daniele Tamagni, “The market photo workshop”. Lalhande in front of the studio.

The international coterie of participating artists presents voices and visions from Africa, Europe, the United States, South America and Asia, all organized with a strong sense of aesthetic excellence to complement cultural authenticity and fair representation.

A special section of the exhibition entitled 12 chapters explores and expands the point of view of black designers on the theme. This section features Akinola Davies Jr, Ashley Peña, Campbell Addy, Daniel Obasi, David Uzochukwu, Kennedi Carter, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Mary Sibende, Namsa Leuba, Omar Victor Diop, Stacey Gillian Abe and Trevor Stuurman.

The full exhibition will take place at BASE Milano from November 18 to 21, with the program searchable online from November 18. The virtual exhibition will be complemented by a program of live events, including lectures and portfolio reviews, which will appear online during the Festival. An accompanying program celebrates 10 years of PhotoVogue, with a video that showcases over 500 of the most compelling photographs from a decade of publication on the platform – a pool that includes some 257,000 photographers and over 700,000 photographs from 210 countries. Following the site’s launch in 2011, the Photo Vogue Festival was established in 2016 in Milan to bring the community together and advance the conversation around promoting creativity, diversity and fairness in image creation.

River Claure, “Untitled” from the series Warawar Wawa (Son of the Stars)

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To do so before they have returned the treasures of Maqdala and the bronzes of Benin and the statues of Easter Island and the Maori heads, before a coherent set of decolonization precepts have been articulated, would be assert the wrong principle.

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