May 29, 2012

Foto Freo Ten Years On - story out now

While the professional arena redraws its boundaries in the digital age, festivals like Foto Freo, held biennially in Fremantle, Perth (Western Australia) may take on even greater importance in communicating photojournalism's place to, and in, the new world.

Foto Freo has evolved to become one of the most respected festivals of its kind attracting exhibitions by photographers the ilk of Magnum Photos' Martin Parr and Raghu Rai, as well as affording lesser known photographers the opportunity to gain a wider audience, share ideas and make new contacts.

But Foto Freo isn't just about exhibitions, it is about celebrating photography and the bringing together of creative hearts and minds willing to share their passion and knowledge. It is where you will see Francois Hebel, director of Les Recontres d'Arles on his knees helping Antoine D'Agata (a former president of Magnum Photos) hanging his pictures on the wall late into the night. And it is where aspiring photographers can talk in depth with international luminaries.

My article 'Foto Freo Ten Years On' features interviews with the founders of the festival and traces its evolution from projections in local parks and exhibitions in cafes, to this year's ambitious program that involved multiple exhibitions, workshops and seminars, as well as some great social events.

'Foto Freo Ten Years On' is in the May issue of Pro Photo magazine on sale now.

Above: Antoine D'Agata gives a floor talk at Foto Freo