14 May 2018

Cortona OTM 2018 Exhibition Program Revealed

14 May 2018 - Written by Simon Hall

The 2018 edition, set to open on 12 July, will focus on women photographers through a series of exhibitions and supporting events featuring the likes of Bieke Depoorter, Tanya Habjouqa, Sanne De Wilde, Poulomi Basu, and Sim Chi Yin. Learn more and apply to Happiness OTM open call, to exhibit your work at the 2019 edition.

© Tanya Habjouqa, from the series Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots

The eight edition of Cortona On The Move, the international festival of photography set in the heart of picturesque Tuscany, opens its doors to the public from 12 July through 30 September. Organised by Associazione Culturale ONTHEMOVE under the artistic direction of Arianna Rinaldo, the festival strives to be a dynamic platform for contemporary photography, visual narratives, and lovers of adventure. Its mission, Rinaldo says, is “to give space and voice to those visions that can broaden our minds, open our hearts, and stimulate our senses with stories that move us and provide us with food for reflection and debate.”

Cortona OTM’s focus this year is on women photographers – those photojournalists, artists, and visual documentary producers who are breaking down barriers in the industry, and offering a female perspective on the worldly issues that need to be told at all costs. Throughout the summer, various makeshift gallery spaces and independent cultural venues will host a compelling series of events that feature many of the leading lights of the profession, as well as emerging talents who are experimenting with new modes of storytelling.

© Sim Chi Yin, from the series Fallout

Among the featured exhibitions, Jordanian photographer Tanya Habjouqa explores the personal and family experiences of Syria women who took refuge from the ongoing civil war engulfing the country in nearby Jordan; PHM 2017 Women Photographers Grant third prize winner, Sanne De Wilde takes audiences to Pingelap, a small atoll in the Pacific Ocean where most of the population suffers from a genetic disease causing colour blindness; Sim Chi Yin presents her work commissioned by the Nobel Peace Prize Center that documents her travels through China, North Korea, and the United States reflecting on humans’ experience with nuclear weapons, past and present; Carlotta Cardana looks at the relationship between traditional Native American culture and the identity of tribal people today; and recently announced PHM 2018 Grant winner Poulomi Basu showcases Blood Speaks: A Ritual of Exile, a cross-platform journey which centres on Nepalese women forced into exile during menstruation and subjected to many forms of abuse.

In other highlights, last year’s Happiness On The Move award winner Pierfrancesco Celada exhibits #instagrampier, a project he describes as a “a place of transition between real life and the virtual world of social media”; and as part of the PHM 2018 Grant Cortona On The Move prize, Bieke Depoorter will present As It May Be, a multi-media investigation into the lives of Egyptian families following the 2011 revolution.

© Pierfrancesco Celada, from the series, #instagrampier

Outside of the exhibitions in the public program, Magnus Wennman will host a workshop for still photographers of all levels who want to improve their skills in video, sound and visual storytelling; Magnum photographer Jérôme Sessini will present a masterclass that explores themes around the veracity of the photographic document and personal interpretation; and Sooanne Berner (Mack Books), Renata Ferri (Amica, Io Donna), MaryAnne Golon (Washington Post), Whitney Johnson (National Geographic), and Lucy Pike (WeTransfer) are among the industry experts available for portfolio reviews during the opening weekend.

There are also two opportunities still open for entries with deadlines approaching. The 2018 Happiness ONTHEMOVE award (deadline: 27 May), invites photographers to submit work with happiness as the central theme. An independent jury featuring Elena Boille (Internazionale), MaryAnn Camilleri (The Magenta Foundation), Elisa Medde (Foam Magazine), Fiona Rogers (Magnum), Arianna Rinaldo, and PHmuseum Director, Giuseppe Oliverio will award one winner a monetary prize of €3,000 plus a solo exhibition at the next Cortona OTM in 2019.

The second call, the Photobook Prize instead (deadline: 17 June) is open to amateur and professional photographers alike, with the sole juror - Lesley Martin of Aperture – to discuss the finalists’ projects on 14 July in an open presentation with the public and announce the winner.


PHmuseum has been a media partner of Cortona On The Move since 2015. To learn more about the festival's full program, visit You can also purchase the tickets here:

Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

4 minutes

Support PhMuseum Journalism

Since 2012 PhMuseum's articles have always been free and without ads. Every year we work to keep you informed and invite you to discover the work of hundreds of photographers. If you enjoy reading us, this can be a nice way to give back and support our independent organisation, granting us more means to increase the quality and number of contents. Thank you!