March Festivals Guide

FORMAT International Photography Festival, UK; FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai, India; Yangon Photo Festival, Myanmar; and Circulation(s), France are the highlights on the photography festival calendar this March. Read our monthly guide to learn about their main exhibitions and supporting events.

FORMAT International Photography Festival / Derby, UK / 24 March - 23 April

© Sheng Wen Lo, from the series White Bear

The biennial FORMAT International Photography Festival, held in Derby, UK, is a celebration of the wealth of contemporary photographic practices. "Our programs feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary and all that falls between categorisations, from the mobile phone to the archive" say the organisers. "We are concerned with what is happening right here, right now in the scene and beyond, whilst sharing and contributing to it" they continue.

This year’s edition will delve into the theme of 'HABITAT', looking broadly at the environment, mobility, migrations, digital worlds, notions of home and displacement, and conflict and regeneration – concepts that explore our short and long-term impact on the world, both on local and global scales. The standout exhibitions this year include The Duke of Earl, Christopher Bethell; Feral Children, Julia Fullerton-Batten; The Crossing, Katrin Koenning; Being Queer, Feeling Muslim, Lia Darjes; A Ritual of Exile: Blood Speaks, Poulomi Basu; White Bear, Sheng Wen Lo; and Breathing Brass, Liz Hingley.

An extensive number of supporting events have also been organised to further enrich the visitors’ experience – conferences featuring an array of high-profile speakers including Hester Keijser, Lars Willumeit and Martin Parr; 360 degree photo walks; drop-in workshops with industry leaders, and portfolio reviews with over 45 selected photography experts are just some of the highlights. Learn more at formatfestival.com.


FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai / India / 9 - 23 March

© Michael Vince Kim, from the series The Koreans of Kazakhstan

Launched back in 2013, FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai takes photography outside the traditional gallery spaces and onto the streets, bringing the medium and its rich history into focus for new and diverse audiences.

The 2017 edition will explore the theme of 'Memory.' "Today in the digital world, where phones and sharing platforms have revolutionised the speed at which we transform the present into the past, we must ask whether photography has in fact become memory. As the digital replaces the physical, are our memories under threat of disappearing? Has memory been outsourced?" challenge the curators. Displaying work in a cross-section of cultural spaces, FOCUS Photography Festival has invited an eclectic group of artists to examine this question. Fatema Abdoolcarim, Prithi Salma Abedin, Anastasia Bogomolova, Mohini Chandra, Jean-Michel Delage, Michael Vince Kim, Madeleine Kukic, Mahtab Nafis, Annalisa Natali Murri, Weronika Perlowska, and Tsutomu Yamagata are among the names on display. A series of workshops and talks with industry leaders rounds up the public program. For more information, visit focusfestivalmumbai.com.


Yangon Photo Festival / Yangon, Myanmar / 3 - 19 March

© Dominic Nahr, from the series Fractured State, South & North Sudan

Since its foundation in 2008, Yangon Photo Festival has been dedicated to showcasing a selection of the best photo stories from around the globe, and providing a space where the new generation of local photographers can learn about the medium. Founded by the Institut Français de Birmanie and French photographer Christophe Loviny, and now under the patronage of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, YPF has developed into a major event on the south-east Asian cultural calendar.

The main exhibitions in this ninth edition are Burma Frontier Photographs 1918-1935, by James Henry Green; In Search of Dignity, by Günter Pfannmüller and Wilhelm Klein; Yangon Fashion 1979, by Bellay Studio; the World Press Photo travelling exhibition, and South-Sudan: Fractured State, by Dominic Nahr: a show that explores how war, violence, famine, and disease have driven the world’s youngest nation into a humanitarian catastrophe.

A collection of fringe events in the form of workshops and artist talks complete the public program. To find out more, go to yangonphoto.com.


Circulation(s) / Paris, France / 21 January - 5 March

© Sonja Hamad, from the series Jin - Jiyan - Azadi

Circulation(s) festival is dedicated to the dissemination of European photographic diversity and it acts as a springboard from which young talents can launch their careers. The main goal of the festival is to widen ideas and experiences through the exhibition of visual artists from across the world. The primary shows this year are Sanne de Wilde, The Island of the Colorblind; Michele Borzoni, Looking for a Job; Sam Ivin, Lingering Ghosts; Sonja Hamad, Jin - Jiyan - Azadi (women, life, freedom) - The female Kurdish freedom fighters; Martin Errichiello and Filippo Menichetti, In Quarta Persona; Mafalda Rakos, I want to disappear; Wiktoria Wojciechowska, Sparks; Theodor Papadakis, Home Again; Sasha Maslov, Veterans: Faces of World War II, and Corentin Fohlen, Lumane Casimir. A collection of supporting events including Little Circulation(s), an exhibition solely for children, rounds up the program. Go to festival-circulations.com for further information.

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