March's Best Photo Festivals

Circulation(s) (France), Perugia Social Photo Fest (Italy), and FotoFest 2018 Biennial (U.S.) are among the highlights on the photography calendar this March. Read all about them in our curated festivals guide.

Circulation(s) / Paris, France / 17 March - 6 May

© Çağdaş Erdoğan, from the series Control

Since its foundation in 2011, Circulation(s) festival has evolved into a laboratory of contemporary creativity dedicated to the dissemination of European photographic diversity. The curators’ main ambition is to widen the range of perceptions and audience experiences, presenting young, emerging talents who are displaying many different takes on the world.

Among the exhibition program this year, Susannah Baker-Smith invites us to dive into the fleeting world of the unconscious through images that cloud the limits between dreams, imagination, and reality; Çağdaş Erdoğan turns his camera towards armed rebel groups, dog fights, and sex parties in Gazi and other abandoned neighbourhoods in the heart of Istanbul; Frank Herfort highlights the contrast between modern Russia and its Soviet heritage that is still significantly present today; Louis Quail takes us into the private everyday life of his brother Justin who is dealing with schizophrenia; and Elsa Leydier pays tribute to the Colombian region of Chocó, an area mostly known for its poverty and violence, but also as one of the richest in the field of mining and natural resources.

A series of supporting events which include portfolio readings with industry experts, photo shoots in a pop-up studio, and Little Circulation(s), an interactive exhibition designed for children, round up the program. To learn more, visit festival-circulations.com.


Perugia Social Photo Fest / Perugia, Italy / 10 March - 8 April

© Simona Ghizzoni, from the series Odd Days

Born in 2013 as a collaborative project between Piombino’s SocialPhotoFest Association and the LuceGrigia Association of Perugia, PSPF is an annual meeting place for photographers, organisations, and experts in social photography. The 2018 edition explores the theme, The Skin I Live. “The skin is the totality of a boundary surface. It is between us and the world” say the organisers. “And, in this sense, both as matter and as a symbol, it is an expression of that “essential” separation from our environment and from one another, which is the foundation of being.” The festival is designed to foster debate around therapeutic photography through a combination of cultural activities and visual storytelling.

In the exhibition line-up, Simona Ghizzoni focuses on eating disorders and the hard journey to recovery; Katharina Bauer examines how our body can influence our psyche and vice versa; Donato Di Camillo documents people on the fringes of society - those that often remain unseen or ignored; Farzana Hossen presents her story about women who have died or survived acid, kerosene and petrol burn attacks; and Magnus Wennman captures refugees by night in camps on their journeys through Europe.

The PSPF Lab – a collection of fringe initiatives – is comprised of Masterclasses with Monika Bulaj and Judy Weiser, and four experiential workshops that focus on the use of photography as tool for self-knowledge. To find out more, go to perugiasocialphotofest.org.


FotoFest 2018 Biennial / Houston, Texas / 10 March - 22 April

© Vinit Gupta, from the series Where They Belong

Held in Houston, Texas, FotoFest International 2018 will shine a spotlight on contemporary photography and new media art from India. It is only the second time in the festival’s 35 year history that it will be dedicated exclusively to photographic work from Asia. “The 2018 Biennial will present artists and collectives that work in dialogue with the long history and emergent future of India and its people” explains lead curator, Sunil Gupta. “The exhibition will focus on the contemporary moment, and a mix of approaches will be included, namely art photography, contemporary practices, installation, moving image, and journalistic and documentary photography” they continue.

The highlights on the exhibition calendar include Asif Khan’s Muzaffarnagar series that looks at refugee camps and rehabilitation colonies; Vicky Roy’s long-term documentation of young street children which can be seen as a reflection upon his own personal history as a child runaway; Indu Antony’s photographs of drag kings from her ManiFest series which explores the representation of gender and sexuality; and Max Kandhola’s examination of racial dynamics and migration in England.

In the public program, artists will be granted an opportunity to meet and show their work to leading industry professionals, with over 150 curators, editors, publishers, gallerists, collectors, and photo agencies taking part this year, and a series of professional development and learning seminars aim to create debate amongst the audience around the art of photography. Discover more at fotofest.org.

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ALSO OPEN THIS MONTH:

VOHH International Foto Fest / Chittagong, Bangladesh / 4 - 8 March

From 4 to 8 March, cultural spaces across Chittagong, Bangladesh will transform into a stage for contemporary photography, hosting a series of artist talks and exhibitions that celebrate compelling visual storytelling. The 20 solo shows on display – each selected through an open call – together explore many of the most significant humanitarian issues of our time.

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Yangon Photo Festival / Yangon, Myanmar / 16 February - 4 March

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Yangon Photo Festival is committed 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. Featured photographers include Paula Bronstein, Adam Dean, Johan Bävman, Alessandro Penso, and Garcia de Marina.

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MedPhoto Festival / Crete, Greece / September 2017 - March 2018

Drawing inspiration from Paul Graham’s long-term work, New Europe, the 2017/18 edition of MedPhoto explores the theme, Europe: the Faces and the Territory. By bringing together photographers from across Europe and the Mediterranean in a series of artistic initiatives, the festival aims to foster and sustain meaningful social dialogue centred around the notions of old and new EuropeLewis BushTuri CalafatoGiovanna Del SartoRineke DijkstraRobin HammondNick HannesDavide Monteleone, and Jerome Sessini are among the featured photographers.

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