We are delighted to announce our Open Call for FORMAT23. We welcome diverse and imaginative proposals from international photographers, curators, artists and collectives that represent the state of photography as it is today. Our eminent panel of international experts and the FORMAT Curatorial Team will view the submissions and select up to 20 projects that encompasses the zeitgeist, of the here and now, past, present and future to be exhibited at the FORMAT International Photography Festival to be held in Derby, in March 2023.
Invited from around the world, our Advisory Jury includes:
Azu Nwagbogu (Nigeria), Wang Peiquan (China), Wang Xueke Isabella (China), Brett Rogers OBE (UK), Skinder Hundal MBE (UK), Wang Baoguo (China), Brian Griffin (UK), Bindi Vora (UK), Varun Nayar (US/India), Sophie Gladstone (UK), Suzanne Tromp (Netherlands), Jae-hyun Seok (South Korea), Alessia Glaviano (US), Gemma Marmalade (UK), Louise Fedotov-Clements (UK)
We are living through a truly extraordinary moment in time; history seems to be repeating itself whilst simultaneously we are making revolutionary advances towards a new existence. Within this duality, humanity is optimistically looking towards a shared and hopeful future utopia whilst plunging backwards into harsher times. Our world and the people in it seem to contradict themselves more than ever; conflict surrounds us. However, in these dark circumstances we still find the space to celebrate people, life, technology, nature, expression, knowledge and more.
For FORMAT23 we are excited to see your views, imaginations and stories of this world and what will come next; what is important; what has gone unseen and what are we yet to discover? There are no limits....
We are open to all approaches and ideas -- from archives to the most contemporary and conceptual projects. We are keen to receive proposals from all the image-based genres - film, video, photographic series alongside single images; long term researched documentary; multimedia; VR; moving image; installation; publications; online; interactive; performance; participatory; mobile and interactive.
Selected entries will be given the opportunity to exhibit at FORMAT23 and a chance to receive one of the festival awards. All submissions will be seen by our FORMAT Curators and a longlist will be selected for final review by our panel of industry experts.
Deadline for Entries, 31 August 2022 23:59 BST
Header image by River Claure
'FORMAT's open call is an important element of our festival programme and one of the best places in the world to share your work and ideas. From being seen by the stellar international jury, to having the opportunity to work with our world class curators to exhibit in the next edition of the festival.
Since establishing the festival in 2004 we have inspired generations, and have held true to the ethos of being open to, encouraging and welcoming, ideas and proposals. FORMAT in its essence is the place to explore established and emerging talents through the diversity of what photography is and can be.
Whether you are examining the past, responding to the now, or making the future we want to hear from you. This year our call theme is open, at this extraordinary moment in history we welcome everyone to have the opportunity to be seen and heard. The best projects will be selected to go through to the physical edition of FORMAT in March 2023. I look forward to seeing your submissions!' - Louise Fedotov-Clements FORMAT co-Founder & Patron
What Winners will Receive
All participants selected to exhibit will receive:
Everyone who applies will receive:
Application fee, Early Bird 18 EUR (Until 1 August 2022, 11:59pm BST)
Application fee, Standard 23 EUR (after 2 August, 00:00am BST)
For full details of how to apply please see our FAQ's and Terms and Conditions above
Each application fee will cover just one project of up to 20 images and can include reference to moving image, installation shots, ideas and composite images. We welcome submissions from all over the world, from photographers; curators; artists; collectives and institutions
Multiple submissions will be accepted on payment of multiple application fees.
Image size: min. 1500 px on the longest side, sRGB and no bigger than 10MB, jpeg
Project description 2000 characters (including blank spaces), web links to additional information if relevant
Installation description 2000 characters (including blank spaces), if relevant please include installation notes and practical details about how you like to present your work, including, size, medium, layout and any other information. If selected we cannot guarantee that all conditions will be met, but your information will be used for reference.
Biography with up to 1500 characters
Country of residence
CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)
1 project per submission
1 to 20 files per project
Allowed file types: JPG, MP4
At least 1500px on the long edge
Videos: At least 1920px on the long edge, max 10 minutes
Image date (year)
Azu Nwagbogu (Nigeria)
Founder/Director, African Artists' Foundation (AAF) & LagosPhoto Festival
Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists' Foundation (AAF), a non- profit organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria. Nwagbogu was appointed as the Interim Director/ Head Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa from June 2018 to August 2019. Nwagbogu also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. He is the publisher of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary art from Africa and its diasporas. Nwagbogu is a curator with a special interest in future museology.
Image: Paul Odigie
Wang Peiquan (China)
Director of Lishui Photography Festival & Director of China Photographers Association.
Wang Peiquan is the director of Lishui Photography Festival & Director of China Photographers Association, Member of Curator Committee of China Photographers Association, Expert of Photofolio Review of Photolucida (2011). Judge of "Xv Xiaobing" National Photography Exhibition, Zhejiang Cutting-edge Contemporary Photography exhibition, Top 20 Chinese Cutting-edge Contemporary Photography Exhibition, "Boqi" Photographic Contest and China Village Photography Exhibition.
Wang Xueke Isabella (China)
Director of International Department of Lishui Photography Festival
Curator, Director of International Department of Lishui Photography Festival and Director of Collection Department of Lishui Photography Museum.
Brett Rogers OBE (UK)
Director of The Photographers’ Gallery
Brett Rogers OBE b. 1954, Brisbane (Australia) is the Director of The Photographers’ Gallery, London, the first publicly funded Gallery dedicated solely to photography in the UK. Founded in 1971, it established early on a reputation for its independent approach to curating and its promotion of photography in all its myriad forms.
Before joining the Gallery in 2006, Brett was Deputy Director of Visual Arts at the British Council, where she was responsible for establishing the British Council’s Photography Collection and curating an ambitious programme of international touring exhibitions on British photography. Her role at the British Council also encompassed promoting contemporary visual arts, fashion and design. She worked closely with Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker, Chris Ofili, Damien Hirst amongst others on key projects the Council organised abroad.
In 2013 her key role in contributing towards photography was recognized by University of the Arts London by appointing her a Visiting Fellow and in 2018 she was the recipient of the Royal Photographic Society’s Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award.
Brett Rogers was awarded an OBE for services to the Arts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in May 2014. Image: Suki Dhanda Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery
Skinder Hundal MBE (UK)
Director Arts, British Council
As Director Arts for the British Council, Hundal oversees multiple art forms and major arts activity which includes cultural programmes for annual bilateral seasons such as UK/Italy 2020 and UK/Australia 2021-22; the British Pavilion exhibitions at La Biennale Arte and La Biennale Architettura, Venice; and the Market Focus Cultural Programme at the London Book Fair.
Hundal was previously CEO/Director of New Art Exchange and has worked on projects for La Biennale di Venezia, TED Global, Google Cultural Institute and for the UK's official arts programme for the First World War Centenary, 14-18 Now. Skinder Hundal is also Executive Producer and co-Artistic Director of the UK's original South Asian outdoor festival, Nottingham Arts Mela, and a Board member at Artist News (a-n). He recently retired as a Board member at Tom Dale Dance Company. In 2019, he was awarded an MBE for his contribution to visual arts.
Wang Baoguo (China)
Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Photographers Magazine
Wang Baoguo, senior research fellow of China National Academy of Arts and writer based-in Beijing. He used to be a photojournalist in 1990s, and picture editor of Chinese Photography magazine 2000-2015. He works on various fields of photography and visual arts, including curation, criticism, book editing and photographic education. He's also part of juries of both international and domestic photo events, including FORMAT (UK), Visa pour l'Image (France), IPA Awards (Lucie Foundation,USA) and Lianhzou Foto、Lishui Photo Festival and DIPE etc. in China.
Brian Griffin (UK)
Photographer & FORMAT Patron, UK
Brian Griffin, has worked as a photographer for over 45 years and has been commissioned by many of the leading international magazines, including Rolling Stone; Management Today and Esquire. Griffin created many of the iconic record albums of the 1980s which have been published in his book POP. In 1989 he was declared by The Guardian as the Photographer of the Decade. Griffin was awarded the honorary position of Professor at the University of Derby; the Centenary Medal for a lifetime of achievement in photography by the Royal Photographic Society (2013) and an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University (2014). Griffin has exhibited his work across Europe, including at Rencontres D'Arles and his most recent book SPUD was shot on the battle fields of Northern France and is a commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of the end of WW1.
Image: Josh Hight
Artist, Lecturer and Curator at Autograph
Bindi Vora is British-Indian artist working with expanded photography, visiting lecturer at University of Westminster and Curator at Autograph a London-based non-profit arts charity that explores issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice through photography. Since joining Autograph she has curated various shows including Poulomi Basu: Fireflies (2022) and co-curated Care I Contagion I Community -- Self & Other (2021-2022). She has independently curated Poulomi Basu: Centralia for Recontres d'Arles -- Louis Roederer Discovery Award (2020) and Let's Go Through This Again (Portland Works, Sheffield 2018), and her writing has appeared in publications by Maryam Wahid Zaibuinnisa (Midlands Art Centre, 2022); Another Country: British Documentary Photography Since 1945 (Thames & Hudson, 2022); FOAM Magazine (2020), British Journal of Photography (2021) and Loose Associations (2017).
As an artist her works have been exhibited in venues such as The Photographers' Gallery (UK); 180 The Strand (UK); Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood (UK); Phoenix Gallery (UK); Cultural Centre of Belgrade (RS); Benaki Museum (GR); Art Stage, (SG); amongst others.
Varun Nayar (US/India)
Assistant Editor at Aperture magazine
Varun is an editor and researcher from Delhi with an interest in photography's global and postcolonial histories, particularly in South and Southeast Asia. He's currently based in New York, where he's the assistant editor at Aperture magazine. Varun previously worked with the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bengaluru, where he helped research and co-curate exhibitions in India, Australia, and Taiwan, and served as the lead editor of the museum's multidisciplinary Indian art encyclopedia project. His writing has appeared in FOAM, Words Without Borders, Himal Southasian, National Geographic India, and Pacific Standard, among other catalogues and books, including a forthcoming volume of essays on the photographic practice of the Indian modernist Jyoti Bhatt.
Sophie Gladstone (UK)
Photography Editor at Wallpaper*
Sophie is Photography Editor at Wallpaper*, a luxury design-focused publication, where she commissions, produces and writes on contemporary photography. Alongside this, Gladstone has a practice as a photographer in which she works across themes of aspiration and consumption in contemporary visual culture. She was recently nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award. And in recognition of her work to date, was nominated by the British Journal of Photography for the Futures photography platform.
Suzanne Tromp (Netherlands)
Senior Art and Photography Editor at WePresent
Suzanne Tromp is the commissioning editor on WeTransfer's content site WePresent, which currently has over 3 million monthly readers. She leads the art commissions on WePresent and has worked with institutions like Tate Galleries and World Press Photo, and artists like Edel Rodriguez, FKA twigs and Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova.
Image: Nosh Neneh
Jae-hyun Seok (South Korea)
Curator & Director of Art Space LUMOS & Associate Editor, Photo Dot magazine
Jae-hyun's career can be summarised as a photographer, educator and curator. His experience from working as a photographer---for New York Times, International Herald Tribune and Korean GEO---in the past has brought him where he is now. Jay-hyun has curated many international exhibitions including Imaging Asia in Documents (2006) and Women in War (2014) for Daegu Photo Biennale and has been involving several Photo Festivals such as Dali International Photo Festival, Jimei x Arles Photo Festival in China and Foto Istanbul as a foreign curator. He received the Best Curator Award twice from DIPE in China, 2015 & 2017. After profiling 30 established photographers from other countries on VON photography magazine, he is working as an associate editor for Photo Dot magazine in Korea.
Alessia Glaviano (US)
Head of Global PhotoVogue and Director of the Photo Vogue Festival.
Glaviano is a leading figure in the panorama of international photographic criticism. In 2011 Glaviano launched PhotoVogue. Now in its 11th year, counting over 300,000 photographers, the PhotoVogue platform relaunched in early 2022 to expand globally as well as to soon include media in all forms. PhotoVogue's open calls for submissions helped launch the careers of photographers like Nadine Ijewere, Kyle Weeks, Camila Falquez, Kennedi Carter, Scandebergs, and Mous Lamrabat, among others. Alessia holds lectures and conferences on a regular basis. Some of the institutes and universities she was invited as guest lecturer include: University of Brighton, Central Saint Martins, IED, Bocconi University and the Milan Polytechnic and has participate as jury member in numerous internationally acclaimed photography contests including the World Press Photo, the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie aÌ HyeÌres and the Leica Oskar Barnack Award; and has participated in several portfolio review sessions, including the "New York Times Portfolio Reviews".
Image: Mattia Zoppellaro
Gemma Marmalade (UK)
Artist and Academic
Dr. Gemma Marmalade is a contemporary British artist and academic, leading the BA Hons Photography programme at the University of Derby.
Her broad practice playfully negotiates experimental performance with its visual and sounded documents to reveal unanticipated and extraordinary outcomes from normative experiences.
Gemma's Ph.D. is from The Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, examined by Nigel Rolfe. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, including the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; The Photographers' Gallery, London; Marjorie Barrick Museum, Las Vegas; The Apulia Film Commission, Bari; and the State Museum of Gulag, Moscow.
Louise Fedotov-Clements (UK)
Co-Founder and Patron of FORMAT International photography Festival.
Curator of Contemporary Art, Forestry England. Independent photography curator, writer and producer.
Currently Louise leads a national and international contemporary arts and photography programme across 1500 forests, working at the forefront of the global climate crisis and exploring the vital intersection between art, science and biodiversity, at Forestry England, including Earth Photo. Previously Louise was Artistic Director of QUAD a center for contemporary art and film for 20 years. Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival for 18 years, which she co-founded in 2004, currently Patron of FORMAT. An independent curator since 1998 directing commissions, publications, performances and exhibitions. A Guest Curator for international exhibitions/festivals including Dong Gang (Yeongwol) South Korea; Photoquai Biennale Musée du quai Branly Paris; Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries; Dali Photo, China; Venice Biennale EM15; Photo Beijing, and LishuiPhoto China; Korea International Photo Festival. An international award nominator, she has also contributed to numerous publications as producer/writer/editor and a regular juror, portfolio reviewer, speaker in Europe, America, Africa & Asia.
FORMAT23 16 March - 9 April 2023
Opening Weekend 16 - 19 March 2023
FORMAT International Photography Festival was established in 2004 and is the UK's leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media. FORMAT organises a year-round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and Internationally.
Previous festival editions have welcomed over 200,000 visitors from all over the world. The biennale and off year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice. We love photography and all its expanded fields, our programme features everything from major conceptual works, participatory projects, documentary and all that falls between categorisations, from the mobile phone to the archive. We are concerned with what is happening right here, right now in the scene and beyond. FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of new work alongside some of the best archives and established practitioners in the world.
With comprehensive professional practice programmes and a yearly International Photography Portfolio Review, FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be.
The biennale edition incorporates Derby's most beautiful buildings and key landmarks including: QUAD, University of Derby, Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Deda, Derwent Valley World Heritage Sites, Market Place and satellite venues in nearby cities.
FORMAT is organised by QUAD in partnership with DMARC. FORMAT is a non-profit and is a project of QUAD, Registered charity number 1115546. The festival is supported by Arts Council England and UK and international partners.
FORMAT International Photography Festival
FORMAT21 CONTROL https://youtu.be/PoPB36pKJpQ
FORMAT19 FOREVER//NOW https://vimeo.com/332570035