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Take part in the next edition of the FORMAT International Photography Festival

Enter by 6th September 2018

FORMAT19 is delighted to announce the festival theme FOREVER//NOW and welcomes diverse and imaginative proposals from international photographers, curators, artists and collectives in response to this exciting dual concept.

Our eminent panel of international experts and the FORMAT Curators will view the submissions and select 35 projects to be exhibited at FORMAT19 in the spring of 2019.

Invited from around the world, our Advisory Jury includes: Erik Kessels (Netherlands), Gwen Lee (Singapore), He Yining (China), Sarah Allen (UK), Brian Griffin(UK), Sebastian Arthur Hau (France), Tim Clark (UK), Wang Baoguo (China), Yumi Goto (Japan), Huw Davies (UK), Louise Fedotov-Clements (UK), Anna-Alix Koffi (France)

FOREVER//NOW is the theme for FORMAT19, featuring contemporary and archival photography the festival will explore our attachment to the idea of FOREVER and how through photography we seek to represent our everchanging world, society, lands and histories.

We have divided the theme into two parts, firstly looking at how the concept of FOREVER seems to be almost built into the very nature of humanity and the photograph as a recorded moment, manipulated memory or idea. We know that throughout history from the Chinese Dynasties to Brexit, that all empires will fall, but at the time we feel that they will last forever. The theme also responds to major world events and the zeitgeist of the archive, past and present, found and lost; its history, purpose and uses. FOREVER is about memory and bearing witness, the theme touches on upon our obsession to record and share the continuous moment of ‘our’ lives.

Even as we endeavour to extend subjects through photography, time and material can never be endless, it is a difficult concept to pin down and the immortality that photography seems to offer is always just out of reach. Alongside the mass production of pictures and our seemingly endless desire to be seen, there are calls for digital anonymity and campaigns around the right to be forgotten or to opt out. FOREVER//NOW is a contested idea that we invite you to think widely about, there are many ways to perceive it.

The second element of our theme – NOW, simply asks you to look at your contemporary work and the send us the best of your current practice.

We are looking for a wide range of submissions and are open to all approaches and ideas from the archive to the most contemporary and conceptual projects. We are inviting proposals from all the image-based genres, including long term researched documentary; multimedia; VR; moving image; installation; publications; web-based; interactive; performance; participatory; mobile; interactive; and conceptual. We want you to challenge us and respond to the theme in as many inventive ways as you can imagine.

Selected entries will be given the opportunity to exhibit at FORMAT19 and a chance to receive one of the festival awards. All submissions will receive the opportunity to be seen by our panel of industry experts and FORMAT Curators.

We want to see what you are doing, making, thinking FOREVER//NOW.


FORMAT is a truly ambitious and huge enterprise, an intelligently and coherently curated festival
Arts Council England

Scholarly, stimulating and up to the standards of its international peers.
Francis Hodgson

Awards, Prizes and Opportunities

All participants selected to exhibit will receive

A FORMAT19 bursary
Inclusion in the FORMAT19 exhibitions programme
Featured in the FORMAT19 special edition festival catalogue
Featured on the FORMAT19 website
FORMAT19 tote bag and festival catalogue
10% off tickets for selected events at FORMAT19
£20 reduction off the FORMAT19 International Portfolio Review fee

FORMAT19 Awards

The FORMAT19 Award £2000
The Spectrum Imaging Award worth £1000 in printing services & and mentoring
Multiple Spectrum Imaging print awards
The Royal Photographic Society Award of £500
The Photography Show Award of £500
The Chinese Photographers Magazine Feature Award and US$500
The Genesis and Fuji Award £1000 for print and framing services
The ARCHIVO Platform Feature Award

Everyone who applies will receive

Visibility with the FORMAT19 international jury and FORMAT Curators
The opportunity to be featured in the FORMAT19 online gallery
The opportunity to be featured on the FORMAT Festival curated Instagram feed

Application Fees and Deadlines

Application fee, Early Bird €35 (Until 31st July 2018, 11pm GMT)
Application fee, Standard €40 (after 31st July, 11pm GMT)

For full details of how to apply please see our FAQS which contains information regarding application guidelines.

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. Applicants may submit works from different bodies of work however they should not upload more than 20 images in total. This includes installation shots. We welcome submissions from all over the world, from photographers; curators; artists; collectives and institutions


Submission Requirements

  • Image size: min. 1500px on the long side, sRGB
  • Project description with up to 1500 characters
  • 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

Entrance Fees

  • Application fee, Early Bird €35 (Until 31st July 2018, 11pm GMT)
  • Application fee, Standard €40 (After 31st July, 11pm GMT)


Call For Entries Open
July 2018
Submission Deadline
6 September 2018
Artists Contacted
October 2018
Public Announcement of Selected Artists and Awards
December 2018
FORMAT19 Opening Weekend Start
14 March 2019
FORMAT19 Portfolio Reviews
16 March 2019
Festival Close
14 April 2019


Erik Kessels
Gwen Li
He Yining
Sarah Allen

Brian Griffin
Sebastian Arthur Hau
Tim Clark
Wang Baoguo

Yumi Goto
Huw Davies
Louise Fedotov-Clements

Anna Alix Koffi

Advisory Jury Biographies

Erik Kessels
Creative Director, KesselsKramer, Netherlands
Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer and curator and is the Creative Director of international communications agency KesselsKramer, whose clients include Nike; Diesel; J&B Whisky; Oxfam, Vitra; Citizen M and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. An an artist and photography curator Kessels has published over 50 books from his collection of found images; is editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful Photography and has written the international bestseller Failed It! Kessels was awarded the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, and has recently had a retrospective of his projects in Turin and Düsseldorf. www.kesselskramerpublishing.com

Gwen Lee

Director, Singapore International Photography Festival
After several years working in the museum industry, Gwen Lee opened 2902 Gallery and founded the Singapore International Photography Festival biennale (SIPF), in 2008. She received an arts award from Japan Chamber of Commerce & Trade for her contribution to the Singapore arts community in 2010. In 2014, Lee and her team created an independent creative container art space called DECK to provide a platform and residency programme for photographers. In 2015 DECK was awarded the President’s Design Award (Singapore) for its innovative design and impact on the arts community. Lee has curated over 45 photography exhibitions both in Singapore and internationally and has participated as a jury member and portfolio reviewer across Asia and Europe. 

He Yining
Curator and Founder, Go East Project. Art Consultant, Brownie Art Photography, China
He Yining is an independent writer and curator based in Tianjin, China. Since 2010 she has been a regular contributor to many art and photography publications including Chinese Photography; The Modern Weekly; Ray Arts Center; Art World and ArtForum, China. Yining has written two books, The Book and The Image: Documenting China’s Habour Cities (2017) and Photography in the British Classroom (2016) and is the editor-in-chief of Coastline Series (China National Art Photography Publishing House). In 2014 Yining initiated the Go East Project, which introduces contemporary Chinese photography to the West. Yining works as an Art Consultant with Brownie Art Photography. www.heyining.com

Sarah Allen
Assistant Curator, International Art Tate Modern, UK
Sarah Allen is Assistant Curator at Tate Modern where she curates photography exhibitions alongside researching acquisitions for the international collection. Allen worked on the exhibitions Martin Parr (2018); Daido Moriyama (2017) and Kaveh Golestan (2017) as well as the thematic displays, 1968 Protest and the Photobook (2018); Iranian photobooks (2017) and an integrated display featuring Stephen Shore (2017). She has also co-curated the major exhibition Shape of Light: 100 Years of Photography and Abstract Art. Allen has a specialist focus on photobooks and is curator of the Martin Parr photobook collection. Allen has previously worked at The Photographers' Gallery, London; The Hugh Lane, Dublin and The Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York. www.tate.org.uk

Brian Griffin
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. www.briangriffin.co.uk

Sebastian Arthur Hau
Co-founder & Co-director, Cosmos Arles and Polycopies Paris
After studying comparative literature in Germany Sebastian Arthur Hau discovered a love of photography with the book publisher Schaden. From 2009-2016 Sebastian was the bookshop manager and artistic director at Le Bal in Paris. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Cosmos Arles and Polycopies Paris and provides regular contributions to magazines both online and in print. Sebastian works as a curator, teacher and critic, specialising in the photo book industry. www.cosmosarlesbooks.com

Tim Clark
Editor in Chief & Director, 1000 Words
Tim Clark is a curator, writer and editor. Since 2008 he has been Editor-in-Chief and Director at 1000 Words. Clark has worked as an associate curator at Media Space, The Science Museum, where he curated the Julia Margaret Cameron and Alec Soth exhibitions. As an independent curator Clark’s work includes: Who’s looking at the family, now? at Photo50, London Art Fair 2019; Peter Watkins, Webber Gallery; and Rebecoming: The Other European Travelers at Flowers Gallery (2014). Together with Greg Hobson he curated Photo Oxford 2017. Clark also writes for FOAM, TIME Lightbox, Photoworks, Objectiv and The British Journal of Photography. He is a visiting lecturer on the MA in Photography at NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano. www.1000wordsmag.com

Wang Baoguo
Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Chinese Photographers Magazine
Wang Baoguo is the deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine Chinese Photographers Magazine, part of the Chinese Academy of Arts. Wang has worked as a photographer, picture and commissioning editor for magazines across Asia. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences including- China and Spain, 1936-39 and Robert Capa and the Global Popular Front, at Columbia University (USA) and ICP write this out in full, New York. Baoguo sits on international photography panels including Visa pour l’Image (France), Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan (China), and International Photo Awards (China, Lucie Foundation). Wang published China Through Lens of Orientalism: China in Western Photography Since 1840 (SDX Joint Publishing Company, 2016).

Yumi Goto
Co-founder and Curator, Reminders Photography Stronghold
Yumi Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher and educator who focuses on the development of international cultural exchanges. She collaborates with Japanese and international artists who work in areas affected by conflict; natural disasters; social problems; human rights abuses and women’s issues. She often works with human rights advocates, international and Japanese NGOs; humanitarian organizations and is a nominator and juror for international photographic organizations, festivals and events. She is now based in Tokyo and is a co-founder and curator of the Reminders Photography Stronghold. www.reminders-project.org

Huw DaviesProfessor of Lens Media at University of Derby & visiting professor at Hebei/UCLan Baoding China
As a filmmaker,photographer and curator Huw Davies work has included commissions for many national and international agencies and broadcasters including; Arts Council England, Scottish Screen, BBC, Discovery Channel, Arte and Canal +, as well as being screened at international film festivals in over twenty-five countries.
Davies has an active involvement in several arts and cultural organizations he has sat on the boards of QUAD and Derby Theatre, and is a trustee of UK Young Artists, Artcore and a member of the FORMAT International Photography Festival steering group. In 2004 he founded the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, and was its Artistic Director until 2008 and is now Chair of the board of trustees.

www.derby.ac.uk/staff, www.bfmaf.org

Louise Fedotov-Clements

Artistic Director QUAD and Director FORMAT International Photography Festival

Louise Fedotov-Clements is the Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art, film and new technologies in Derby UK, since 2001 and the Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival, which she co-founded in 2004. An independent curator since 1998, Clements has initiated commissions, publications, mass participation and exhibitions around the world. Fedotov-Clements has worked as the guest curator for international exhibitions and festivals, including Dong Gang Photography Festival South Korea; Photoquai Biennale Paris; Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries; Venice Biennale and Photo Beijing. She has contributed to many publications as both a producer and a writer and is on the editorial team of RVM Magazine Italy and Archivo magazine in Portugal. Fedotov-Clements is a regular juror, portfolio reviewer, speaker and award advisor throughout Europe, America & Asia. www.formatfestival.com www.derbyquad.co.uk

Anna-Alix Koffi
Creative Director, something we Africans got
Born in Abidjan, raised in Paris. As creative director and photo editor she funded and self published the photobook OFF the wall cultures in 2013, a collection of 10 journals 10 about photography. Since 2016, Koffi created and produced magazines for fairs and festivals in 2016 (Arles, Visa, Paris Photo, Fiac!, 1/54). Since then, Anna-Alix has produced multiple projects related to photography between France and the African continent and is now working on something we Africans got, her new journal about arts and critical thinking from Africa. www.offthewallphotobook.com


FORMAT19: FOREVER//NOW, 15th March – 14th April 2019
Opening Weekend, 14th – 17th March 2019

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 100,000 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 Directed by Louise Fedotov-Clements and organised by QUAD and the University of Derby. The festival is supported by Arts Council England and UK and international partners.

‘Today we see the strong resurgence in photography, due, no doubt, to the fact that everyone now carries an instrument capable of making an image. This simple fact has brought us, through the agency of the internet, a new generation of people from all over the world who are interested in what's going on around them, and for whom the immediacy of the events of their lives can be described and shared with the rest of the world. The FORMAT festival intuitively understood this and has acted on it at the perfect moment, and by doing so will add the voices of the multitudes to the current literature of photography. The rise of festivals like this comes as an answer to the need to communicate across cultures and distance, and the desire to show what ordinary life offers if we open ourselves to looking at the humour, tragedy, joy, effort, grace, disaster, eloquence, harmony, and the rest of the full range of what life provides for us every day.’ - Joel Meyerowitz


Contact FORMAT


FORMAT International Photography Festival

Previous exhibitors

Alexandra Polina
Dominika Gesicka
Filippo Menichetti

Liz Orton
Nick Sargeant
Stephanie Rushton

Nishant Shukla
Paul Freeman
Seán Hillen