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By Marissa Ciampi
March 18, 2020
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Head On Photo Festival 2020

The internationally acclaimed photography festival is going fully digital for the first time.
By Marissa Ciampi
March 18, 2020
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Head On Photo Festival is back for its 11th year — but, this time, it's digital. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the (normally) citywide photography festival will be a predominately online event for 2020.

The internationally acclaimed festival is running from May 1–17 as planned but with the entire program launching as a digital platform on the Heads On website, including all photography and other interactive events. Overall, there are 110 exhibitions, plus over 80 artists talks, panel discussions and webinars which you can check out for free.

As usual, the exhibition features contemporary photography, portraiture and photojournalism. This year, artists from more than 12 countries are exhibiting, including France, Guatemala, Japan, Greece, Germany, South Korea, The Netherlands, the USA, the UK, China, Canada and (of course) Australia.

On Friday, May 1, The Head On Photo Awards were announced, with Australian photographer Marcia Macmillan's 'Whimsical Warrior' taking home the landscape award and 'The Gift' by Fiona Wolf-Symeonides awarded the 2020 Portrait Prize. Australian photographers Jon Frank and Nick Moir and international artists Jouk Oosterhof and Paul Carruthers also took home prizes.

Marcia Macmillan, 'Whimsical warrior'

Other highlights include Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renée C Byer, who travelled across four continents and captured the faces of people living on $1USD per day; mythological imaginings by Guatemalan economist and artist Astrid Blazsek-Ayala; a documentation of Melbourne's violent race rallies between 2014–2018 by photojournalist Jake Nowakowski; images of the Athens's drag queen scene by Greek photographer Nikolaos Menoudarakos; and snaps of Bondi's underwater marine life by Australian photographer Matt Smith. Work by heaps of other award-winning artists will be on display, too, including British photographer Professor Richard Sawdon Smith, German documentarian Robert Harding Pittman and two-time Walkley Award-winner Dave Tacon.

As far as catching the festival in person, Head On also plans to launch a scaled-back version across venues in November, so keep an eye on this space.

Images: Dave Tacon, 'Cirque le Soir'; Nick Moir, 'Run'; Nikolaos Menoudarakos; Matt Smith, 'The Martian'; ; Janie Barrett; Renée C Byer; and Fiona Wolf-Symeonides, 'The Gift'. All images courtesy of Head On Photo Festival.

Updated May 4, 2020.

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