The 'imAge' Festival
Royal Photographic Society & Youmanity
Annual Photography Award
ORIGINAL CONCEPT DESIGN
PROGRAMMER & CO-CURATOR
Under the patronage of the European Commission and the Italian Consulate General, London, my project proposal aimed to challenge stereotypes of older people.
I was invited by the social awareness charity Youmanity, in partnership with the Royal Photographic Society, to conceptualise and co-create their annual photography festival. This became the ‘imAge’ festival.
With thousands of entries from 32 different countries, the imAge photography competition was a huge success. Special guests included the Consul General of Italy, Dr Massimiliano Mazzanti, the Mayor of Merton, C.llr David Chung, Mayor of Wandsworth, C.llr Nicola Nardelli, Mayor of Camden, C.llr Larraine Revah, Mayor of Islington, C.llr Richard Greening, the President of King’s College, Prof. Edward Byrne, the Policy and Campaigns Manager of AGE UK and Gordon Deuchars.
I wanted a call for the creation of photographs which would redefine how we perceive senior citizens. I proposed a handful of concepts during the consultation period and, in collaboration with a committee, we finalised an exciting direction based on my interests in diversity and minority representation.
On the judging selection panel with me were distinguished guests:
Anne Williams, Director of Photography, London College of Communication
Michael Pritchard, Director-General, The Royal Photographic Society
Marco Delogu, Director, Italian Cultural Institute, London
Roger Tooth, Head of Photography, The Guardian
A key theme was an ethnographic approach, for example, some cultures consider older people as the most important members of the community, where they are respected for their wisdom and experience. In others, they are often forgotten. Artists and curators were asked to submit fresh ideas to illuminate the forgotten men and women whose active contributions make a difference to communities worldwide.
TO VIEW A SELECTION OF IMAGES PERTAINING TO THE AWARD click here
Speaking for the Jury, Dr Michael Pritchard, Director-General of The Royal Photographic Society commented “The Youmanity photography award saw a diverse range of entries which explored aging and the role of older people in society. The standard was good with the ability to produce a series of three strong images separating the winners from the rest."