PHotoEspaña, by now one of the important photography festivals in Central Europe is going Latin American. After 10 years, the event that began in Madrid as a group of local exhibits on contemporary photography has increasingly become a platform for the diffusion of the still image in the Old Continent. Until now.
Descubrimientos, a parallel program dedicated to young photographers in which the participants who apply will have the chance to have their portfolio reviewed by photography professionals from around the world and engage in dialogue with them, is now, for the first time, also holding Visionados [critique sessions] in Lima, Peru and Mexico City. In addition, the program involves a competition –Premio Descubrimientos PHE Epson – whose prize consists of a solo exhibition in the following edition of the festival in Madrid, Spain.
Descubrimientos PHE Lima and Mexico City are inviting all photographers living in Latin America to submit their applications. The selected artists will then present their work to curators and gallerists in either of the mentioned cities and participate in a curated exhibition in the next edition of the festival (the travel costs, however, remain at the participants' expense). The show will then itinerate to a wide selection of cities in LA. Finally, the participants' information will be published in the official festival book that serves as references to both visitors and the press.
In Latin America, where photography still suffers from being perceived as a lesser form of art, this kind of initiative can only stimulate further dialogue and strengthen the production of images. Particularly in countries with broken narratives (due to their historical backgrounds), photography could aid in the fabrication of a national sense of identity. This is not only welcome but also necessary. The reviewers, some of the most interesting people working in the field both regionally and abroad, will hopefully trigger discussions in that direction and make of these sessions something more than an opportunity for young photographers to hit the market.
Characterized by a high standard of production and presentation, it is exciting that Latin American photographers now have a dedicated section.
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