Returning for its second year is Wellington’s documentary photography festival, Photival, which is running 26–29 April. The festival aims to increase the ‘visual literacy’ of attendees and focuses on timely social, economic, and environmental issues.
The festival has a unique format, alternating between ‘exhibition’ and ‘education’ years; this year being the very first ‘education’ year. The programme includes panel discussions, portfolio reviews, workshops, and features Australian-based photographer Michael Hall as the keynote speaker.
Michael captures the human contribution to climate change, in what the organizers describe as a “rare insight into the diversity of landscapes and devastation affecting our planet.” You can find out more about Michael’s work in our upcoming feature in D-Photo issue 84, on sale May 14.
Photival has put together an impressive line-up of panelists for this year’s programme, including Nicky Hager, Ann Shelton, Robbie Nicol, Nina Tonga, Peter Ireland, and Geoffrey Batchen, bringing together not only photographers and those who work in the field, but also drawing on the expertise of those from other sectors such as journalism, NGOs, and technology.
Last year’s exhibition was themed ‘brink,’ which looked at the sustainability of our current political and economic systems as well as our way of life, and questioned whether we consider those things on the brink of extinction — cultures, species, and languages — important enough to save. The organizers don’t just pay lip service to the idea of social change, but actively enable it by linking each exhibition with an NGO, charity, or activist group, encouraging donations and involvement in the groups.
Events are held at Massey University and Flux at Wellington museum. Photival is currently offering $5 tickets to their events, along with 50 per cent off portfolio reviews and workshops. All proceeds go towards enabling exhibition years to be free of charge for all.
Visit photival.com for tickets and programme information.