FORMAT International Photography Festival Conference & Publication Call for Papers


“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that they remake it in their own image.” – Joan Didion The White Album

FORMAT19 presents FOREVER//NOW, a theme exploring our attachment to the notion of the contemporary through a visual interrogation of both our collective sense of place, memory, histories and potential futures. FORMAT19 is the next edition of our established international photography festival that includes a wide programme of exhibitions, events, colloquium and publications.

This call invites proposals for presentation at the FORMAT19 conference.

Forever is a concept built into the very nature of humanity and the photograph as a recorded moment, manipulated memory or idea. Forever is about memory and bearing witness, and the theme touches upon our obsession to record and share the continuous moment of our lives. In response to this fragmentary and precarious situation the theme for FORMAT19, “FOREVER//NOW,” aims to explore contemporary and archival photography and our attachment to the idea of forever in place, society and culture. The theme aims to interrogate how lens media specifically seeks to represent our ever-changing worlds, lands and histories. This includes responses to major world events and the zeitgeist of the archive, past and present, found and lost, its history, purpose and uses.

Analysis of the often contested and unstable within this terrain is the focus for FORMAT19, and we seek research presentations for the conference. This can be through formal academic presentations to more creative/performative/interactive offerings, which may be proposed to last longer than the standard twenty-minute slot. Selected presentations will be programmed into two strands:

The impinging of reinventions of the past on the present
Imagining of the future impinges on the present.

The FORMAT19 conference is a one-day research event at QUAD, Derby, UK, taking place on the 15th March 2019. The theme considers ideas of time, epoch and future through a radicalisation of forms of representation and means of dissemination of images and meanings. Ideas will be explored through the potential divergences, detours and collisions that occur within these paradigms.

Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

• Present time representations of identities and states of being
• Social spheres and political climates that contribute to the formation of present and set the conditions for the unfolding of futures
• Reinvention and imaginings of the past
• Eco/social/economic/terror threats to local/national/global senses of stability
• Retrofuturism, science fiction
• Collective myths and constructed archives
• Expansion and contraction of freedoms and the conditions that have influenced change
• Bearing witness, evidence and record of our cultural moment, immortality and legacy
• Political anxieties and given validities for social prejudice and exclusion
• Dichotomies of the digital footprint: desire for exposure and the consumed image, versus anonymity
• Fluidity with which the past is written, presented and reimagined

Proposals will be considered both within, and beyond the creative arts that address the theme. Please state time required, mode of presentation, which of the two strands your work identifies with, and any technical considerations with your proposal. Selected presentations will be considered for the FORMAT19 publication.

Please send proposals of 300 words maximum including a short 100 word biography to:
Deadline: Monday 19th November 2018

FORMAT is organised by QUAD and DMARC, the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre of the University of Derby

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Start Date

31st October 2018

Closing Date

19th November 2018