3 August 2020
Australia’s Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) is partnering with FORMAT International Photography Festival and Gallery of Photography Ireland on Instagram to curate an online visual record and public archive of isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
BIFB is welcoming submissions from all Australians and it’s free to participate by using the hashtags:
2020 is fast becoming a hugely significant moment in time. The explosion in smart phone technology has opened up the world of photography to more people than ever before and we wanted to capture the COVID-19 event in a meaningful way.– Fiona Sweet, BIFB Artistic Director
The 2020 Mass Isolation curation was inspired by the 1937 Mass-Observation social research in Britain, which aimed to record details of everyday life through some 500 volunteer participant diaries, and questionnaires.
“It’s an opportunity to find lightness, to share experiences and build our faith in humanity’s ability to survive.”
Fiona was inspired to create the Mass Isolation project after spending two weeks in self-isolation having returning from the US back in March.
[I’ve] experienced first-hand the loneliness of being by yourself. It has been the digital world that has allowed me to stay connected.– Fiona Sweet, BIFB Artistic Director
More About BIFB
BIFB is famous for its extended, not-for-profit international festival of photography held every second year in Ballarat, Victoria (as an aside, save the dates for 9th biennale in 2021: 28 August-24 October.)
The festival has been running since 2005 and attracted over 200,000 visitors to its regional home in Ballarat over that course of time.
BIFB founder and former festival director, Jeff Moorfoot OAM, is a former vice president of the AIPP and does indeed – as his bio suggests – have a LOT of letters after his name: OAM, AIPP L, FAIPP, HLM, MPhotogV…if you don’t mind.
Current BIFB Artistic Director, Fiona Sweet, took the baton from Jeff in 2017. Fiona is also the Director at the National Centre For Photography, Australia’s newest and only regional gallery dedicated exclusively to photography.