Our selected photographers, covering genres from fine art to photojournalism, tackle an extensive range of subjects, including the impact of COVID-19, global conflict, refugees, feminism, motherhood, the environment, pop culture, and youth homelessness, to name a few.

So, in the lead-up, we thought we would give you a little sneak peek at what’s to come this November…

We are counting down the days to share Sujata Setia’s series Changing the Conversation, addressing beauty standards and binaries. Inspired by her daughter returning from school one day and asking if she was beautiful, Setia seeks to battle the constructs of beauty within our society and questions how to move away from these ideas.

Ukrainian-born and raised artist Andrew Rovenko, now based in Australia, shares his artistic take on his family’s experience of the 240-day lockdown in Melbourne in his series The rocketgirl chronicles. Getting through came down to the little things, like making his space-obsessed daughter an astronaut suit and taking photos with her within the small boundary of their lockdown area. This is their adventure.

21-year-old Syrian photojournalist and internationally published Mouneb Taim captures the realities of growing up in Damascus, Syria. War notes is a collection of photographs documenting civilians’ and children’s efforts to find joy in life despite living in some of the world’s cruellest conditions through the often unseen Syrian perspective.

Sahat Zia Hero documents life in Bangladesh’s world’s largest refugee camp alongside other volunteer photographers in the photography collective and magazine Rohingyatographer. The group series We are Rohingya aims to promote self-expression and show the realities of living as a refugee.

Home truths by Ilana Rose is a photography project centred around the challenges Australia’s 50,000 homeless youth face. In this series, she creates beautiful, thought-provoking portraits that give a face to young people experiencing homelessness.

Norwegian artist Sissel Annett employs collage and different darkroom techniques in her series Emotional alchemy. She explores the idea of trauma and how different people deal with it. Alongside her images, Annett says, “Togetherness, community and support are universal languages.”

On our opening night, we will present our exhibitions and announce this year’s Head On Photo Awards winners across our three categories Portrait, Landscape and Student – on Friday, 4 November.

We also have an out-of-this-world lineup this year of artists’ talks, workshops, kid’s programming, and panel discussions to go along with our exhibitions. Follow us on socials or subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on this year’s Festival. Hope to see you there!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Head On Foundation (est. 2008) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting photographers' work at all career stages. We encourage excellence and innovation, make photography accessible to all, and raise awareness of important issues through the medium. The Foundation's main activities are Head On Photo Festival and Head On Awards (Portrait, Landscape, and Student photographic prizes) and an annual program of collaborative projects. Head On Foundation is a bridge between Australian and international photography markets. The festival has toured in the US, China, India, Europe, and New Zealand, introducing the global arts community to the wealth of photographic talent Australia possesses.

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