With just 2 weeks until the Launch, prepare to embark on a visual odyssey at the Head On Photo Festival from 10 November – 3 December, where exhibitions featuring 700+ artists promise to unravel the intricacies of culture, resilience, and the passage of time. Read on for a sneak peek into a handful of Featured shows from this year’s Festival!

First on the list is “Dogg Pound Days” by Karabo Mooki, a mesmerising exhibition at Bondi Beach Promenade. Mooki invites you on a visual journey into the heart of Soweto, where influential youth culture defies stereotypes. “Dogg Pound Days” is a compelling inquiry into the unexpected growth of this culture, illuminated by the rebellious spirits of Punk Rock and skateboarding. In a landscape resistant to ‘white music and white sports,’ Mooki’s lens captures the unyielding determination of youth to pursue dreams, tearing down societal expectations.

Karabo Mooki

Matthew Newton unveils a 20-year documentation of Tasmania’s contested forests in “The Forest Wars.” These landscapes, often battlegrounds hidden from public view, become a canvas for the struggle between big business, corporate interests, and community activism. Newton’s work sheds light on the power of the forest wars to expose corruption and threats to democracy. Through his lens, he hopes to evoke care and empathy, igniting a collective desire for real change.

Matthew Newton

Arrayah Loynd’s series, “Come and Find Me,” takes us on an intimate exploration of the convergence of trauma and memory. Through a continuous blending of multiple images from near and distant pasts, Loynd crafts a visual embodiment of the confusion within her mind. It’s a journey through pain and peace, an artistic endeavor to encapsulate the complex emotions that arise when memory and trauma intersect.

Arrayah Loynd

Brent Lewin’s exhibition, “Stealing Beauty,” delves into the captivating traditions of the Apatani and Chin tribes, dwelling in India’s Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar’s Chin States. Focused on the unique art of female facial tattooing and modification, the exhibit explores the historical roots of these practices—a defense against the kidnapping of their women. While originally linked to notions of ugliness, the tradition has evolved over generations, transforming into a powerful symbol of courage, beauty, and strength for these indigenous communities.

Brent Lewin

Matthew Newton, Arrayah Loynd and Karabo Mooki will be amongst other Featured exhibitors and experts sharing their insights at Head On Conversations—a series of panel-style discussions designed to explore and provoke thought on photography-related topics. It’s a rare opportunity to delve into the minds behind the lens to understand better the stories captured and the impact they aim to create.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of these enlightening conversations. Secure your tickets now at headon.org.au/head-on-conversations and immerse yourself in a world where photography becomes a powerful vehicle for storytelling and connection.

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage