Cristina de Middel Jorge Luna, a professional Mexican pole vault jumper trains by the border fence on the beach of Tijuana. Mexico. Tijuana. 2018. © Cristina de Middel | Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos and PHOTO 2020 present a one-day seminar offering insights into professional practice for students and early-career photographers. The seminar will help to demystify many aspects of the international photographic industry and offer practical advice on how to be a successful and socially engaged photographer today.

Given the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, coupled with the advice of government departments and health authorities, the decision was made to postpone the inaugural PHOTO 2020 International Festival of Photography until 10 – 27 September 2020. As such the programme outlined below, which was originally intended for April, may be subject to change.

Speakers include (subject to change):

Ying Ang, Photographer, Le Space Gallery
Marisa Bellani, Founder of Maris World and Roman Road, London
Shannon Ghannam, Global Education Director, Magnum
Cristina de Middel, Magnum Photographer
Gemma-Rose Turnbull, Artist and Educator
Patrick Waterhouse, Artist and Editor
Jacqueline Bates, Photography Director, The California Sunday Magazine

This seminar offers:

• Practical advice and lectures from industry speakers about their specific area of expertise
• Advice on work and professional development
• Peer, Magnum staff, and industry expert networking opportunities

Themes covered will include:

Ideas Development
Creative Commissions (Editorial, Commercial, NGO)
Fashion and Advertising
Gallery Representation
Participatory and Social Practice
Personal Projects
Grants, Fellowships and Residencies
Book Making
Immersive and Cross Platform Storytelling
Social Media
Assisting Work

Where & When

(subject to change):

RMIT Kaleide Theatre, 360 Swanston St, Melbourne

The festival itself will take place from the 10th – 27th September 2020, from 10am-6pm


The event will be held in English


$100.00 – Full price
$77.00 – Concession
Terms and Conditions apply (subject to change):.


Click here to register interest for this seminar. When submissions reopen you will be sent a notification email.


For enquiries relating to this project please email Bayryam Bayryamali:

Cristina de Middel On Energy Waste. From the series: Excessocenus. (Collaboration with Bruno Morais.) Mozambique. 2016. © Cristina de Middel | Magnum Photos
Cristina de Middel From the series: Sharkification. Brazil. Rio De Janeiro. 2015. © Cristina de Middel | Magnum Photos


Cristina de Middel

Cristina de Middel investigates photography’s ambiguous relationship to truth. Blending documentary and conceptual photographic practices, she plays with reconstructions and archetypes in order to build a more layered understanding of the subjects she approaches. Working from the premise that mass media is reducing our real understanding of the world we live in, De Middel responds to an urgency to re-imagine tired aesthetic tropes and insert opinion in place of facts.

Her impulse for an unconventional angle developed after a 10-year career as a photojournalist, when De Middel stepped outside of straight documentary and produced the acclaimed series The Afronauts (2012). It explored the history of a failed space program in Zambia in the 1960s through staged reenactments of obscure narratives, challenging the traditional depiction of the African continent.

She said of this change in artistic practice: “As a photojournalist I was like a hunter, waiting for something interesting to happen. But I started working the other way around…My thing is to make documents of things that don’t exist and to blur credibility of things that really existed.”

De Middel’s ongoing project Gentleman’s Club (which began in Rio de Janeiro in 2015 and has now expanded to every continent around the globe bar Australasia) focuses on prostitution’s less documented side: the male clients. Her intimate portraits of these men subvert the paradigms of the status quo to provide new sources of insight and understanding. As well as her acclaimed personal projects, De Middel has worked on commission for clients including The Nobel Peace Foundation, Christian Dior, Vanity Fair USA, Vogue USA and FC Barcelona.

De Middel continuously produces new bodies of work, drawing inspiration from a daily engagement with the world around her. The series This is What Hatred Did (2014), Sharkification (2015) and Jan Mayen (2015), to name a few examples were all published as books in 2015. De Middel’s work has received numerous awards in both the editorial and the artistic field, including PhotoFolio Arles 2012, Finalist of the Deutsche Börse Prize, and the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography in New York. She was also awarded with teh Spanish National Prize of Photography in 2017, the major recognition in the field in his home country.

Her work is currently on display at the Tate Modern (UK), The Metropolitan Museum (NYC), Banco de Sabadell Collection (Spain), Generalitat Valenciana collection (Spain) and Fotocolectania, Barcelona (Spain). She will showing at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA), the Metropolitan Museum, New York (USA) and the Pompidou, Paris (France) in 2019.

De Middel was born in Spain and is based between Mexico and Brazil.

She became a Magnum nominee in 2017.

Shannon Ghannam

Shannon Ghannam is the Global Education Director at Magnum Photos, responsible for the celebrated agency’s educational programming globally, including the recently launched online learning platform Magnum Learn Previously she managed Content Strategy and Development at Reuters, working to showcase on multiple platforms the agency’s multimedia content. Shannon has collaborated on numerous photographic books, international exhibitions and multimedia projects including the Emmy award winning photojournalism app Reuters The Wider Image. Shannon has worked in various roles during a 20 year career including Screen Labs, Night Contact photography and multimedia festival, Australian Associated Press (AAP), The Australian Photojournalist Journal, The National Archives of Australia as well as developing a year long collaborative portraiture project with refugee communities for the Australian Red Cross. She studied at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia where she graduated with First Class Honours in Photography.

Patrick Waterhouse

Patrick Waterhouse (b. 1981, England) is an artist who explores the shifting nature of our understanding of the past. Through processes that play with narrative representation, his work sheds light on the construction of history and its origins.

In 2008, Waterhouse began work on his renowned series Ponte City, made in collaboration with Mikhael Subotzky, in which the pair investigated the fifty-four storey cylindrical apartment building that towers over Johannesburg. Over six years they probed the varying perspectives of this icon – from its architecture to its urban legends – revealing new and alternative accounts of the building’s history.

Collaboration is integral to Waterhouse’s practice, informing and shaping the trajectory of his projects as the work forms through conversation and engagement with those represented and the communities in which they live.

In the making of Restricted Images, Waterhouse lived and worked with the Warlpiri communities of Yuendemu and Nyiripi over a five-year period, taking photographs and then inviting community members to restrict their images using traditional dot painting. By drawing people into the process of their representation, the project renegotiates notions of agency in photography and art.

Waterhouse’s work has been exhibited internationally in institutions including FotoMuseum, Antwerpen (2019); Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque (2018); Kunsthal, Rotterdam (2017); The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2016); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C (2015); The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2015); The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh (2014); Le Bal, Paris (2014); Biennale de Lubumbashi, DR Congo (2013); The International Center of Photography Triennial, New York (2013); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2012); The Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich (2011) and South African National Gallery, Cape Town (2010). His work is held in major public and private collections including Centre Pompidou, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C and The Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, Germany. Awards include the Discovery Award at Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles in 2011 and the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize in 2015 for Ponte City (with Mikhael Subotzky).

In 2011 Waterhouse became Editor-in-chief of Colors magazine, creating a new editorial direction (The Survival Guides) and building a global team of photographers, designers, editors, writers, artists, researchers and bloggers. The Survival guide series consists of 10 printed issues, with touring exhibitions and workshops.

Ying Ang

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Ying Ang has exhibited widely in group and solo shows, presenting a unique perspective that is at once personal and political. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Vice magazine as well as collected in museums internationally. Her first artist book, Gold Coast, won the New York Photo Festival and Encontros Da Imagem book prize for 2014, was a finalist for Australian Photobook of the Year, the CREATE Award, the Guernsey Photography Festival Prize for 2015 and acquired for the Rare Books Collection at the Victorian State Library. Ying also fulfilled the role of curator for the Obscura Festival of Photography in Malaysia in 2016 and was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Photobook New Zealand. Her latest work, Bower Bird Blues, was a Vevey Images Grand Prix finalist in Switzerland, honorably mentioned in the Julia Margaret Cameron Award and exhibited in a solo show during Rencontres d’Arles in France in 2019 and is currently being produced as a book.

Ying was most recently featured in “FIRECRACKERS: Female Photographers Now”, a showcase of contemporary female documentary photographers published by Thames & Hudson, and “How We See: Photobooks By Women”, featuring one hundred 21st-century photobooks by women photographers published by 10×10 Photobooks. Ying is currently teaching at the ICP in New York and is the Director of the Reflexions Masterclass in Europe and Le Space Gallery in Melbourne, Australia.

Marisa Bellani

Marisa Bellani is the founder and principal consultant at Maris World, a supportive platform for artists and creatives. She is also the founder and creative director of Roman Road, a space for collaborative exhibitions in London. Marisa has been running Roman Road since 2013, following and fostering notable projects and working with artists from all over the world. With her substantial experience and expertise in the gallery system and contemporary art scene, she is a valued influencer in the field and has dedicated her career to bolstering the talents of emerging and mid-career artists. Marisa has completed two master degree courses, firstly at the Institut d’Études Supérieures des Arts and subsequently at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She has held a seat and became the youngest member of one of the Tate’s Acquisition Committees and regularly participates in panel discussions and portfolio reviews, and gives talks at art universities.

Gemma-Rose Turnbull

Gemma-Rose Turnbull studies collaborative photographic methodologies as a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. She runs the website Photography as a Social Practice, and co-wrote the MA Photography and Collaboration with Anthony Luvera at Coventry University, when she was a Senior Lecturer in Photography there. Gemma’s research interests lie with the ways in which photographers integrate co-productive methodologies into their documentary practice––particularly when authorship structures are revised so people who may have previously been ‘subjects’ of photographic works become co-creators.

Jacqueline Bates

Jacqueline Bates is Photography Director of The California Sunday Magazine, which won the National Magazine Award for excellence in photography two years in a row, in 2016 and 2017, and Pop-Up Magazine. Previously, she was senior photo editor of W Magazine and worked in the photo departments of ELLEInterview, and Wired. Bates holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, and her work has been exhibited internationally.