Who is telling the story? This seemingly obvious question has been the basis and the foundation of all the work done with the Photo Vogue Festival: from celebrating the female gaze in fashion photography, to highlighting diversity behind and in front of the camera, to rethinking masculinity, PVF has always tried to challenge the danger of single, monolithic stories, and to push a multiplicity of points of view. For its 6th edition, titled REFRAMING HISTORY, we want to explore the projects that have reclaimed an alternative, different way of telling a tale.
It could be, for example, a project that reframes omitted, forgotten and overlooked historical events or figures, like Akinola Davies Jr.'s BBC video series Black To Life, a project that unearths forgotten stories of black British figure for the digital generation and perfectly symbolizes this year's festival - or even an alt-history, like the one in Bridgerton.
It could be a work that reclaims an aesthetic, an idea of beauty that has been diminished, stereotyped or exoticised : from projects that celebrates, for example, the Italian Southern aesthetic, to works dedicated to communities, minorities, body types usually marginalized by mainstream culture, such as stories with people with disabilities portrayed outside cliches.
It could be a project whose aim is to dismantle discriminations and social prejudices - be it racism, ableism, transphobia or homophobia, or one about a personal, private story, like retelling the story of your family, your community, your identity.
It could even be a work that tells a well known fictional story from a new point of view, a different twist on renowned tales such as The Little Mermaid or Alice in Wonderland, or on myths, novels, characters and paintings, like Botticelli's Venus, or the Girl with a Pearl Earring; it could be a work highlighting less known fictional tales that didn't get enough attention but deserve to be told and shared. The important thing is the authors challenging the mainstream narrative, providing a new, alternative point of view, reclaiming their space and the power of representation.
Helping in achieving what Chinua Achebe called "a balance of stories" or what Beyoncé defined as "a mosaic of perspectives" is one of the founding missions of Photo Vogue, Vogue's global photographic platform that this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. Human beings are storytelling animals: the stories we tell are not just a way of representing the world, they become the very world we inhabit. There's a great African proverb that Achebe often quotes, that says "until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter." For this edition of the festival we are looking for the lions' stories.
As always, the scouting project is open to every photographic genre, from fashion to photojournalism, art and so on. This year, the Open Call will run on Photo Vogue, Picter and Instagram from today until June 25 and, as always, it will be completely free of charge.
With regard to Photo Vogue, we will follow the usual process of assessing the related images and projects you'll upload while, on Instagram, all you have to do is use the hashtag #VIreframinghistory.