Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

By May 5, 2016News

© Sebastião Salgado

With the 20th anniversary of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival set to roll out this May, we all get a chance to reflect back on the innumerable encounters with images it has activated throughout the city, suspending movement and provoking imagination. Exploring paths that connect people and photographs, the festival has led the approach to intersections where meaningful experiences take place. The extraordinary scope of photography and its all-encompassing influence is illuminated by CONTACT, as the festival presents a broad spectrum of work by acclaimed and emerging lens-based artists, documentary photographers, and photojournalists from Canada and around the world. Pursuing innovation and site-specific projects, we also look back at the foundations of the medium.

And, to our delight, the festival shins a light on some important environmental work. To save you the trouble we’ve highlighted these five “must sees” events and exhibitions:

The Salt of the Earth | May 19, 7:30pm–9pm at Spadina Theatre

For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been traveling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty.

New Approaches in Visual Storytelling | May 8, 8pm–9pm at the Gladstone Hotel

At a time when the presentation of documentary and news photography is experiencing enormous change due to technological developments, alternative approaches to storytelling are being explored around the world. Speakers Benjamin Petit, #Dysturb, Stephen Mayes, Tim Hetherington Trust, and Rafael Katigbak, VICE, will discuss these changes. Moderated by Toronto journalist Christopher Frey.

Nikon: Michelle Valberg Creativity in Motion | May 17, 6:30pm–8:30pm at St. Paul’s Bloor Street

Join Nikon Ambassador Michelle Valberg as she explains how to capture creative and compelling photographs in the field. Michelle will showcase her adventure and wildlife photography from around the world, and reveal illuminating behind-the-scenes actions.

Nikon: Kristian Bogner, A Journey to the Summit of Antarctica | May 24, 6:30pm–8:30pm at St. Paul’s Bloor Street

Nikon Ambassador Kristian Bogner will share details of his most recent expedition—climbing and photographing his way to the summit of Vinson Massif. Bogner will demonstrate how to get the most out of your gear, and how to capture stunning winter images.

Biophilia Reimagined: Elena Willis, Isabelle Hayeur | May 6–June 4 at 1010 Queen St. W.

The biophilia hypothesis, popularized by Edward O. Wilson, suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. The photographs in Biophilia Reimagined depict this relationship while echoing current changes in our landscape and psyche. Isabelle Hayeur and Elena Willis create haunting photographs in which the awe of nature is palpable, and human involvement is indisputable. Their large-scale prints enable the viewer to connect with the natural world on both a visceral and intellectual level. Hayeur’s underwater images expose what is usually hidden from view, while Willis seeks to bring forth the images hidden in her mind.