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FotoFocus Symposium: Telephotography Recap

Posted on April 19, 2022


Originally set for October 2021 and rescheduled due to Covid’s Delta variant, the FotoFocus Symposium: Telephotography took place April 9 and 10, 2022. Through a series of panels, lectures, and film screenings, attendees had the opportunity to engage with artists and academics as they discussed both historic and current themes in photography.


In a time where state-wide mask mandates have been lifted and vaccinations are widely available, FotoFocus has a big year in 2022 ahead—which started with the Symposium. Originally set for October 2021 and rescheduled due to Covid’s Delta variant, the FotoFocus Symposium: Telephotography took place April 9 and 10, 2022. One of FotoFocus’ major events, the Symposium gives artists, academics, and guests the opportunity to present ideas, learn new things, and discuss both historic and current themes in photography.

With more than 20 panelists, moderators, and featured artists participating, the Symposium provided a weekend of rich discussions with world-renowned professionals from the fields of architecture, art, fashion, film, psychology, and media. Throughout the two-day event, those in attendance had the opportunity to gain insight into lens-based topics such as how 19th-century scientists tried to capture electricity on film; the meteoric progression of press photography between the 1930s and 1970s; how architectural renderings and visualizations have changed in recent years; the complex role of being a photojournalist in today’s world of rapid-fire news cycles; and the ways in which media—photographic imagery in particular—creates and distorts understanding of foreign cultures.

Day 1 at Memorial Hall closed out with a Keynote Conversation between Sophie Hackett, Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada, and Collier Schorr, Artist and Critic, New York, NY, as they discussed the ways in which artists and curators are applying technologies to new patterns of globalism.

The Symposium concluded on Sunday, April 10 at The Garfield Theatre with the Film Program. This included six short films and a feature film—all curated by Diana Vargas, Artistic Director of the Havana Film Festival New York, NY—in addition to a panel discussion moderated by Diana Vargas with panelists Sandro Fiorin, Founder of FiGa Films, Miami, FL, and Rafael Romero Peña, Multidisciplinary Artist and Director of Fever (2019), Rotterdam, Netherlands.

After pandemic-induced cancellations, postponements, and reimaginations in 2020 and 2021, the FotoFocus team looks ahead to the 2022 FotoFocus Biennial: World Record in October with the Biennial Program Week from September 29–October 8, 2022.

Previously on The Lens:

Pride of Place: Photographer Iwan Baan and “Designing for People?”

Photo Op: FotoFocus Symposium Breaking News Panel Q&A 

Q&A with Diana Vargas, Guest Curator for the FotoFocus Symposium: Telephotography Film Program

Click here for biographies of the panelists.