Melbourne’s Photo 2020 announces line-up of 120 artists

Australia’s major new international photography festival is set to explore the pertinent theme of truth

From the series The Merge, 2017 by Sara, Peter & Tobias
From the series The Merge, 2017 by Sara, Peter & Tobias
(Image credit: TBC)

Today, in the first of its upcoming programme bulletins, Photo 2020 International Festival of Photography announces 120 artist collaborators, 33 new commissions and an exclusive education partnership with Magnum Photos, in what promises to be an enjoyable – and free – festival of the arts for Australia.

The international line-up spotlights a roster of far-reaching talent. It includes British photographer Martin Parr, who will journey to Melbourne alongside Spanish artist Cristina de Middel as part of a Magnum Live Lab programme. They will create new work in Melbourne throughout Photo 2020, forming a pop-up exhibition as the festival progresses.

With the aim of reaching outside of traditionally closed art circles and into the community at large, a Magnum Photos x PHOTO 2020 Intensive series will include lectures, portfolio reviews and a workshop with Magnum’s international network. A zine of students work will result, showcased on Magnum’s website.

Other highlights include South African visual activist and photographer Zanele Muholi, who will exhibit en plein air outside Melbourne Town Hall, ahead of a major mid-career survey exhibition at London’s Tate Modern at the end of April 2020. Meanwhile, Iranian-Australian artist Hoda Afshar will create a new suite of work focusing on the topical issue of whistleblowing. Local artists are represented too, with Melbourne-based Eliza Hutchinson temporarily joining the Parliament of Victoria, as its first ever Photographer in Residence.


Each participant has been asked to gear their presentation around the festival's pertinent theme of truth. ‘Exploring the power of truth in photography is more important than ever in our current social, political and cultural climate,’ says Photo 2020 creative director Elias Redstone. ‘We have curated a considered and compelling line-up of photographers and artists with diverse life experiences to reflect on what the truth means to them.'

The inaugural iteration of Photo 2020 will take place between 23 April and 10 May next year, across more than 40 cultural institutions, museums, galleries and outdoor sites in Melbourne, including NGV Australia, Monash Gallery of Art, Centre for Contemporary Photography, and Koorie Heritage Trust.

Photo of ginger haired woman with cross on her head

Adelyn, Ash Wednesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2000, by Alec Soth, from the series Sleeping by the Mississippi

(Image credit: TBC)

Photo taken of man near lake

From the series Yellow River, 2016, by Zhang Kechun

(Image credit: TBC)

Photo of man with hands behind his back

Untitled 2, 2019, by David Rosetzky

(Image credit: TBC)

Human finger touching robotic finger

From the series The Merge, 2017 by Sara, Peter & Tobias

(Image credit: TBC)

Photo of two women wearing skirts and dresses in the street

From the series Nothings in Vain, 2017, by Emmanuelle Andrianjafy

(Image credit: TBC)


Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.