PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography

PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography

Across Melbourne and regional Victoria

29 April – 22 May 2022

Australia’s largest photography biennale will return to the streets and galleries of Melbourne and regional Victoria, with PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography (photo. taking place from 29 April to 22 May 2022. The Festival will honour 123 local and international artists and photographers across 90 exhibitions, with 50 world premieres including 24 specially commissioned projects. 

Now in its second edition, PHOTO 2022 provides an opportunity for audiences from across Australia and around the world to be part of a global celebration of new photography, art and ideas—featuring large-scale outdoor installations at iconic and unexpected sites across Melbourne, expertly curated exhibitions at 38 galleries including ACMI and NGV Australia, and thought-provoking events and education programs. By focusing on the issues most important to our times, the Festival connects the arts with different elements of our lives across science, psychology, sociology, technology, current affairs and many others. 

Through PHOTO 2022’s theme: ‘Being Human’, artists and photographers will unpack
the human condition to explore what informs who we are: what unites us and what makes us unique within the narratives of Society, Self, Mortality, Nature and History. From an Ecuadorian tribe fighting to save the rainforest to Chinese youth culture, and deepfakes to First Nations stories, the diversity and richness of contemporary human life is on display. 

Audiences will be able to explore photography by some of the most acclaimed artists from around the world, with exclusive Australian exhibitions by Gillian Wearing (UK), Paul Mpagi Sepuya (US), Mohamed Bourouissa (DZ/FR), Poulomi Basu (IN), Vasantha Yogananthan (FR), Aziz Hazara (AF), Martine Gutierrez (US), Massimo Vitali (IT), Florian Hetz (DE), Philip Montgomery (MX/US) and Luo Yang (CN), amongst others; as well as new commissions by renowned and up and coming Australian artists such as Atong Atem, Naomi Hobson, Dean Cross, Ying Ang, Hannah Brontë, Scotty So, Madeline Bishop, Anu Kumar and Patrick Pound

Other highlights include large-scale lightboxes along Southbank Promenade; a photography and sound installation by Bidjara artist Christian Thompson in the former courtyard of the Old Melbourne Gaol; Jenny Lewis’ epic documentation of a community from the ages of 0 to 100 exhibited across over 100 metres of Metro Tunnel construction hoarding; the first exhibition of Hoda Afshar’s critically-acclaimed project Speak the wind at Monash Gallery of Art; exhibitions by local and international queer photographers at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Parliament Gardens and Prahran Square; the world premiere of Ross McDonnell’s project made in collaboration with the ‘Lost Boys of Afghanistan’; portraits of Kulin Nation Elders by James Henry displayed on the steps of Old Treasury Building; and New Photographers, PHOTO 2022’s showcase of emerging talent. 

Alongside the extensive contemporary program, two icons of photography will be honoured at PHOTO 2022. Presented by the Jewish Museum of Australia: Gandel Centre of Judaica
in partnership with the Helmut Newton Foundation is HELMUT NEWTON: In Focus that will reveal the extraordinary life of one of the most prominent and provocative fashion photographers of all time: Helmut Newton; and influential American artist Cindy Sherman will be celebrated with the festival’s largest individual artwork to date installed on the façade of a building at Fed Square. 

Designed as a festival of exploration, PHOTO 2022 is focused on five Festival Precincts for people to explore: Town Hall Precinct, Parliament Precinct, River Precinct, State Library Precinct, and Fitzroy/Collingwood, as well as venues throughout metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Entry to PHOTO 2022 is free, excluding the HELMUT NEWTON: In Focus exhibition (Adult: $20, Concession: $15, Family: $40). Headline talks program PHOTO Live and the Photobook Weekend are free. Precinct and Cycle Tours are $10 and Collector Tours are $65.

PHOTO 2022 is presented by Photo Australia in collaboration with cultural, education, industry and government partners. 


PHOTO 2022 has a curated suite of events and learn programs including programs designed for Studio Arts students

Curating Photography

In this one hour talk attendees will hear from leading curators, who will discuss their experience and methodology of working on diverse exhibition outcomes as part of PHOTO 2022, International Festival of Photography.

Speakers include independent curator Shivanjali Lal, curator of A Bell Rings Across the Valley, a group exhibition of five artists from across South Asia and its Diaspora, on at Footscray Community Arts. Pippa Milne, Senior Curator at Monash Gallery of Art, on curating a solo presentation Speak the wind by Hoda Afshar. Cathy Pryor, Curator at The Jewish Museum, on curating HELMUT: In Focus, an exhibition of an iconic international photographer, now deceased, and working with a major international collection.

Monday 16 May 2022
11am – 12pm


Taking place in person and streaming live, PHOTO 2022’s headline talks program PHOTO Live addresses the social and cultural role photography plays in our lives and how art can activate cities and public spaces.

Featuring exhibiting artists in conversation with curators and academics, these exchanges will explore a range of issues in response to the theme Being Human.

PHOTO LIVE is recorded and will be available for viewing online after the event.
Various dates & times

Photobook Weekend

Presenting some of the best new Photobooks, as well as many opportunities to learn and network, the Photobook Weekend will include casual talks and panel discussions, the Photobook Market, Portfolio reviews, social book launches, book signings and more. For fans and makers of photobooks, this event is not to be missed.

Saturday 21 May 12 – 7pm
&Sunday 22 May 12 – 4pm
Photography Studies College
FREE (excluding portfolio reviews)
For more information HERE

PHOTO 2022 Festival Events

For a full list of all the associated events, please see HERE


DET smallest
Monash University