FORMAT23: Meet the Team

FORMAT International Photography Festival returns to the city of Derby in 2023 bringing the very best contemporary photography and lens-based media to the UK, by artists from across the globe under the banner of ‘what photography can be’.

FORMAT23 also sees a number of personnel changes and exciting additions to the team. Peter BonnellArts Programme Manager at Derby’s art centre QUAD, where FORMAt is based assumes the role of FORMAT Festival Director, following in the incredible footsteps of FORMAT Founder Louise Fedotov-Clements. Working alongside Peter on leading the festival forwards is FORMAT Curator & Coordinator Niamh Tracey, ably assisted by a number of talented individuals in key positions in the team: Parmjit Sagoo, FORMAT Producer; Francesca Seravalle, FORMAT Photobook Market Curator; Sebah Chaudry returning as FORMAT Portfolio Review Manager and Thomas Wynne, FORMAT Volunteer Coordinator.

FORMAT23 – which will take place in Derby from 16 March – 9 April 2023, with the launch weekend taking place from 16-19 March.

Brian Griffin, FORMAT Festival Patron Comments:
I am so happy to return to my role as Patron of FORMAT working once again alongside Louise Fedotov Clements and the newly appointed Festival Director Peter Bonnell. Plus it’s exciting times as we have new members of the team, with our new producer Parmjit Sagoo and Photobook Market Curator (Francesca Seravalle). Finally last but not least, the important appointment of Niamh Treacy as the festival’s Curator and Coordinator. 

Louise Fedotov-Clements, FORMAT Festival Founder and newly appointed Patron
Over the last 18 years of directing FORMAT we have witnessed considerable change in the world and have supported thousands of photographers to develop, create and share their works. Never before has photography been such a vital medium. I’m incredibly proud to have co-founded, directed and established such an important platform for practitioners, audiences and communities in the UK and worldwide. I am very pleased to continue supporting FORMAT now and as Patron and to entrust the festival and year-round programmes to our new and ongoing team members who are passionate about photography, and who are undoubtedly taking FORMAT in new directions that continue the legacy to explore what photography is and can be in for the upcoming edition in 2023 and beyond.

Peter Bonnell, FORMAT Festival Director
Peter was previously Senior Curator at QUAD and a part of the FORMAT team, since 2012. His professional curatorial career stretches over 18 years where he has curated, managed and produced close to 200 exhibitions including numerous commissions, residencies, publications and touring projects. From 2004 – 2011 Peter was Curator at ArtSway in the New Forest, where he also managed a vibrant education programme, and co-curating with Director Mark Segal the ArtSway New Forest Pavilion at the 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011 Venice Biennales. Peter is autistic/ neurodivergent and has a specific interest in exploring opportunities to work with and support other autistic creatives. Prior to embarking on a career as a curator he was a practising visual artist exhibiting work in the UK, Europe and in the US.

Niamh Treacy, FORMAT Curator & Coordinator
Niamh Treacy is Curator & Coordinator for FORMAT International Photography Festival and has been with the organisation for nearly three years. During this time she has reviewed internationally for organisations such as Belfast Photography Festival, Uganda Press Photo and LCC and has juried open calls for FORMAT, UPPA, Zealous and the United Rugby Championship. Niamh is part of the FORMAT and QUAD curatorial team curating shows both internationally and nationally such as; un/natural, Lishui Photography Festival (2021), Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards, QUAD (2021), #massisolationFORMAT, Derby Museum and Art Gallery (2021); FUTURE FOCUS, QUAD Gallery (20222) and Bruce Asbestos, Eye of Newt 2.0, QUAD (2022).

Parmjit Sagoo, FORMAT Producer
Parmjit is an experienced Creative Producer who has worked extensively within a range of arts, community and education settings. She is currently Executive Producer at Inspirate and has held the role of Community Projects Producer at New Art Exchange for almost four years. For the past two years, Parmjit has led on the curation and artistic development of Nottingham Mela Festival.

Parmjit is also a Creative Practitioner, weaving together her creative movement, yoga, walking and theatre practices to develop unique and interdisciplinary projects across a range of health and arts contexts.  As a Producer and Creative Practitioner, Parmjit creates supportive spaces where artists and communities can enquire, imagine, question and collaborate. She is strongly committed to artist development, constantly creating opportunities and pathways for artists at all stages of their career to reflect upon their work, feel creatively nourished and deepen their practice. Parmjit is also passionate about making site specific work, taking creativity and arts into places where it becomes part of people’s everyday lives.

Francesca Seravalle, FORMAT Photobook Market Curator

Award winning curator, and author she worked for Magnum Photos and for Fabrica, leading the curatorial team. Lecturer at the Marangoni Institute and at London South Bank University; examiner at Ecal and UCL; mentor at the Bristol Photo Festival; she collaborated with Erik Kessels and the Archive of Modern Conflict. She curated solo shows in the main museums of London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Luxemburg, New York, Tokyo, Suzhou, Venice and Rome, discovering and supporting artists from the concept, such as Lorenzo Vitturi, James Pfaff, Alba Zari and Matteo de Mayda. Her essays and curatorial works are published by RVB, AMC, SPBH, Trolleybooks, Montanari and Witty Books. With Until Proven Otherwise, On the Evidence of the First Photos, she won the Format 2015. Transforming archival materials into video-art, she realized Secret Communication (for The London Photo Fair), Women from Ca’ Pesaro (for The Museum of Modern Art of Venice) and Feeling Venice (presented at Venice International Film Festival 2022).

Thomas Wynne, FORMAT Volunteer Coordinator
Thomas is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator and workshop facilitator based in the Midlands. Through photography and moving image, installation and sculpture his work primarily seeks to visualise and critique the future fiction of a second planet and coin the term for a future epoch ‘The Promittocene’. He has represented FORMAT Festival as an artist for the first cycle of the PARALLEL Intersection programme; Artist in Residence at Wolverhampton University, ArtCore Derby and Wireworks Ambergate, and has exhibited at various locations nationally including FORMAT19 and Derby Photo Fringe as part of East Meets West.

Sebah Chaudhry, FORMAT Portfolio Review Manager
Sebah is a freelance creative producer and curator. She is co-founder and co-director of ReFramed, a photographic based visual arts network based in the Midlands; director at BCVA; project co-ordinator of Picturing High Streets, a Historic England funded project managed by Photoworks; creative producer on Peer To Peer: UK/HK and lecturer on the BA Photography course at MMU SODA. From 2013 — 2017, Sebah was co-ordinator at FORMAT Festival. She became a freelancer in 2018 but continues to manage the UK’s largest annual portfolio review. She also manages the Belfast Photo Festival Portfolio Review.

Ellen Wang, FORMAT Social Media Officer
Ellen Yiwei Wang is a researcher, writer, and curator of photography and photobook based in Oxford, United Kingdom. She is a graduate of Boston College, the Courtauld Institute of Art and Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has curated exhibitions at the Thames-Side Studios Gallery in London and Gallery Vacancy in Shanghai. Currently, she’s working towards her PhD in History of Art at the University of Oxford with a thesis on Post-Digital Photobook Publishing in Japan.

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