Futures is a Europe-based photography platform bringing together the global photography community to support and nurture the professional development of rising image makers across the world, initiated in 2017. It aims to add long-term value by empowering early and mid-career photographers. A typical Vandejong initiative, Futures seeks to enhance the vital relationship between artists and the industry by creating an ecosystem that stimulates cross-pollination, whilst simultaneously becoming a go-to source for emerging photography worldwide.
The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and is designed to meet their objective of establishing a cross-border collaboration that would significantly increase the potential for both emerging artists and photography institutions. Hence Futures works as a growing international chain of influential organisations operating within the field of photography, bringing together a wealth of resources, expertise and talent programmes to pool from. Each year, these members* nominate a selection of photography talents to join the platform and co-host a series of events to promote their work. Being selected by a member serves as a testament to the quality of the artist’s work, and subsequently this enhances their commercial opportunities.
Over the past three years, Futures has established itself as a strong cooperative organisation as well as a strong brand. Each year Futures organises a showcase through which all of the selected talents are introduced to the public. It is a place to reflect upon Europe’s contemporary visual culture allowing people to come together and interact. Aside from this main event, all of the photo institutes associated with Futures launch initiatives to endorse the artists they selected. Futures’ digital space provides further opportunities to reach and involve artists, experts and enthusiasts and benefit the work of more than 180 participating photographers. Each year Futures expands its activities and explores new ventures, increasing its operation range, growing its position within the industry and its role towards its members, and living up to its mission and brand promise.
Futures is designed to establish a cross-border collaboration that increases the potential for emerging artists and photography institutions alike.
Simultaneously, with the digital content platform, the yearbook-cum-magazine and the yearly (digital) gathering –developed and designed by Vandejong – Futures aims to highlight new and exciting photographic approaches by celebrating diverse stories, encouraging upcoming artists to present their most challenging work, and opening a window onto the world of the artists and their most recent projects. In this way, the platform hopes to contribute not only to the artists’ futures but also to the future of contemporary photography and visual culture in general.
*Futures has thus far collaborated with a consortium of the following twelve art institutions across Europe to support emerging talents in photography: British Journal of Photography (UK); The Calvert Journal (UK); CAMERA - Centro Italiano per la Fotografia (IT); Hyères Festival (FR); FOMU (BE); Fotofestiwal Lodz (PL); PHotoESPAÑA (ES); PhotoIreland (IR); Photo Romania Festival (RO); Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center (HU); Eurokleis (IT); and Triennial of Photography Hamburg (DE). Futures is about to welcome three new members: Copenhagen Photo Festival (DK); Void (GR); and Tbilisi Photo Festival (GE).