PHOTO LIVE July 2020


PHOTO LIVE is a series of live streamed conversations about the social and cultural role photography plays in our lives, addressing a range of issues from identity and belonging to human rights and social justice. Our second series of PHOTO LIVE launches on 13 July 2020 and features artists and photographers based in Australia, Nigeria, USA and the Netherlands.

PHOTO LIVE will be broadcast live on the PHOTO 2021 Facebook page (no log in required) and added to our website the next day. All events will be live captioned. All times listed are for Melbourne (AEST).


MONDAY 13 JULY, 10am

Dana Scruggs is currently exhibiting in the Aperture exhibition The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, on display at Bunjil Place until 27 September 2020 – as part of PHOTO 2021’s expanded program.

Originally from the Southside of Chicago, Dana Scruggs has been living and working in New York for the past 7 years. In 2016 she launched SCRUGGS Magazine, a print publication dedicated to her vision of the male form. The magazine was a way for her to create editorial and creative content when none of the magazines that she approached would hire her. Dana was offered the opportunity to shoot ESPN’s Body Issue in 2018, the first Black female photographer to do so. Later the same year she became the first Black Person to photograph the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in its 50 year history.

Dana will be in conversation with Grace Dlabik, a proud Papua New Guinean/Austrian, mama, carer, sister and a multidisciplinary creative director. Grace is the founder of BE. and BE. ONE CREATIVE and has been dubbed by The Age newspaper as “Melbourne’s best kept secret”. She is an influencer across many industries, as well as a dedicated activist and philanthropist, an entrepreneur and an expert in fashion and pop culture spanning for over two decades.

Presented in partnership with Bunjil Place.

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Stephen Tayo is currently exhibiting in the Aperture exhibition The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, on display at Bunjil Place until 27 September 2020 as part of the PHOTO 2021’s expanded program.

Stephen Tayo is a Nigerian photographer who lives in and draws inspiration from Lagos. In his work, he documents the world around him, and the role that fashion and style play in identity, community, culture, and religion. He focuses his lens on everyday life in his country — festivals, family celebrations, friendships, street life — and seeks to show the beauty in ordinary moments. His sitters are often active participants in the process — they perform for the camera and set the tone.

Stephen will be in conversation with Ruth Nyaruot Ruach, a South-Sudanese cultural curator and multidisciplinary artist, who uses art to heal, explore her surroundings, and create comfort within her blackness. Ruth’s art explores the experiences of being an African of the diaspora although she is strongly influenced by, decolonizing language, tone, and the cultivation of shared perspectives in place of assimilation.

Presented in partnership with Bunjil Place.

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MONDAY 20 JULY, 10am

Quil Lemons is currently exhibiting in the Aperture exhibition The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, on display at Bunjil Place until 27 September 2020 as part of the PHOTO 2021’s expanded program.

Quil Lemons is Brooklyn-based African American photographer. Lemons’ work is a representation of the community he comes from. While his subject is often blackness or black bodies, the context of his work comes from the internet, queerness, and popular culture. The themes of his work are timeless and ambitious in scope. Subjects like masculinity, queerness, race, positivity are played out in often disruptive images that feel like pure imagination. Lemons dances the line between the fantastic and realistic, drawing influence from our current cultural climate, giving his work an eerily familiar feeling.

Quil will be in conversation with Shantel Wetherall, a Melbourne-based culture writer, presenter and maker who has featured in The Guardian Australia and The Sydney Morning Herald. Shantel produces and hosts Hey Aunty! Podcast and lives as a grateful guest on Kulin land.

Presented in partnership with Bunjil Place.

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PAOLA BALLA (Wemba Wemba/Gunditjmara – Australia)
TASHARA ROBERTS (Dja Dja Wurrung/Yorta Yorta – Australia)

Paola Balla and Tashara Roberts are exhibiting in the Koorie Heritage Trust exhibition Affirmation until 23 August 2020 – part of PHOTO 2021’s expanded program.

Paola Balla is a Wemba-Wemba & Gunditjmara woman, visual artist, curator, writer, lecturer and PhD candidate. Her art and research focuses on black women’s art and activism, and its role in disrupting patriarchal and colonial dominant narratives and spaces. Paola utilises photography as sovereign act, in both process and outcome for expressing blak matriarchy and First Nations ways of ‘being, knowing and doing.’

Tashara Roberts is a contemporary Indigenous conceptual artist and a Dja Dja Wurrung/Yorta Yorta woman. Tashara works as an Indigenous photo-media artist, whose practice includes photography, moving image, installation, mixed media, painting, sculpture and jewellery. Sometimes subversive and politically charged, Tashara’s practice often explores her Aboriginal heritage and/or shows the viewer what it is like looking at the world through her eyes.

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Thursday 30 July, 6pm
QUEERTECH.IO (Australia)
ROSA MENKMAN (The Netherlands) and Rosa Menkman are exhibiting in the upcoming RMIT Gallery exhibition The Image Looks Back – part of PHOTO 2021’s expanded program. is a collective of Melbourne-based queer-identifying new media artists engaged in exploring notions of #queertech creative practices. Since 2017, they have presented more than 60 screen-based digital media artworks from around the globe at venues in Australia. is a passion project run by Xanthe Dobbie, Travis Cox, Ingrid Odessa and Alison Bennett. For The Black Box Experiment, they are joined by Megan Beckwith and J. Rosenbaum.

Rosa Menkman is a Dutch artist and researcher whose work focuses on noise artefacts that result from accidents in both analogue and digital media – such as glitch, encoding and feedback artefacts. These artefacts facilitate an important insight into the otherwise obscure alchemy of standardisation via resolutions, a process that generally imposes efficiency, order and functionality on our technologies.

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Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March