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Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2021 - Talk with Artistic Director Fiona Sweet



Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2021 - Talk with Artistic Director Fiona Sweet

Exclusive talk with BIFB Artistic Director Fiona Sweet for the IIC Melbourne audience. She will present the 2021 edition of the Biennale that showcases work from local and international artists including Italian photographer Irene Fenara with her Australian Premiere Self Portrait from Surveillance Camera.

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This free event will be held online via Zoom


Register here


The Ballarat International Foto Biennale was founded in 2005 and attracts significant international and Australian photographers as one of Australia’s pre-eminent photographic festivals. It is a not-for-profit event that immerses the historic town of Ballarat in photographic art.

Now in its 16th year, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale has enriched the cultural landscape of regional Victoria, becoming the most significant, prestigious photographic arts festival in Australia. There are public programs and education programs comprising talks, workshops and prizes which round out a rich and diverse cultural event that attracts more than 30,000 people, delivering significant economic and cultural impact.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is guided by the principle that it not only serves the community but also plays a vital role in cultivating it.

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has attracted more than 200,000 visitors to Ballarat and was honoured in 2018 at the Federation Business School and Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards as the winner of the Visit Ballarat Events and Attractions Business Award. Its Founding Director, Jeff Moorfoot OAM received an Order of Australia Medal for services to photography.


  • The IIC Melbourne proudly supports Italian photographer Irene Fenara being part of the BIFB 2021 with her Australian premiere of "Self Portrait from Surveillance camera".

    Irene Fenara examines the gesture behind every photographic operation – watching. Her practice observes, investigates and interprets the way machines perceive and capture their surroundings, and how this intrusion of technology questions who observes and who is observed. Self Portrait from Surveillance Camera addresses both sides through Fenara’s subversive meeting or overtaking the gaze of the machine. 

    An act of resistance and an imposing of one’s identity, Fenara poses for self-portraits in front of public surveillance cameras and then accesses the footage which would otherwise be wiped after a twenty-four-hour period. By retrieving these images, Fenara shifts the power imbalance. Self Portrait from Surveillance Camera reveals the futility of providing direct and indirect permission to our personal privacy in public spaces, only for the machine to periodically erase what was witnessed. Fenara stands to prove the reversable relationship between observing and being observed.


Date: Monday, November 08, 2021

Time: From 6:30 pm To 7:30 pm

Organized by : Ballarat International Foto Biennale

In collaboration with : IIC Melbourne

Entrance : Free


online - Zoom


IIC Melbourne