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Formentera Fotogràfica once again brings wisdom of photo masters to island audiences

foto-ff-2020--2019-Formentera’s tourism department reports that from 29 April to 3 May, the island will play host to the eighth Formentera Fotogràfica. The five-day festival aims to get industry professionals, students and photo connoisseurs from Spain and farther afield learning from each other and sharing expertise in a one-of-a-kind island setting.

Framing Formentera Fotogràfica as part of the initiative to promote off-season travel known as Discover Formentera in May, president and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer the event “puts the island in the line of sight of untold photography fans for whom Formentera is the perfect backdrop”. Discounts are available to Formentera residents, whose €165 price-tag to participate is only half the standard €325. Signups can be completed at https://www.formenterafotografica.com.

Formentera Fotogràfica will see USA native Donna Ferrato and Marseille-born Antoine d’Agata joined by stars of the Spanish photography scene like Vari Caramés, Miguel Oriola and Manuel Outumuro.

In 2019, Ferrato, an activist and one of the world’s premier champions of documentary photojournalism, was honoured with the PhotoEspaña Award. She crosses the Atlantic now to share notes from the war on gender violence and talk about her commitment to women’s rights, gender equality and sexual liberation.

D’Agata is both a photographer and filmmaker. He arrives at Formentera Fotogràfica —a clip of his newest production, White noise, in tow— still buzzing from rave audience reviews at Rotterdam’s International Film Festival. White noise offers a look back at the last thirty years of this Magnum Photos heavyweight’s career.

Other star photographers will be there too, like ILCP member biologist Javier Aznar, educator and street photographer Jota Barros, Galician photo prodigy Vari Caramés, nature photographer and Photopills co-founder Antoni Cladera, Majorcan documentary filmmaker Tomeu Coll, photographer-filmmaker Adriana López Sanfeliu, El Observatorio photographers Camilla de Maffei and Eugeni Gay, educator and assistant director of photography at Ara Ferran Forné, educator and fashion photographer Miguel Oriola, portraitist-fashionista Manuel Outumuro and, the creative mind behind La Ínsula nòmada, Juanan Requena.

Before screening Silence Sounds Good at Sant Francesc’s Sala de Cultura at 10.00pm on Wednesday 29 April, Adriana López Sanfeliu won the 2019 Dart Festival’s accolade for Best Spanish Picture. The film is a tribute to the over 70-year career of French national (and additional Magnum Photos crew member) Elliott Erwitt.
The documentary is free and open to the public.

Exhibit by Toni Catany
La Mola’s lighthouse and Sant Francesc’s Sala d’Exposicions will both have their chance to host Toni Catany’s Altars profans—an exhibition co-presented by the Formentera Department of Culture and Fundació Toni Catany.

Catany’s stopover on the island happens thanks to the Llucmajor native’s namesake foundation. The tireless Majorcan photographer was still readying the exhibit for a stint in Barcelona’s Trama gallery when he died in October 2013. “I’m thrilled that islanders and photo aficionados are getting their chance to see Altars profans”, said culture councillor Susana Labrador. “The show is vital for anyone who wants to learn more about this native son of the Balearics”, said Labrador, calling it “the perfect fit for two galleries where it’s being shown”.

Altars profans will be at the Sala d’Exposicions ‘Ajuntament Vell’ until 2 May (the exhibit opens 8.00pm on 15 April) and La Mola lighthouse until the end of June.

Photography and place
Two traits do more than anything else to define Formentera Fotogràfica: its small scale and coupling of photography with place. Eight years on, organisers of the limited-capacity event see Formentera Fotogràfica as a chance to focus on quality learning and respect for the surroundings. The encounter features lectures, clinics, master classes, exhibits, AV screenings, portfolio viewings and guided visits of local heritage sites. Workshops blending hands-on and theory-based learning in indoor spaces like the Sala de Cultura in Sant Francesc sit alongside outdoor programming where participants breathe in the fresh air. It’s an invitation to enjoy, discuss and ponder photography, share in challenges and exchange expertise with individuals from across the world of photography.

13 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera caps visit to Milan’s International Travel Expo, hails ‘bright prospects’

formentera-bit-mila--jHaving maintained a promotional presence at Milan’s International Travel Expo (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, or BIT) since Sunday, the island’s spokespeople at the expo head home today. Describing the Italian market as both “vast and loyal”, marketing chief Carlos Bernús, who was in Milan for the event, said Team Formentera was leaving the three-day, public-and-professional travel show “with bright prospects relative to Italian travellers in 2020”.

At an 8.30pm presentation on Monday, niche and local media outlets and tour operators got a look at Formentera’s credentials as a sustainable destination. Local reps reviewed the island’s already checkered history as far as sustainability is concerned: “Years ago we slashed plastic bags use, in 2017 we launched Save Posidonia Project and last summer we capped entry of in-bound vehicles with formentera.eco.”

According to Bernús, reps played up the island’s image and pointed to “vast possibilities for the visitor, especially in the low season, when our calendar of sport fixtures and cultural programming comes alive”.

Dedicated stand
From Formentera’s very own stand at the event, the island’s representatives distributed promotional material underlining sport- and culture-focused programming and other perks of visiting away from the traditional summer season. They also pushed “Slow Food Formentera”, a map of local growers and businesses trading in locally-sourced products that the island’s handlers have teed up for the season ahead.

11 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Catalina Escandell is Compra a Casa’s buy-local winner for January

catalina-mayans--compra-a-casa1Catalina Escandell was named the January winner of a special campaign backed by the local government and Eivissa and Formentera’s small- and medium-sized business association, Pimef, to promote local businesses in winter. Mayans, a card-carrying Compra a Casa shopper since January 2017, came away with a €50 gift card. Purchases made in participating businesses automatically enter cardholders into a drawing held during the first week of the following month. The February drawing will be held the first week in March, the March drawing the first week in April.

11 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Formentera takes show to Milan’s International Travel Expo

foto-2020-cami-roma--1Sunday 9 February marks the start of Milan’s International Travel Expo (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, BIT), a three-day affair that runs until Tuesday 11 February. Responding to calls from Formentera businesses whose stock in trade is tourism, the island’s commander-in-chief Alejandra Ferrer and head of the tourism authority Carlos Bernús will be on hand promoting Formentera as an island where sustainability reigns.

From the comfort of Formentera’s very own stand, the island’s representatives will distribute promotional material underlining the perks of visiting away from the traditional summer season. “One reason people come is the sport- and culture-focused programming in the pre- and post-season”, Ferrer said. The pair will also push “Slow Food Formentera”, a map of local growers and businesses trading in locally-sourced products that the island’s handlers have teed up for the season ahead.

Tour operators and niche and local media outlets will sit for a close-up of the island on Monday at 8.30pm. Italian travellers constitute one of Formentera’s largest markets.

7 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Start of talks with Formentera’s ‘Strategic Tourism Sectors’

foto-reunio---segments-turi--s1Formentera’s president and chief of tourism was joined today by the head of the tourism authority at the first in a series of meetings with figureheads from some of local tourism’s key industries. The gathering was attended by representatives of businesses involved in meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (“MICE”), health/wellness and luxury—three of the so-called “Strategic Tourism Sectors”, or “SETs” on Formentera.

President Ferrer described a meeting spent explaining not only how SETs committees will work, but also the prospects for their involvement in promoting tourism. The Balearic Agency for Tourism, or ATB, receives SETs funding from the “Sustainable Tourism Levy”—money which can in turn be used for collaborative, sector-level public-private initiatives and targeted product upgrades.

In all, eight different SETs exist in the islands: gastronomy, culture, active tourism, eco-tourism, sports tourism, health and wellness, luxury and MICE. In the days ahead, spokespeople from the remaining sectors will be tapped for meetings that are expected to take place twice yearly. Formentera businesses in these key industries must sign up to take part in SETs. By doing so, they share in decision-making about funding to promote tourism and can offer suggestions to increase the competitiveness of particular sectors or the island at large.

Promoting Formentera in 2020
Meeting participants also heard about promotional efforts planned by the Formentera government in 2020. According to President Ferrer, whether at travel expos, workshops and presentations, Formentera will “put particular emphasis on courting domestic, Italian, French and Portuguese travellers, without forgetting more entrenched markets such as those in the UK and Germany”.

The local tourism chiefs also pointed to professional development opportunities in the offing this April. The trainings will be geared towards islanders employed in tourism and eager to gain expertise promoting the island to potential visitors—a blind spot identified by a recent round of exit surveys intended to serve as a barometer for tourism satisfaction.

4 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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