Perugia Social Photo Fest (PSPF), the first international biennial festival of social & therapeutic photography that, every two years, offers a precious occasion of meeting and discussion for all those passionate of photography and social themes, announces officially the theme and dates of its fifth edition.

The Skin I Live, skin as identity, as limit, as communication, as relationship. This is the photographic concept on which Italian artists, international artists and photo therapists will be dealing with, dialoguing through great exhibitions, training sessions, workshops and lectures.

The 5th edition of PSPF will take place in Perugia from 10th March to 8th April 2018, extending for the very first time to the whole city, from the traditional location of Museo Civico of Palazzo Penna to many other important spaces in town.

After the great success of the 2016 edition, whose theme was “blindness”, considered not only as a physical disability but also as a social and emotional attitude, now in 2018 the focus will be on the “skin” as a limiting element, both physical and symbolic, allowing us to keep the outer world separated from our inner world.

Skin is the ultimate tissue separating the individual from the collectivity, sending sensorial messages that help us mark the border between inner and outer world. Our identity stretches so far as our tact goes, but we also are a “self” that touches, defines and therefore discovers. The construction of our own world is born out of this constant process of shaping and defining things surrounding us, as we continuously incorporate otherness and distance ourselves from it.

If distance is fundamental to human existence, human relationship is only possible when this distance is made relative and eventually overcome: this is when social relationships are born, and the representation of identity becomes a being identical-to-itself in its difference from others. Skin is symbolic of the distance as well as of the very overcoming of it through contact.

The skin’s integrity is threatened by “external” nature, by the potential violence of the other, and so it turns into the herald of anxiety generated by the “inner” nature, that is the expressive medium of the psyche, with its emotional states and its wounds. Thus, the skin can be considered an interactive organ, reacting both to the inner and to the outer world.

For the first in Italy, PSPF 2018 will feature the “PhotoTherapy Week”, a unique occasion for training and discussing with the major Italian and international experts in the field. The week will be organized with events not-to-be-missed: training workshops, therapeutic and social-action projects, an international conference on the therapeutic use of Photography, and an exclusive intensive Workshop on Phototherapy Techniques by Judy Weiser, Psychologist, Art Therapist, consultant, trainer and one of the earliest pioneers of PhotoTherapy. Judy Weiser is the Founder and Director of the PhotoTherapy Centre in Vancouver, Canada, and is considered the world authority on the emotional significance of personal photographs.

Born in 2012, PSPF is an ideal place were social issues, culture and environment come together to be translated into an harmonic design, still keeping Social and Therapeutic Photography as its core elements. It is much more than a photographic contest: it is an organization that is constantly there on the territory, always launching new events both related to the therapeutic and to the social fields. Amongst these is the Humanitarian Project named #TOGETHERSTRONGER, dedicated to the people of Central Italy living in those places which were struck by the earthquake during August 2016. Calling on all the authors who exhibited their works at PSPF through the years, asking them to donate one of their photographs to be sold online, it was possible to entirely give a concrete help to an Association from Rieti actively welcoming and supporting survivor kids from the severely damaged areas.

“We are so happy to announce the new PSPF 2018 – says Antonello Turchetti, the Artistic Director of the Festival – Thanks to PSPF, the themes of Social and Therapeutic Photography have become more visible and popular, year after year, sometimes even colliding with the inevitable confusion stemming out of the discussion about what can actually be defined as therapeutic, especially when it comes to photography, and what cannot be defined as such. We are very proud to affirm that the Festival has contributed so far to highlight the key role of photography in the investigation of life in its manifold complexity: Social Photography, as exposure and reflection, as redemption of individual and collective identity, as a means for those who are “excluded” to be heard and therefore socially included, and Therapeutic Photography, as a tool to reactivate perception and personal inner stimulus, particularly where communication is difficult, and trigger a process of self-consciousness and exploration of the self. Stay tuned for more exciting news about PSPF 2018 soon to come!!”