This article was originally published in issue #7893 of British Journal of Photography. Visit the BJP Shop to purchase the magazine here. In 2014, an airstrip was constructed a few miles to the west of Braşov, in central Romania, as the inaugural stage of an international airport. Yet half a decade later, the airport remains unbuilt. The Leipzig-based Romanian photographer Mihai Șovăială — a native of Braşov — initially followed the airport’s travails from afar. After construction halted, the semi- abandoned runway became thronged with activity. “There were agricultural machines using the land strip to cross the fields, and speed lovers came for car racing,” recounts Șovăială. “Children from the nearby town, Ghimbav, came to play. For me, it was a very utopian vision. This is how my project started.” The aptly titled Holding Pattern is named after an aerial manoeuvre whereby pilots circle around an airport until they can land. Between 2016 and 2019, Șovăială repeatedly returned to Braşov to circumnavigate the site, capturing the surrounding ground, and the structures and objects that litter it. Initiated by …
The Circulation(s) festival returns to Paris from 20 April – 30 June, featuring work by photographers based in or originally from Europe. This year the festival has been directed by Francois Cheval and Audrey Hoareau, who used to work together at France’s respected Musée Nicéphore-Niépce but left to set up The Red Eye project. As they’re at pains to explain, though the festival is pitched as a festival of “young photography”, it actually promotes emerging work, whatever the photographer’s age.
“There isn’t really an age limit, the only “true” condition is to come from Europe or to reside in a European country,” they say. “Another criterion is to not have been shown very much in France and Europe. We know that the term ‘young photography’ is ambiguous… Circulation(s)’ desire is simply to offer emerging photographers, regardless of their age, a springboard.”
They add that the festival was one of the first to question the overrepresentation of male photographers, and also to pay its exhibitors; in addition, this year’s edition includes photographers from “countries whose state of contemporary photography is insufficiently known”, such has Georgia or Estonia. It also includes Romania, which this year has a special focus as part of the French Institute’s France-Romania Season.