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MILAN — The first international Photo Vogue Festival, entirely dedicated to fashion photography, will run Nov. 22 to 26 in Milan, founded by Vogue Italia and sponsored by the Italian city’s municipality.

Vogue Italia’s senior photo editor Alessia Glaviano explained on Wednesday that it will be free and open to the public offering lectures, conferences and exhibitions.

Chaired by the magazine’s editor in chief Franca Sozzani and directed by Glaviano, the festival aims to become an annual event. The first edition will present the monographic exhibition “Vanessa Beecroft Polaroids 1993.2016″ at Milan’s Royal Palace. Beecroft’s exhibit will regroup enlargements of rare Polaroids, as well as sculptures.

Glaviano underscored the need to “open the doors” of the festival to the public and the collaboration with art, fashion and design schools, ranging from the Brera Fine Arts Academy, to the La Scala theater’s Academy
 and Istituto Marangoni, to name a few. Glaviano emphasized Vogue Italia’s “credibility and authority” in launching the festival, pointing to the magazine’s focus on photography over the years, under Sozzani’s lead.

“The Female Gaze” and “Photovogue/in Fashion” exhibitions will take place at industrial space Base Milano, near the Giorgio Armani headquarters and Silos exhibition space on Via Bergognone. “The Female Gaze” will display the works of female photographers who have revolutionized the way the female body and sexuality is represented in fashion photography, observed Glaviano, emphasizing the ensuing women’s empowerment. Co-curated by Glaviano and Chiara Bardelli Nonino, the exhibit includes Cindy Sherman’s self-portraits, works by Camilla Akrans, Amanda Charchian, Ellen von Unwerth and Donna Trope, among others. “Photovogue/in Fashion” will showcase the works of the photographers selected through the scouting initiative launched by Vogue Italia’s online photo platform.

At Base Milano, talks about photography will be held with guests including Beecroft, Paolo Roversi, Mario Calabresi and Massimo Torrigiani to name a few. “Photos and fashion are a synthesis of contemporary reality, which help understand what happens around us,” said Torrigiani, codirector of Fantom and artistic director of the nascent contemporary art and culture in Bari, Apulia, adding that “culture is instrumental as a dialogue between people.”