This intro to BETA 04 is more a response to a salutary tale brought on by the demise of Foto Freo, and something that touches on the broader implications of festivals such as the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, the organisation behind this wonderful publication.
Our four issues to date have more than exceeded the BIFB’s expectations in terms of presentation, content and readership. The only unmet need is that of anticipated, indeed expected, paid advertising. The question for us now is – how do we grow, or even maintain the standards we have set for the publication? As with the bigger picture of the festival itself – will you, our audience, accept backward steps? Would you still come to Ballarat if there were no international artists in the BIFB Core Program? Or if we no longer had a printed program and instead the only way you could navigate around the festival was to download and print your own program? Or if our venues were only open on weekends during the festival instead of every day? Likewise, would you still be a fan of BETA if there was no design ethic? If the standard of work that BETA currently attracts was downgraded because photographers could no longer expect their work to be given respect in the quality of presentation that BETA currently affords?
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