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Main Partner

Digital Imaging Partner

Artistic direction statement


In March, most of the world had to press pause and passively, shockingly witness, from close or afar, a new enemy that entered our lives. COVID-19, the illness caused by a novel coronavirus, has it was first called, crept into our countries, cities and homes without asking for permission.

In awe and frightened, we stood back at first not knowing what to do and how to react. As human beings, we tried to find explanations, we tried to define and categorize what was happening. In the meantime our work and social life came to a halt.

Cortona On The Move, like most festivals and cultural events, had to cancel all plans and sit back and think. Luckily our team and our sponsors managed to react quite quickly and give birth to a challenging project that, in a few months, has become what it was originally meant to be: an ongoing permanent archive on the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 Visual Project. A Time of Distance is viewable at

Now we have a new challenge: reopening the doors of our festival locations and set up exhibitions related to this project.

Known for ten years as a documentary photo festival, Cortona On The Move had just recently renewed its commitment and focus on expanding its attention to a greater variety of engaging visual narratives telling stories about our world. And here we were, suddenly, confronting ourselves with a New World….or at least an attempt to undertake and understand a possible New World Order.

What we did understand from the start, was that this moment was quite unique in history, and we immediately felt the urgency to witness, record events and emotions in order to create a collective historical memory of it.

As the lockdown months passed and parts of the world began to cautiously open up and attempt to follow new behaviours, we also decided to restart the engine and give space to our festival in its better known physical format. With certain restrictions and a limited amount of exhibitions, we will offer a selection of the works that have been commissioned to form the archive of The COVID-19 Visual Project.

Apparently some things will look the same, but inevitably we are all being invited to look at the world and ourselves in a different way. Welcome to a Special Edition: the tenth edition of Cortona On The Move.

Respecting social distancing and health directives, we invite you to come to Cortona from July 11th and experience a journey through the past few months, with stories that relate to the coronavirus pandemic and the way it affected our lives, touching on issues related to health, society, economy, intimacy and hope.


Arianna Rinaldo, Artistic director