Curators Training Programme

We proudly introduce this year’s three Trainees: Erin James, Flynn McDonnell and Pelumi Odubanjo.

Trainee Biographies

Erin James

Picture credit: Zach Hyland (@zqfilm)

Erin James is a photographer / videography, event curator, radio DJ, writer and founder of Tough Cookie Mag. Her photography styles of photojournalism, social documentary and portraiture have recently been lended to the theme of 'Art as Activism' and representation of 'minority' groups in media. Her zine, Tough Cookie Mag, offers a platform to marginalised communities to share their work and art, in an effort to diversify the print industry. She hopes to inspire others to speak out on difficult and stigmatized subjects through the medium of art.

Flynn McDonnell

Flynn McDonnell is a Brighton-based photographic artist and writer. Having developed a practice of traditional social-documentary photography, image appropriation and sculptural still image throughout his studies, he graduated in 2020 with a First-Class Honours in Photography BA(Hons) from University of Brighton. Particularly interested in how collaborative relationships between creativity and community can promote inclusion and diversity, his research focuses on how creative practices can be used to engage and educate groups and individuals on local and global challenges in order to help promote public debate and wider participation.

Centring specially on both past and current socio-economic policies, his undergraduate dissertation explored how artists and photographers have responded to the UK’s housing crisis, examining the demonisation of social housing and its effects on working class communities and children's early-development in London. Outside of his academic studies, Flynn is also a DJ, event’s organiser and founding-member of The Condiment Collective – a multi-platform collective celebrating music, art and culture.

Pelumi Odubanjo

Pelumi Odubanjo is a London-based multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and curator. Having recently completed her MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmith’s University London, her work is informed by ongoing explorations in Black liberatory practices, black aesthetics, and formations of transcultural subjectivities. Pelumi focusses her practice on decolonial thought and developing decolonial curatorial strategies. Her body of work explores the configuration of displaced histories through the lens of constructions of black modernities.

Her most recent projects include working with the Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, co-founding the art research collective Contakt Collective, and being a recipient of the Forshaw Fine Art Endowment in 2019.

Curators Training Programme

The Photo Fringe Curators Training Programme enhances participants’ career prospects, giving them the confidence to move forward in the competitive world of curating and provides them with a support network that they can build on into the future.

A learning experience rarely found outside postgraduate curating courses, this year's trainees will gain experience of delivering an ambitious photography festival, including exhibitions and events both online and in-venue. This will be complemented by the opportunity to attend a tailored programme of meetings with professionals who operate at the forefront of photography curatorial practice.


  • Work with the Photo Fringe 2020 team to launch and deliver the festival
  • Work as a team to curate an online event or exhibition as part of the festival programme
  • Take part in selecting one festival exhibitor to win ‘Emerging Curators’ Favourite’ for the Danny Wilson Memorial Award
  • Devise a guided tour of Photo Fringe 2020 online exhibitions
  • Write a text or interview on one of the Photo Fringe SOLO exhibiting artists to be published on the Photo Fringe website
  • Undertake audience evaluation surveys and analysis
  • Help invigilate the Collectives’ Hub
  • Help to document the festival
  • Attend a series of seminars by professional photography curators

We are hugely grateful to Art Fund and Arts Council England for funding this opportunity.

Trainee Curators Funding Logos