Events, Festivals

Photoworks announce theme for the Brighton Photo Biennial in October

Featured image © Bharat Sikka, courtesy of the artist

The festival curators announce that this year's theme will focus on the role that photography plays in the representation of social identity through fashion and style

The seventh installment of the Brighton Photo Biennial will take place throughout the month of October, hosting a series of talks, exhibitions and events, which hope to entertain and inspire both industry professionals as well as non-specialist audiences and lovers of photography.

The festival will take over some of Brighton’s notable culture hubs, indoors and out; including the Fabrica building and the University of Brighton Grand Parade.

This year’s theme, Beyond the Bias – Reshaping Image, seeks to debate the role that photography plays in the politics of identity, through the vehicle of fashion, style, gender and sexuality.

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© Bharat Sikka

Three core exhibitions will lie at the centre of the biennial. Ewen Spencer, who graduated from the University of Brighton in 1997, will take over Fabrica with a Photoworks commission, for which he plans to track London’s youth along the route of this summer’s notorious Notting Hill Carnival.

In line with the festive spirit, the images mounted on large billboards will be shown alongside projection of Spencer’s archive and a contemporary music soundtrack.

Olivia Arthur and Bharat Sikka will show their work, Reimagine, where they compare the representations of the body and gender in women’s communities in Brighton and Mumbai; and finally The Dandy Lion Project will present 150 images from some 30 photographers and filmmakers, exploring their expressions of the “Black Dandy” phenomenon.

© Olivia Arthur/Magnum Photos

© Sara Shamsavari

© Sara Shamsavari for The Dandy Lion Project

There will also be a number of other exhibitions specially conceived for the biennial, including an installation that breaks down the processes and thoughts behind the business of fashion photography from Nigel Shafran.

The festival seeks to inspire debate around the theme it addresses, but also encourage participation from various institutions around Brighton.

As well as having the opportunity to see the Photoworks commissions, there is also a variety of workshops, tours and activities to get involved with.

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© Ewen Spencer

Director of Photoworks, Celia Davies said of the forthcoming event: “We are delighted today to announce the programme for BPB16 and to be working with so many internationally renowned photographers, partners and curators to deliver to this year’s festival.

We believe the programme will bring new insights on the politics of identity and representation, and Photography’s role in that.”

For more information about the festival, go to bpb.org.uk

1 – 30 October, various venues, Brighton and Hove