All posts filed under: Festivals

From Stateside © Matt Wilson

Looking for America – Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography returns

Diffusion, the international photography biennale organised by Cardiff’s Ffotogallery is currently in full swing, hosting group shows, talks and photography-related events around the city for the entire month of October. The theme, Looking for America, was announced back in May 2013, on the last day of the previous edition. Despite the continuous barrage of American imagery, David Drake (director of Ffotogallery and curator of the festival) says that the theme is as pertinent as ever. “I was interested in the strange paradox that from outside of America there was still an allure around Americana and a lot of the things that become representative of the American Dream. But within America there was a sense of corrosion, that everything had gone wrong. The inside perspective on America was quite dark and dystopian whereas from a European perspective America was still the promised land, a land of opportunity. I thought that we could have quite a lot of fun exploring those notions through the festival.” The festival spans several sites around the city, in an effort to …


Winner of the Unseen Dummy Award announced

Amsterdam’s annual celebration of photography Unseen Photo Fair closed for the year earlier this month, but not before showcasing some of the most interesting work in contemporary photography. During the fair and festival, Yoshinori Masuda won the Unseen Dummy Award for his photobook, Tiger 2. For his project, the Japanese photographer visited a zoo to depict two tigers in a state of repose, hinting at ideas around the dangerous state of nature and the  unsettling power of the gaze. Much of Masuda’s thinking behind Tiger 2 was influenced by an eclectic jumble of high-minded influences, including mathematical laws and scientific theories, but he was initially prompted by the simplest of reasons: “I was attracted by [the tigers]. Therefore I photographed them.” Masuda was immensely grateful for receiving the award, but as he tells the BJP, the most pleasing aspect of the award is the larger audience the prize affords: “I just want people to have the book in their hands, and enjoy it until it falls apart.” Masuda was chosen by an international jury, consisting of …


© Laura Boushnak/RAWIYA

Delhi’s Just Another Photo Festival wants to prove that it’s different from the rest

While Martin Parr describes photography as “the most accessible, democratic medium available in the world”, the industry that has built up around it has not always followed suit. Often confining itself to intimidating, inaccessible museums, galleries and organisations, photography as an art form doesn’t always interact with the public at large. A new Indian festival, Just Another Photo Festival wants to remedy this, aiming to “democratise photography across the country.” The initiative of photographer Poulomi Basu, Emaho Magazine founder Manik Katyal and British independent filmmaker CJ Clarke, the New Delhi festival will be showcasing 150 photographers from over 35 countries. Work from the likes of Roger Ballen, Philip Toledano and Sim Chi Yin will be displayed in 11 different locations. This guiding idea of expanding the base of photography lovers is being put into action by bringing photography to open, public spaces including malls, universities and even slums. “We’re showing it at a school in a slum,” Katyal says. “They’ve told me they would never imagined that they would get to enjoy photography in this space. We’re …


Winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award announced at Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair

Yesterday marked the official opening of Unseen Photo Fair, the Amsterdam festival organised by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Platform A and Vandejong Creative Agency, with exhibitions, events and awards taking place all over the city. Beginning with a bang, the winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award has been announced, with Luxembourger photographer Sophie Jung receiving a project production fund of €10,000. The ING Unseen Talent Award is a joint initiative between Dutch financial institution ING and Unseen, providing an international platform for new Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch photography talent to present their work to an international audience. Jung was chosen from a shortlist of five finalists, who spent the past two months working on a photograph based on the theme ‘Who are we here for?’:  Lara Gasparotto, Olya Oleinic, Sébastien Bonin, Sophie Jung and Sjoerd Knibbeler. The jury was comprised of curatorial professionals from across the industry, including Frits Gierstberg (Curator, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam), Kaat Celis (former Chief of Photography, De Morgen and founder of visual management company Sluitertijd), Sanne ten Brink (Head Curator, ING Collection), Duncan Forbes (Director …


Transnistria Conglomerate © Anton Polyakov

Finalists revealed for top Boundaries prize at Zagreb’s Organ Vida photography festival

Organ Zida, the impressive new independent photography festival from Zagreb, Croatia,  has announced the ten finalists to compete in their main prize, orientated around the theme of Boundaries. Each of the finalist’s photography whose photography will be presented at the main festival exhibition, at the Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb from the 3rd to the 18th September 2015. The exhibition is the central tenant of a diverse offering of photography from the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans. Sorting through over 300 projects from 47 countries was no small feat for the international panel of judges, consisting of photography heavyweights such as internationally-acclaimed photographer Roger Ballen, editor of Aperture magazine Michael Famighetti, Dutch photographer and publisher Rob Hornstra, Italian photographer and former World Press Photo winner Alessandro Imbriaco, British photographer Hannah Starkey and Croatian academic and photographer Sandra Vitaljić, as well as BJP editor Simon Bainbridge. Rob Hornstra says of the judging process: “The way the finalists distinguish themselves is because they go beyond registration and make a personal interpretation of theme they are working on. There is …


Strangers in the light, 2009 © Catherine Balet

Noorderlicht Photofestival grapples with information overload

Founded in 1991, Noorderlicht is one of the more experienced heads of the European photography scene. The Dutch festival has a decidedly ‘current’ scope, aiming to address social discussions and processes as they play out. Growing out of the Noorderlicht Photogallery in Groningen, for the festival, “photography is a socially inspired medium” and this year’s main theme is as rich as it is relevant: ‘Data Rush.’ WikiLeaks, the NSA, Sony vs. North Korea — information is being siphoned off and redistributed on a staggering scale, and inspired by the inundating stream of words, images, videos and combinations therein, this year Noorderlicht is tackling the digital age. This year, half of the planet’s population will have access to the internet, and ‘the next billion’ are beginning to grapple with the repercussions of constant connectivity. While contemporary artists have explored ideas surrounding technology thoroughly in recent years, Noorderlicht is focusing on the sheer scale of information overload, and through the images, asks what effect it may have on us. “‘Online’ is such a drastic concern”, says Wim Melis, curator …


Unseen © Rien de Jager

Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair returns with new photography festival

Unseen burst onto the international photography scene in 2012, pitching itself as “a photography fair with a festival flair”. Organised by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, along with arts organisation Platform A and Vandejong Creative Agency, the fair is back for a fourth year, and this time it includes a festival called Unseen, with exhibitions and events, such as Magnum Contact Sheets, held in various locations across the city. Unseen Photo Fair champions emerging photographers alongside more established names, and newly commissioned work is a key component of the 2015 edition. Luke Norman and Nik Adam from Wandering Bears Collective have been commissioned to create a collaborative project with Charlie Engman, for example; each artist will make five images that will be reworked collaboratively and then put on show, to be presented in the Unseen Niches. Norman and Adam often rephotograph works by adding paint or other marks, and Engman often uses digital post-production and collage in his work. Another highlight is a new project by Peter Puklus, who was commissioned by Unseen to produce the official artwork for the …



Les Rencontres d’Arles 2015: Review

Markus Brunetti’s monumental series, Facades, is the closest thing you’ll get to a modern-day Grand Tour, capturing European cathedrals and churches in the kind of extraordinary detail that eludes even first-hand experience. Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin take their work to another level with Congo, and the exhibition is the best of Les Ateliers – every much as layered and ambitious as the book. Cosmos-Arles Books was a welcome addition to the festival proper, but it was disappointing that this year’s book awards featured the short list only. Markus Brunetti’s Facades In town, Another Language, featuring largely previously unseen (in the flesh – often literally) work by eight Japanese photographers, from Eiko Hosoe to one of the country’s newest stars, Daisuke Yokota, was the biggest hit of the festival. Though Masahisa Fukase’s obsessively captured pictures of his wife are slight compared to his best known work, The Ravens, made after their split – evidence that the darker the mood, the better it feeds the creative soul. Mathieu Chedid’s musical accompaniment brings out another side to …


What to see at Belfast Photo Festival

It sounds downright bonkers, but somehow it works. This year, Belfast Photo Festival director Michael Weir oversaw the creation of a to-scale replica of the famous DeLorean car from Back to the Future, crafted from wood and covered with A5 photographs printed onto brushed sheet metal panels. The sculpture, which was inspired by the work of Cyril Hatt but made by carpenter Jonathan Hickey and Robert Anderson, with photographs by Fergus Jordan, forms the centrepiece of the festival, and is on display outside Belfast City Hall. The reason for its creation is to mark the 35th anniversary of the DeLorean motor car, which was manufactured in Belfast, and because 2015 is the year the characters visited in Back to the Future Part II. It is also a fitting way to celebrate this year’s festival theme – photography and convergence – in this case showing how photography can produce interesting results when coupled with sculpture. Three editions in, Belfast Photo is starting to gather momentum. With guests this year including photographers Lorenzo Vitturi and Alec Soth, …


Change of course © Prasiit Sthapit

The only documentary photography festival in the Balkans launches Kickstsarter campaign

In only its seventh year, Organ Vida has become one of the most intriguing contemporary photography festivals in Europe. Founded as an non-profit NGO in 2009, it is the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans, taking place annually in Zagreb, Croatia, this September. While it has grown in stature—Roger Ballen, Rob Hornstra and Hannah Starkey are among the jury members this year—the team hasn’t forgotten its lo-fi roots. “In Croatia, photography wasn’t recognised as art,” says Marina Paulenka, co-founder and director of the festival. We weren’t part of an international community, we didn’t have many exhibitions, we didn’t have the platforms; we just want to make something here.” The team is frighteningly young—the oldest member hasn’t even turned 30—and draws from a pool of Croatian photographers, graphic designers and artists. The central focus of the program is the exhibition of the main finalists, but also includes lectures, round-table discussions, artist talks, creative workshops, portfolio reviews, film screenings, music and theatre performances. The Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, one of Zagreb’s largest galleries, will be the focus of …


BJP Staff