All posts filed under: Festivals


BJP Instagram Takeover: Lisa Barnard gets the inside track at Lianzhou Foto Festival

Documentary photographer Lisa Barnard will be taking over the BJP Instagram (@bjp1854) over the next few days to report from the Chinese festival. The photographic artist and Senior Lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales is exhibiting her project, Hyenas of the Battlefield, Machines in the Garden and will be sharing her experience at the festival. She’ll be posting images from in and around Guangzhou, her journey to Lianzhou and from the set up and events at the festival. As Barnard explains, her project is “a study into the ‘unholy alliance’ between the military, the entertainment industry and technology, and their coalescence around modern-day warfare.”     In recent years China has become an increasingly vital source of excellent contemporary photography, with photographers like Chen Xiaoyi, Jiehao Su and Chen Wei documenting how their country copes with global power shifting eastwards. As Wei told us in April, “I respond to what I see in China around me on a daily basis, both the good and the bad.” Lianzhou Foto Festival is a …


Still from the film Pumzi, 2009, written & directed by Wanuri Kahui

The Malian festival celebrating the diversity and vitality of African photography

Bamako Encounters, set up primarily to showcase African photography, had to wait a long time to celebrate its tenth edition. The festivities were initially scheduled for autumn 2013 – 20 years after French photographer Françoise Huguier began the initiative in the Malian capital. But in January 2012, insurgent groups began fighting for the independence of the Azawad region. Within two months, President Amadou Toumani Touré had been ousted but the rebels splintered as soon as they had declared victory. Islamist factions prevailed, imposing strict Sharia law in the region. Unable to bring the conflict to an end on its own, the Malian government called for foreign military support. France, once the colonial power, controversially got involved. Its forces rapidly regained control but guerilla attacks continued for months before a first peace deal was signed in June 2013. That agreement didn’t last but a fragile new accord was signed in June this year. The unrest prevented the Bamako Encounters team from staging the event, but this year they decided to take advantage of what looks like a more enduring …


© Kathy Ryan

François Hébel – after Arles, Bologna

“Whenever you see an exhibition here, make sure you look up first,” says François Hébel. We’re in the heart of one of the many Renaissance-era public buildings in Bologna. Frescos line the walls and ceilings, Madonnas and bambinis touching gods through partings in the clouds. The former director of Les Rencontres d’Arles has spent months in these lavish surroundings overseeing his latest venture, the second edition of the Foto/Industria Biennial of Industrial Photography. “The city is very special,” Hébel says. “My job is to try to match the work of the photographers with places such as this, and to provide a great variety of presentation with these incredible venues.” Hébel is artistic director of the biennial and his involvement with it is quite a coup. He has a bulging contacts book and an outstanding knowledge of contemporary photography – earned through his longstanding engagement with it – and has helped attract world- class talent. A huge projection of Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s large-format Manufactured Landscapes plays out in a huge, cathedral-like hall. Kathy Ryan, photography director of The New York …


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 …


BJP Staff