Founded in 1997 the Pingyao International Photography Festival is China’s most prestigious photo festival, featuring images from more than 50 countries each year in indoor and outdoor venues across the UNESCO-listed ancient city. This year it includes a huge exhibition called Distinctly, which is curated by Open Eye Gallery’s Tracy Marshall and which will travel to Merseyside in 2019 as one of the main exhibitions of LOOK International Photo Biennial.
Featuring work by 12 documentary photographers – Martin Parr, Chris Killip, Daniel Meadows, John Myers, Markéta Luskačová, Tish Murtha, Ken Grant, Paul Seawright, Niall McDiarmid, Robert Darch, Elaine Constantine, and Kirsty MacKay – the exhibition “takes a unique approach to the depiction of Britain and its distinct landscapes, industries, social and economic changes, cultural traditions, traits and events” over the last six decades says Marshall. “The exhibition looks at the gentle, the humorous, the starkness, the beauty, and the realities experienced and captured by the photographers around their lives living and working in Britain,” she adds.
The small but perfectly formed Polish festival returns, with an eclectic, innovative programme curated by UK artist and Photoworks magazine founder Gordon MacDonald that includes exhibitions on dancing, war and UFOs
“It starts with disenfranchised youth and not wanting to do what the generation before has done, but by taking the usual teenage angst and by creating a scene and a music and a language, they turn it into something much more powerful and culturally significant,” says Jim Stephenson, the founder of Miniclick and co-curator of the Behind The Beat show. Featuring work memorabilia collected from the scenes and work by nine photographers – Ken Russell, Gavin Watson, Derek Ridgers, Dean Chalkley (with creative director Harris Elliott), Stuart Griffiths, Paul Hallam, Ali Tollervey, Olivia Rose and Elaine Constantine – Behind The Beat focuses in on the fans and subcultures that have sprung up behind the music in Britain over the last 60 years. Including seemingly disparate groups, such as Teddy Girls, B-Boys, ravers and Skinheads, it draws out parallels between the different scenes, and also includes interviews Stephenson has done with people who were involved with them. “The way they talk is quite similar,” he tells BJP. “Whether they’re talking about [UK grime star] Stormzy or The Clash.” As Stephenson …