A Guide to July’s International Photography Festivals

Les Rencontres d'Arles, Cortona On The Move, PhotoIreleand, and Athens Photo are among the highlights of the rich program of international events you can enjoy this summer.

Les Rencontres d'Arles / Arles, France / 4 July to 25 September

Founded in 1970 by Arlesian photographer Lucien Clergue, writer Michel Tournier, and historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette, Les Rencontres d'Arles comes back under the theme "Visible or Invisible. A Summer Revealed" stating that artists are there to remind us what we do not want to see or hear.

This year’s program is constituted by a total of forty exhibitions in Arles, and fifteen outside of the town as part of the Grand Arles Express. The edition is also marked by the combination of photography and live performance, counting with the participation of artists such as Noémie Goudal, whose practice is rooted in the creation of immersive spaces through image-based practices. The show A Feminist Avant-Garde presenting photographs and performances of the 1970s from the verbund collection, Vienna. Susan Meiselas & Marta Gentilucci's Cartographies Du Corps that traces a map of the skin and the gestures of aging women that speak about engaged lives, still filled with energy, full of beauty. Lee Miller who is not only a war photographer but also a studio professional. Norwegian-Nigerian artist Frida Orupabo who uses collages to dismember and then reassembles bodies, especially those of black women, to denounce the brutality of how they have been depicted in painting throughout history.

Among the emerging artists presented by galleries worldwide taking part in the Louis Roederer Discovery Award, Brazilian aritsts Gal Cipreste Marinelli & Rodrigo Masina Pinheiro and Ateliê Oriente presents GH. Gal and Hiroshima, a work that won the PhMuseum 2021 Photography Grant Main prize.

The festival will assign several prizes including the Discovery Award, Audience Award, Author’s Book Award, and Photo-Text Book Prize. Find out more and get tickets on their website.

Cortona On The Move / Cortona, Italy / 14 July to 2 October

© Focus Blur

Founded in 2011, Cortona on the Move has evolved into one of the leading photographic evens in the industry. It is composed of a dynamic program formed by portfolio reviews and a large exhibition line-up showcasing international photographers. Me, Myself and Eye is the theme of this 2022 edition, the first one under the direction of Veronica Nicolardi and Paolo Woods. As explained by Woods, the festival will explore the medium’s outer limits, and unearth its buried stories. Their aim is to explore how photography engages in soul searching, never escaping controversy yet always verging towards the poetic.

Among the exhibitions highlights, Let the Sun Beheaded Be where American photographer Gregory Halpern focuses on the Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe; Déjà View, a unique visual dialogue between the work of British photographer Martin Parr and The Anonymous Project, an art initiative founded in 2017 by Lee Shulman to gather and conserve color slides from the late 1930s to the mid-1980s, taken by amateur photographers around the world. I DO, a selection of wedding photographers from 4 continents to remind us how wedding photographe is treated as the lowest caste in the photography world, deemed too commercial and not sufficiently artistic, even if wedding photographers are the creators of a personal and collective memory that closely mirrors the society where they operate.

The festival opening weekend is enriched by a great group of experts you can book your portfolio reviews with, and the summer school in partnership with Canon. Learn more and book here.

PhotoIreland / Dublin, Ireland / 7 July to 28 August

Under the title Opening The Gates, the 13th edition of PhotoIreland presents the most comprehensive overview of the History and Practice of Photography in Ireland to date, running from 7 July to 28 August 2022 in various locations, having as the main venue Printworks at Dublin Castle

The main exhibition Images Are All We Have traces the thematic development of the discipline and contextualises the historical background, bringing together the diverse and socially engaged set of contemporary art practices that define Irish Photography today. This survey exhibition on the discipline involves artists spanning several generations, practices, and backgrounds, and will include video installations by Alan Butler and Eamonn Doyle, alongside a screening room presenting a schedule of video works. The extensive presentation is accompanied by an exhibition On the Irish Photobook, a reading room providing the broadest presentation of Irish photobooks, drawn from the PhotoIreland Collection as much as others both public and private. PhotoIreland frames this ambitious exhibition within the second instalment of the Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland — a public-facing research project run by PhotoIreland since 2019 that aims to investigate the ideal prototype space to actively engage with Visual Culture and Critical Thinking today

Five more exhibitions complement the official offer. Two group shows, New Irish Works and RADAR, plus three solo shows premiering new work by Daragh Soden, Letizia Lopreiato, and Brian Magee. Moreover, The Critical Academy provides a series of Think Tanks looking at historical developments from Photo History to Arts practice, researching a Photography museum of the 21st century, investigating Empathy in Photography, and strengthening the sector with conversations around Artists rights. All this alongside engaging talks, curatorial and artists tours, and many other events. The festival will also release new online resources that will broaden access to certain features of the festival. Learn more on their website

ATHENS PHOTO FESTIVAL 2022 / Athens, Greece / June 8 - July 24 

Athens Photo Festival is a leading international festival dedicated to photography and visual culture. This year it celebrates its 35 years anniversary. The main program will occupy all the exhibition spaces of the Benaki Museum, covering over 3,000 square meters, and other locations across the city

At the core of the Festival is a multi-layered program of events and initiatives, including learning activities, networking and talent development opportunities, community outreach, and public programs. The highlights of the events program include one-to-one portfolio reviews, open-air screening nights, a summer program for kids and teens, weekend workshops, and a training program for emerging visual artists. 

The exhibitions of the festival are organized in three categories: Main, Young Photographers, and Satellite. The main exhibitions are held at the Benaki Museum, presenting featured artists selected through an open call from earlier this year, some of the main names include Marisol Mendez, Elena Helfrecht, and Janis Rafa. In the spirit of supporting Greek emerging talents, the section Young Photographers will exhibit a selection of young talents also at the Benaki Museum, among them, Eva Stamatiou, Thanos Thiriou, and Aggelos Barai. The Satellite exhibitions are six in total. Among them stands out the show at EOS gallery curated by Eleni Mouzakiti on behalf of The Provinces Platform, showcasing the series Paggaio by Soti Tyrologou.

To find out more about the program and venues visit their website

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Also Open this month: 

Chania International Photo Festival / Chania, Greece / July 6 - 12  

Chania International Photo Festival was created by Blank Wall Gallery, with the aim to gather more than 400 photographers from around the world. The festival shows photography across 16 different categories, from Fine Art to documentary and micro photography. The Festival offers different activities including nights of photography hosting workshops, presentations of debut projects by the photographers, talks, and much more. To find out the details of the program visit their website.  

EXP.22 Experimental Photofestival / Barcelona, Spain / July 20 - 24  

Experimental Photofestival is a non-profit cultural association that aims to create, promote and disseminate experimental photography in all its forms and for photographers of all levels. The festival begins on July 19, offering a series of workshops and conferences with photographers from across the world. Each ticket includes participation in different activities of the festival. Find out more on their website

PhotoESPAÑA / Madrid, Spain / until 28 August

PHotoESPAÑA returns to address documentary photography in different forms. Doing so through a large program consisting of 120 exhibitions and 442 photographers and visual artists, plus professional programs and public activities. Vicent Todolí and Sandra Guimarães are this year’s invited curators, under the title Sculpting Reality, based on research into the collections of the Per Amor a l'Art Collection. Furthermore, the lineup of exhibitions will include, 'Híbridos' (Hybrids), an exhibition showcasing the works of the photographers selected by PHotoESPAÑA, and an exhibition that will include the works of Kati Horna and Margaret Michaelis. To find out more about the extensive program visit their website

Les Femmes S’Exposent / Houlgate, France / until 4 September

The French festival Les Femmes S'Exposen is entirely dedicated to professional women photographers (all categories). Its vocation is to show their growing contribution to the world of photography and the media, to make their work visible. This year the festival has a particular focus on Lebanon looking at the strength of their culture and artistic effervescence. The festival also honours Normandy and in particular the city of Houlgate, to find out more about their program visit their website

La Gacilly Photo Festival / La Gacilly, France / until 30 September

This year’s festival program will run between 1 June and 30 September. As per the traditional format of the festival, each edition focuses on two main themes, on the one hand, it focuses on the contemporary creation of one specific country or continent, this year on Afghanistan and Iran through Visions of the East. On the other hand, it explores environmental and social issues, in this edition shown on two program features called The World of Tomorrow 2022 and Creation 2022.  Discover more on their website

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Check out our festivals page to get a complete view of what's coming up on the photography calendar over the next few months.

© Mitch Epstein
i

© Mitch Epstein

A Guide to July’s International Photography Festivals
i

Les Rencontres d'Arles / Arles, France / 4 July to 25 September© Mitch EpsteinFounded in 1970 by Arlesian photographer Lucien Clergue, writer Michel Tournier, and historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette, Les Rencontres d'Arles comes back under the theme "Visible or Invisible. A Summer Revealed" stating that artists are there to remind us what we do not want to see or hear.This year’s program is constituted by a total of forty exhibitions in Arles, and fifteen outside of the town as part of the Grand Arles Express. The edition is also marked by the combination of photography and live performance, counting with the participation of artists such as Noémie Goudal, whose practice is rooted in the creation of immersive spaces through image-based practices. The show A Feminist Avant-Garde presenting photographs and performances of the 1970s from the verbund collection, Vienna. Susan Meiselas & Marta Gentilucci's Cartographies Du Corps that traces a map of the skin and the gestures of aging women that speak about engaged lives, still filled with energy, full of beauty. Lee Miller who is not only a war photographer but also a studio professional. Norwegian-Nigerian artist Frida Orupabo who uses collages to dismember and then reassembles bodies, especially those of black women, to denounce the brutality of how they have been depicted in painting throughout history.Among the emerging artists presented by galleries worldwide taking part in the Louis Roederer Discovery Award, Brazilian aritsts Gal Cipreste Marinelli & Rodrigo Masina Pinheiro and Ateliê Oriente presents GH. Gal and Hiroshima, a work that won the PhMuseum 2021 Photography Grant Main prize.The festival will assign several prizes including the Discovery Award, Audience Award, Author’s Book Award, and Photo-Text Book Prize. Find out more and get tickets on their website.Cortona On The Move / Cortona, Italy / 14 July to 2 October© Focus BlurFounded in 2011, Cortona on the Move has evolved into one of the leading photographic evens in the industry. It is composed of a dynamic program formed by portfolio reviews and a large exhibition line-up showcasing international photographers. Me, Myself and Eye is the theme of this 2022 edition, the first one under the direction of Veronica Nicolardi and Paolo Woods. As explained by Woods, the festival will explore the medium’s outer limits, and unearth its buried stories. Their aim is to explore how photography engages in soul searching, never escaping controversy yet always verging towards the poetic.Among the exhibitions highlights, Let the Sun Beheaded Be where American photographer Gregory Halpern focuses on the Caribbean archipelago of Guadeloupe; Déjà View, a unique visual dialogue between the work of British photographer Martin Parr and The Anonymous Project, an art initiative founded in 2017 by Lee Shulman to gather and conserve color slides from the late 1930s to the mid-1980s, taken by amateur photographers around the world. I DO, a selection of wedding photographers from 4 continents to remind us how wedding photographe is treated as the lowest caste in the photography world, deemed too commercial and not sufficiently artistic, even if wedding photographers are the creators of a personal and collective memory that closely mirrors the society where they operate.The festival opening weekend is enriched by a great group of experts you can book your portfolio reviews with, and the summer school in partnership with Canon. Learn more and book here.PhotoIreland / Dublin, Ireland / 7 July to 28 August© Daragh SodenUnder the title Opening The Gates, the 13th edition of PhotoIreland presents the most comprehensive overview of the History and Practice of Photography in Ireland to date, running from 7 July to 28 August 2022 in various locations, having as the main venue Printworks at Dublin Castle. The main exhibition Images Are All We Have traces the thematic development of the discipline and contextualises the historical background, bringing together the diverse and socially engaged set of contemporary art practices that define Irish Photography today. This survey exhibition on the discipline involves artists spanning several generations, practices, and backgrounds, and will include video installations by Alan Butler and Eamonn Doyle, alongside a screening room presenting a schedule of video works. The extensive presentation is accompanied by an exhibition On the Irish Photobook, a reading room providing the broadest presentation of Irish photobooks, drawn from the PhotoIreland Collection as much as others both public and private. PhotoIreland frames this ambitious exhibition within the second instalment of the Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland — a public-facing research project run by PhotoIreland since 2019 that aims to investigate the ideal prototype space to actively engage with Visual Culture and Critical Thinking todayFive more exhibitions complement the official offer. Two group shows, New Irish Works and RADAR, plus three solo shows premiering new work by Daragh Soden, Letizia Lopreiato, and Brian Magee. Moreover, The Critical Academy provides a series of Think Tanks looking at historical developments from Photo History to Arts practice, researching a Photography museum of the 21st century, investigating Empathy in Photography, and strengthening the sector with conversations around Artists rights. All this alongside engaging talks, curatorial and artists tours, and many other events. The festival will also release new online resources that will broaden access to certain features of the festival. Learn more on their website. ATHENS PHOTO FESTIVAL 2022 / Athens, Greece / June 8 - July 24 © Marisol MendezAthens Photo Festival is a leading international festival dedicated to photography and visual culture. This year it celebrates its 35 years anniversary. The main program will occupy all the exhibition spaces of the Benaki Museum, covering over 3,000 square meters, and other locations across the cityAt the core of the Festival is a multi-layered program of events and initiatives, including learning activities, networking and talent development opportunities, community outreach, and public programs. The highlights of the events program include one-to-one portfolio reviews, open-air screening nights, a summer program for kids and teens, weekend workshops, and a training program for emerging visual artists. The exhibitions of the festival are organized in three categories: Main, Young Photographers, and Satellite. The main exhibitions are held at the Benaki Museum, presenting featured artists selected through an open call from earlier this year, some of the main names include Marisol Mendez, Elena Helfrecht, and Janis Rafa. In the spirit of supporting Greek emerging talents, the section Young Photographers will exhibit a selection of young talents also at the Benaki Museum, among them, Eva Stamatiou, Thanos Thiriou, and Aggelos Barai. The Satellite exhibitions are six in total. Among them stands out the show at EOS gallery curated by Eleni Mouzakiti on behalf of The Provinces Platform, showcasing the series Paggaio by Soti Tyrologou.To find out more about the program and venues visit their website--------------Also Open this month: Chania International Photo Festival / Chania, Greece / July 6 - 12  Chania International Photo Festival was created by Blank Wall Gallery, with the aim to gather more than 400 photographers from around the world. The festival shows photography across 16 different categories, from Fine Art to documentary and micro photography. The Festival offers different activities including nights of photography hosting workshops, presentations of debut projects by the photographers, talks, and much more. To find out the details of the program visit their website.  EXP.22 Experimental Photofestival / Barcelona, Spain / July 20 - 24  Experimental Photofestival is a non-profit cultural association that aims to create, promote and disseminate experimental photography in all its forms and for photographers of all levels. The festival begins on July 19, offering a series of workshops and conferences with photographers from across the world. Each ticket includes participation in different activities of the festival. Find out more on their website. PhotoESPAÑA / Madrid, Spain / until 28 AugustPHotoESPAÑA returns to address documentary photography in different forms. Doing so through a large program consisting of 120 exhibitions and 442 photographers and visual artists, plus professional programs and public activities. Vicent Todolí and Sandra Guimarães are this year’s invited curators, under the title Sculpting Reality, based on research into the collections of the Per Amor a l'Art Collection. Furthermore, the lineup of exhibitions will include, 'Híbridos' (Hybrids), an exhibition showcasing the works of the photographers selected by PHotoESPAÑA, and an exhibition that will include the works of Kati Horna and Margaret Michaelis. To find out more about the extensive program visit their website. Les Femmes S’Exposent / Houlgate, France / until 4 SeptemberThe French festival Les Femmes S'Exposen is entirely dedicated to professional women photographers (all categories). Its vocation is to show their growing contribution to the world of photography and the media, to make their work visible. This year the festival has a particular focus on Lebanon looking at the strength of their culture and artistic effervescence. The festival also honours Normandy and in particular the city of Houlgate, to find out more about their program visit their website. La Gacilly Photo Festival / La Gacilly, France / until 30 SeptemberThis year’s festival program will run between 1 June and 30 September. As per the traditional format of the festival, each edition focuses on two main themes, on the one hand, it focuses on the contemporary creation of one specific country or continent, this year on Afghanistan and Iran through Visions of the East. On the other hand, it explores environmental and social issues, in this edition shown on two program features called The World of Tomorrow 2022 and Creation 2022.  Discover more on their website. --------------Check out our festivals page to get a complete view of what's coming up on the photography calendar over the next few months.

© Daragh Soden
i

© Daragh Soden

© Marisol Mendez
i

© Marisol Mendez