April Festivals Guide

Photography festival season continues into April with some exciting offerings: The World Press Photo Festival (Netherlands), Kyotographie (Japan), Capture Photography Festival (Canada), and Format Photography Festival (UK) are all on the calendar this coming month. Read our monthly guide to learn all about their public programs.

World Press Photo Festival / Amsterdam, Netherlands / 20 - 22 April

© Amber Bracken, from the series Standing Rock

The World Press Photo Festival is a three-day celebration of the best of visual journalism, bringing together leading photographers, editors, agencies, and visual storytellers from across the world. A festival pass (for day program 20/21/22 April - €85) will grant visitors access to the flagship WPP Exhibition, a showcase of all the prizewinning work from the 2017 WPP Contests, selected from 80,408 photos from 126 countries.

In other standout events, Stanley Greene – a founding member of NOOR Images – will present the headlining Sam Presser Lecture. "After his time as a member of the Black Panthers and anti-Vietnam War activist, an encounter with W. Eugene Smith turned his energies to photojournalism. In his 45 years of reporting since then, Stanley has become a distinctive and powerful voice for justice" say the organisers.

Other speakers include 2017 WPP Contest winners, Robin Hammond, Tom Jenkins, Mathieu Willcocks, Michael Vince Kim, Paula Bronstein, Jamal Taraqai, and Daniel Berehulak, in addition to Ruddy Roye (TIME’s Instagram Photographer of 2016), Daniella Zalcman (Founder of Women Photograph), Muhammed Muheisen (Associated Press Chief Photographer for the Middle East) and Buran Ozbilici, the winner of the 2017 World Press Photo of the Year. Learn more about the full program at festival.worldpressphoto.org.


Kyotographie / Kyoto, Japan / 15 April - 14 May

© Giada Ripa, from The Yokohama Project

The 5th edition of the Kyotographie International Photography Festival will open on 15 April, presenting a series of exhibitions held across Kyoto, each staged creatively in both traditional and contemporary cultural settings. The theme for this year is Love - "Love is all together passion, ecstasy, prayers; it is despair and sometimes madness, joy and hope, family - and much more. Love is what connects us to others and to nature. Through our program, we wanted to share some views of love with the diversity, the commitment and the intimacy of photographersʼ eyes" say Lucille Reyboz and Yusuke Nakanishi, the Co-founders and Directors of Kyotographie.

The primary exhibitions include The Songs of Mud, Chikako Yamashiro; The Yokohama Project 1867-2016, Giada Ripa; Falling Leaves, Akihito Yoshida; Not In Your Face, Susan Barnett; The elusive Chauvet - Pont-d’Arc Cave, Raphaël Dallaporta; The Eye of Love, René Groebli; Family Album / Love and Ecstasy, Isabel Muñoz; Between the Light and Darkness, Yan Kallen; and Somnyama Ngonyama, Zanele Muholi.

In the festival’s supporting events, Maria García Yelo (Director of PHotoEspaña), François Cheval (Curator), William A. Ewing (Curator, Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography), Yumi Goto (Independent Curator), and Yusuke Nakajima (Director of The Tokyo Art Book Fair) feature in a series of portfolio reviews, while both Zanele Muholi (visual activist, photographer, and educator) and Isabel Muñoz (photographer) will be hosting masterclasses. For further information, visit kyotographie.jp/en.


Capture Photography Festival / Vancouver, Canada / 1 - 28 April

© Melissa Renwick, from the series The Forgotten Ones

Launched back in 2013, Capture Photography Festival - held annually in Vancouver, Canada - is dedicated to showcasing challenging and thought-provoking photography from both local and international artists. This year’s edition will feature over 70 exhibitions at galleries and other cultural spaces throughout the city, together forming part of a rich public program that also includes installations, tours, films, artist talks, and a photobook fair.

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Cindy Mochizuki; Radial Systems, Marian Penner Bancroft; The Errand and the Epiphany, Jessie McNeil; The Canadians, Carlos M. Bonmatí; Silence in Schools, Luke Potter; Between Dreaming and Living, Vikky Alexander; There, There, Naveen Naqvi; Abstracts of Nature, Christopher James Guy; and a group exhibition displaying the News Photographers Association of Canada Annual Pictures of the Year Nominees are among the standout shows. Discover more at capturephotofest.com.


FORMAT International Photography Festival / Derby, UK / 24 March - 23 April

© Poulomi Basu, from the series A Ritual of Exile

The biennial FORMAT International Photography Festival, held in Derby, UK, is a celebration of the wealth of contemporary photographic practices. "Our programs feature everything from major conceptual works, participative projects, documentary and all that falls between categorisations, from the mobile phone to the archive" say the organisers. "We are concerned with what is happening right here, right now in the scene and beyond, whilst sharing and contributing to it" they continue.

This year’s edition delves into the theme of 'HABITAT', looking broadly at the environment, mobility, migrations, digital worlds, notions of home and displacement, and conflict and regeneration - concepts that explore our short and long-term impact on the world, both on local and global scales. The standout exhibitions this year include The Duke of Earl, Christopher Bethell; Feral Children, Julia Fullerton-Batten; The Crossing, Katrin Koenning; Being Queer, Feeling Muslim, Lia Darjes; A Ritual of Exile: Blood Speaks, Poulomi Basu; White Bear, Sheng Wen Lo; and Breathing Brass, Liz Hingley.

An extensive number of supporting events have also been organised to further enrich the visitors’ experience - conferences featuring an array of high-profile speakers including Hester Keijser, Lars Willumeit and Martin Parr; 360 degree photo walks; drop-in workshops with industry leaders, and portfolio reviews with over 45 selected photography experts are just some of the highlights. Learn more at formatfestival.com.

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