August Festivals Guide

August is an exciting month on the photography festival calendar. It features Obscura Festival in Penang, Malaysia, one of the premier photography events in South-East Asia; Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan, France, the international festival of photojournalism; and Landskrona Foto Festival, an emerging celebration of photography in Sweden. Read our monthly round-up to learn more about their programs and exhibitors.

Obscura Festival (Penang, Malaysia) August 19 - 26

Obscura-Paolo-Woods-Gabriele-Galimberti.© Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti. (Image taken from The Heavens Annual Report project)

Now firmly established as one of the premier photography forums in Asia, Obscura Festival celebrates the work of both local and international photographers in an outstanding program of exhibitions and slideshows. “The festival is rooted in education and understanding” say the organisers – it aims to explore the different aspects of photography in the twenty-first century, and provide a platform for the people of Malaysia to come together and engage in critical discussions about the photographic image. Standout shows this year include Talia Herman, West Country; Eiffel Chong, Royal Malaysian Police; Ikuru Kuwajima, Balkash; Alisa Resnik, The Immense Night; Gihan Tubbeh, Vertigo; and the One Percent Show curated by Myles Little. A number of fringe events will complement the exhibitions, with leading practitioners in the industry set to host a series of talks and workshops.


Visa pour l'Image (Perpignan, France) August 27 - September 11

Brent-Stirton.jpg#asset:797© Brent Stirton, from the series Ivory Wars

For two weeks over August and September, Perpignan, France will play host to the year’s biggest celebration of photojournalism, Visa pour l’Image. An outstanding collection of exhibitions will go on display across the city; each one drawing public attention to the great concerns of our time – war and conflict, the environment, religious extremism, and social phenomena. Primary exhibitions include The Children of Chernobyl Have Grown Up (Niels Ackermann); Zika Virus (Felipe Dana); Kurdistan: the Other Iraq (Yuri Kozyrev); Escaping from ISIS (Frédéric Lafargue); The Last and The Lost – The Brave Nomads of Iran (Catalina Martin-Chico); War in Peace (Aris Messinis); Fractured State (Dominic Nahr); and Ivory Wars (Brent Stirton). Visitors can also enjoy the festival’s signature evening screenings in the beautiful medieval enclosure of Campo Santo. The program features a chronological review of news stories from the previous twelve month, reports on the scourges of the twenty-first century, and underreported issues that have never made the mainstream media.


Landskrona Foto Festival (Landskrona, Sweden) August 19 - 28

Yellow-River.jpg#asset:803© Zhang Kechun, from the series The Yellow River

Since the launch of its first edition four years ago, Landskrona Foto has emerged as one of the most important events on the photography calendar in Scandanavia. Under the artistic direction of prominent French curator Christian Caujolle and gallery owner Jenny Nordquist, the festival aims to open up the local public to international photography. The exhibition line-up this year is once again varied and dynamic – the work of more than 150 photographers will be showcased in a series of cultural venues across Landskrona – “renowned artists [will be] exhibited alongside new, promising names, and many of the pictures on display have never been shown in Sweden or Scandinavia before. We take photography seriously” proclaim the curators. Zhang Kechun, Pétur Thomsen, Anna Katharina Scheidegger, Svetlana Khachaturova, Ruth Brennan, and Cristina de Middel are among the featured artists. A number of seminars, photobook fairs, and portfolio reviews complete the program.


Gibellina Photoroad (Gibellina, Italy) Closes August 31

Daesung-Lee.jpg#asset:811© Daesung Lee, from the series On the Shore of a Vanishing Island

Held on the island of Sicily, Italy, Gibellina Photoroad looks to promote the “ability to make, think, and narrate” through a program of exhibitions dedicated to photography and visual art. Under the curatorial direction of Arianna Catania, the theme this year is ‘Disorder.’ “This is a journey through the big issues that make our history, through the chaotic devices of contemporary creativity. In this continual tension between destruction and reconstruction, breakdowns and innovation, necessity and chance, cities and landscapes live and transform, new ideas are born, social structures change, and communication is renewed.” The main shows are Italian quakes and other diseases (Olivo Barbieri); Origin (Sarker Protick); Sinai Park (Andrea and Magda); On the Shore of a Vanishing Island (Daesung Lee); From There to Here (Giulio Piscitelli); and Allure of the Seas (Maria Vittoria Trovato).


Cortona On The Move (Cortona, Italy) July 14 - October 2

Anna-Filipova-Cortona.jpg#asset:640:url© Anna Filipova, from the series Research at the End of the World

Founded back in 2011, Cortona On The Move international photography festival has developed into one of the leading events of its kind, annually attracting prominent photographers, journalists, amateurs, and enthusiasts from around the world. “The object of the festival is to celebrate a Journey: be it real or imaginary, shocking or revolutionary, a voyage of self-discovery or an exposé of the human condition” say the organizers. The main exhibition highlights this year include It’s What I Do, Lynsey Addario; Frontcountry, Lucas Foglia; Futuristic Archaeology, Daesung Lee; Research at the End of the World, Anna Filipova; Working Holiday Visa: Australia, Gabriele Duchi; and The Longings of the Others, Sandra Hoyn. A series of portfolio reviews and workshops – hosted by such renowned photographers as Larry Towell, Darcy Padilla, and Simona Ghizzoni – complete the program of events.

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