25 May 2017

June Festivals Guide

25 May 2017 - Written by Simon Hall

In our festival round-up for June we feature Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland), Copenhagen Photo Festival (Denmark), PHotoEspaña (Spain), Belfast Photo Festival (Northern Ireland), and FotoFestival Naarden (Netherlands). Read on to learn about their exhibitions and supporting events.

Fotofestiwal / Lodz, Poland / 1 - 11 June

© Dominika Gęsicka, from the series, This is not real life

Fotofestiwal Lodz was established in 2001 as a spontaneous initiative of students and lecturers. Since then, the festival has transformed into a leading forum of discussion about art and society; an annual meeting place for photographers, curators, and editors from around the world.

This year, under the theme Can you imagine?, Joan Fontcuberta, Augustin Rebetez, Noémie Goudal, and Martin Kollar present four different projects that merge fiction and reality in order to question the credibility of the medium. Together they “tell us about the non-material reality or direct our attention to the absurdities of every-day life.”

The main exhibition program also includes the finalists of Fotofestiwal’s Grand Prix competition - Other ways of knowing, Alexandra Lethbridge; Sinai Park, Andrea & Magda; This is not real life, Dominika Gęsicka; Hallucination, Zeng Ge; Oobanken, Jerome Ming; Make a wish, Loulou d’Aki; Untitled Syria Project, Oliver Tooke; Lviv - God’s Will, Viacheslav Poliakov; Most Were Silent, Vittorio Mortarotti & Anush Hamzehian; and Flashbacks, Wojciech Grzędziński.

The festival is rounded-up by a series of installations; audiovisual presentations; and portfolio reviews featuring such influential industry figures as Aga Dwernicka (Director of the Krakow Photomonth Festival), Arianna Rinaldo (artistic director of Cortona On the Move), Clement Saccomani (Managing director of NOOR), and Nela Eggenberger (Editor-in-chief of EIKON). Find out more at

Copenhagen Photo Festival / Copenhagen, Denmark / 1 - 11 June

© Mario Wezel, from the series, Do you sometimes dream of America?

For 11 days at the start of June, Copenhagen Photography Festival – the largest photo event in Scandinavia – will present a series of exhibitions and events that together expose some of the most thought-provoking contemporary image-makers.

The festival’s hub, the purpose-built Photo City, will host 12 shows in a number of unconventional settings - inside shipping containers, on building facades, and in an old transformed station. In Quarta Persona / In Fourth Person, Martin Errichiello and Filippo Menichetti; How is Life?, Hannes Jung; Nord, Sanne Vils Axelsen and Josee Schryer; Revelations, Christian Vium; Where is home? Observing the disappearing past, Kiên Hoàng Lê; Do You Sometimes Dream of America?, Mario Wezel; Portrait of a House, Ingi Joensen; On the Same Latitude, Ida Arentoft and Simon McAuley; and The Goddess Guide, Jana Romanova are the standout offerings.

A packed program composed of guided walking tours, panel discussions, Insta-Walks, workshops, and debates will also take place in the Photo City. The Royal Library and National Museum of Photography have also organised a full-day seminar with local and international researchers, experts, and professional photographers. Learn more about the events and activities at

PHotoEspaña / Madrid, Spain / 31 May - 27 August

© Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, from the series, Slant Rhymes

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, PHotoEspaña is a dynamic showcase of contemporary photography and visual culture telling stories with international narratives. Under the directorship of María García Yelo, this latest installment reviews the past two decades of photography and looks ahead to what the future may bring. “The festival is part of a changing world” the organisers declare. “In these years, photography has undergone massive developments. The digital world has given a new dimension both to Art and to the way of communicating it and of presenting itself in society” they add.

The main exhibitions include Mathematics, Peter Fraser; Cuba, Elliott Erwitt; Little Black Dress, Yolanda Domínguez; Watkins, The Landscapes of the United States; The Best Photobooks of the Year; Office Romance, Kathy Ryan; Barro Rojo, Javier Marquerie; 1,800 Millimetres, Emi Anrakuji; Introspective, Roger Ballen; José Manuel Ferrater, Portrait and Fashion Photographs 1980-2011; Life in Motion, Christian Voigt; and Slant Rhymes, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb.

Running in parallel, Trasatlántica – the festival’s forum of cross-cultural dialogue – has collaborated with the Spanish Agency for Development to present a number of activities and initiatives that promote and disseminate exchanges between Iberian-American experts and photographers. A series of workshops, open-air projections, photo walks, masterclasses, and roundtable discussions complete the program. Discover more at

Belfast Photo Festival / Belfast, Northern Ireland / 1 - 30 June

© Juno Calypso, from the series, The Honeymoon Suite

Launched back in 2011, the Belfast Photo Festival has emerged as one of the premier events of its kind in the United Kingdom, celebrating some of the finest local and international contemporary photography across more than 30 museums, independent galleries, and public venues.

Free Now, Pierre Liebaert; After, Chen Shu-Chen; Je t’aime moi aussi, Oliver Fermariello; Project Cleansweep, Dara McGrath; Just Innocent Modernisation, Matthew Gordon; The Honeymoon Suite, Juno Calypso; the RPS 159th International Print Exhibition; and Fashion, Blurred Lines: A Matter of Attitude, a group exhibition curated by Diana Edkins, are the standout shows this year.

In the program of supporting events, UK based photographer, Lewis Bush delivers an artist talk on power and the ways it is created and contested; a group panel comprised of Ronojoy Dam, Ryan Fitzgibbon, Ruth McCarthy, and Anthony Luvera will discuss the role photography has played in our collective view of gender and sexuality; Erik Vroons of GUP Magazine will share his expertise on how to take a project to the next level; and BPF has partnered with Unseen Photo Fair to present a three-day workshop where participants can learn how to make their own zine. Learn more at

FotoFestival Naarden / Naarden, Netherlands / 20 May - 18 June

© Newsha Tavakolian, from the series, Öcalan’s Angels

Through a dynamic cultural program exploring multiple themes, FotoFestival Naarden offers a reflection upon the current state of autonomous photography. While the previous five editions have focused predominantly on Dutch photography, recent worldwide social, cultural, and political developments have led the curators to pay attention to international narratives.

The theme for 2017 is Right Here, Right Now. “What do we do when we are faced with breathtaking beauty? Do we capture it or enjoy the moment? What keeps us in our experience if we are just busy trying to take photos? Are the innumerable photographic images not just causing us to just forget faster?” – these are the questions posed by the curators around which the festival is centred.

Restricted Areas, Danila Tkachenko; I Have a Dream, Chris de Bode; Casa Bak, Carla Kogelman; Safari Club, David Chancellor; The Drawer, Emilie Hudig; Road of Bones, Jacob Aue Sobol; Wild West Tech, Laura Morton; and Öcalan’s Angels, Newsha Tavakolian are the featured shows this year. They are complemented by a dynamic and extensive supporting program that includes portfolio reviews, guided tours, lectures, competitions, book reviews, and educational projects. Visit for further information.


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Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

8 minutes

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