29 September 2017

October's Best Photo Festivals

29 September 2017 - Written by Simon Hall

Foto Istanbul (Turkey), DOCfield Barcelona (Spain), and Photoreporter Festival (France) all feature in our guide to the most important festivals opening their doors this coming month.

Foto Istanbul / Istanbul, Turkey / 30 September - 22 October

© Luisa Dörr, from the series, Maysa

From 30 September to 22 October, Foto Istanbul will transform everyday streets and deserted corners of the Turkish capital into places of connection through the collective experience of art. Embracing the classic and the modern, emerging talents and the masters, the festival is a celebration of cultural diversity.

In the exhibition program, Luisa Dörr explores what it means to be a young black girl in a Brazilian society that glorifies white beauty; Omar Victor Diop delves into and exposes less spoken narratives of the role of Africans out of Africa; Krista Wortendyke examines historically significant images of sanctioned violence from around the world in her series, Interventions; Alejandro Martinez Velez documents the 1,500 men from Afghanistan and Pakistan living in abandoned warehouses next to Belgrade’s Central Station under fear of deportation; and Alejandro Chaskielberg observes how people live and work in the Paraná Delta where the preponderant element is water.

The public program this year features cyanotype and Lomography workshops, A Master Talks series featuring Alex Timmermans, roundtable discussions, book signings, portfolio reviews, a performance with Alberto Sanchez, and a number of artist talks hosted by Hubert Blanz, Meeri Koutaniemi, Annabel Oosteweeghel, Christian Flores Michel, Eddo Hartmann, and Marieke van der Velden, among others. Go to for more information.

DOCfield Barcelona / Barcelona, Spain / 19 October - 30 November

© Ricard Garcia Vilanova

Organised by the Photographic Social Vision Foundation, DOCfield Barcelona is committed to exploring the social value of documentary photography and photojournalism. The theme this year revolves around human mobility, posing searching questions that aim to inspire reflection: why do we move? How does the journey transform our character? Is human mobility a condition, a privilege, or a necessity? “The journey in all its forms, be it exodus or diaspora, migration or tourist travelling, urban movement or exploration, involves potential encounters with others and also with oneself. In this way, we see the journey as transit or as a “transitory” displacement of personal identity” say the curators.

The 10 official exhibitions will be hosted by varying cultural venues across the city including Museu Marítim de Barcelona, Palau Robert, Espai Mercè Sala, Universitat de Barcelona, FNAC Triangle, CC Pati Llimona, and Arts Santa Mònica. Guided tours, audiovisual screenings, and photobook awards complete the program along with the newly introduced DOCfield PRO, a working day for professionals featuring presentations and roundtable discussions. Oscar Camps (Pro Activa Open Arms), Danielle Villasana (#EverydayAfrica and #EverydayEverywhere), Marcos Garcia (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), Jonas Sala (Verkami), David Campbell (World Press Photo), and Gabriela Masfarré (Ideas for change) are among the speakers. Learn more at

Photoreporter Festival / Saint-Brieuc, France / 7 October - 5 November

© Laia Abril, from the series, Menstruation Myths

Founded by photojournalist Franck Vogel back in 2011, Photoreporter Festival was conceived as a platform to bring awareness to the valuable contribution photoreporters make to our understanding of contemporary society. The project helps photographers to realise their mission and to enlighten us, as citizens, about all that is beautiful, subtle, frightening and complex in the world.

Curated this year by Eefje Ludwig and Reem Saouma, the eleven stories on display tell us how people and communities face the daily challenges of life. Together they reflect the current state of mind and invite us to take a step aside, and refine our critical sense. Among them, Laia Abril addresses the universal stigma of menstruation and its impact on women around the globe; Simona Ghizzoni looks at the daily life of adolescents from Scampia in Naples, a marginalised neighbourhood in southern Italy striving for a better future; Justyna Mielnikiewicz focuses on unmarried parents who voluntarily choose single parenthood; Alessandro Penso highlights the living conditions of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Europe following the agreement between Turkey and the EU; and Gael Turine documents life along the separation wall in Lima dividing one of the largest slums from a gated community inhabited by millionaires. For more information about the complete program, go to



PhEST / Monopoli, Italy / 7 September - 29 October

Held in the city of Monopoli on the southeastern coast of Italy, PhEST – See Beyond the Sea is dedicated to showcasing photography that responds to issues relating to the Mediterranean countries. Osborne Macharia, Eddy van Wessel, César Dezfuli, Michał Siarek, Jean-Marc Caimi, and Valentina Piccinni are among the exhibiting photographers.


FIFV Festival Internacional de Fotografía Valparaíso / Valparaíso, Chile / 27 October - 4 November

FIFV is a festival of photographic creation. Every year, participating photographers are invited to create new series of work within the framework of residencies and workshops, the common theme of which is to understand the world of Valparaíso. Guests this year include Walter Astrada, Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo, and PHmuseum curator Nicolas Janowski.


Festival della Fotografia Etica / Lodi, Italy / 7 - 29 October

Since it first opened its doors, Festival della Fotografia Etica (Festival of Ethical Photography) has given particular attention to the use of photography by organisations that deal with social issues. The main objective is getting the audience closer to ethical content by using photography as a communication and learning tool. Fabio Bucciarelli, Mads Nissen, Oscar B. Castillo, Raffaele Petralla, and Karim El Maktafi all feature this year.


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Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

6 minutes

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