25 August 2016

September Festivals Guide

25 August 2016 - Written by Simon Hall

The photography festival calendar is packed full during the month of September. It features Gazebook Sicily Photobook Festival in Punta Secca, Italy; Festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland; Unseen Photo Festival and Fair in Amsterdam; Paraty em Foco in Brazil; Photoville in Brooklyn, New York; and a whole lot more. Read our monthly round-up to learn all about their programs and international guests.

Gazebook Sicily Photobook Festival (Punta Secca, Italy) September 9-10-11

© Pierre Liebaert, from the series Free Now

Looking at the rich program of exhibitions, workshops and talks, it is hard to believe that this is just the second edition of this young and exciting festival, dedicated predominantly to photobooks. Martin Parr, Colin Pantall, Laura El-Tantawy, Olivia Arthur and Nicolò Degiorgis are among the guests who will attend the festival in Punta Secca (Italy) to give talks, and, in some cases, offer you a lemonade. There will be 9 exhibitions including Free Now by Pierre Liebaert, the winner of the PHM 2016 Grant New Generation Prize; Stranger by Olivia Arthur; and the First/Dummy Book Table, curated by Photobook Bristol and IC Visual Lab. The festival will also host the Sicilian debut of Slideluck, an online platform dedicated to multimedia projects that will be showcasing 20 projects focused on photobooks. To learn more visit

Festival Images (Vevey Switzerland) September 10 - October 2

© Laia Abril, from the series Lobismuller

From September 10 to October 2, Festival Images will transform the small Swiss town of Vevey into an open-air gallery of contemporary photography – building façades, the lakes and parks, local museums, and a whole host of other venues will showcase original exhibitions by international artists and up-and-coming talents. Visitors can discover, free of charge, more than 70 projects – some displayed in monumental format – by artists from 15 countries each responding to the theme of ‘Immersion.’ Exhibition highlights include Cristina de Middel, The Perfect Man; Michel Huneault, Vues de Tohoku; Graciela Iturbide, Homenaje; Martin Parr, Think of Switzerland; Ekaterina Shelganova, Ice Men; Alec Soth, View From My Hotel Window, Tokyo; and Laia Abril, Lobismuller.

Unseen (Amsterdam, Netherlands) September 16 - 25

© Fumi Ishino, from the series Rowing a Tetrapod

The annual Unseen Photo Festival and Fair are back. For 10 days in late September, Unseen will become a platform for many leading names in the industry to come together and create an exchange of dialogue and artistic expressions. Every year the Festival is hosted across a series of cultural spaces in a different neighborhood of Amsterdam – “[it is] an effort” say the organizers “to not only get visitors acquainted with the various areas of the city, but also to get locals – both individuals and businesses – acquainted with the world of contemporary photography.” The primary exhibitions this year include TOUCHED – Craftsmanship in Contemporary Photography, guest curated by artist Anton Corbijn, and Lumix Meets Beyond 2020, an exhibition of six cutting-edge Japanese artists pushing the boundaries of the photographic narrative. During the last weekend of the festival, from September 23 – 25, the Unseen Photo Fair will roll into town, with the historic venue of Westergasfabriek welcoming 54 galleries from all over the globe.

Guernsey Photography Festival (Guernsey) September 8 - 30

© Cristina de Middel, from the series Sharkification

The Guernsey Photography Festival is dedicated to the promotion and evolution of contemporary visual arts – a month packed full of exhibitions, workshops, and pedagogical events makes this one of the most exciting emerging festivals on the calendar. Artists this year were invited to respond to the theme ‘FICTION / NON FICTION’, and the resulting projects reveal a multitude of interpretations from personal issues to the great social concerns of our time. Bruce Gilden, Go; Cristina de Middel, Sharkification; Patrick Willocq, Forever Walé; Sian Davey, Looking For Alice; Jack Latham, Sugar Paper Theories; Max Pinckers, Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty, and Arnau Blanch Vilageliu, Everybody Needs Good Neighbors are among the standout shows.

Paraty em Foco (Paraty, Brazil) September 14 - 18

© Raphael Alves, from the series Riversick

Hosted in a quaint Portuguese colonial town, Paraty em Foco is a celebration of the vibrant diversity and colorful culture of Brazil. Under the curatorial direction of Giancarlo Mecarelli in partnership with Paulo Marcos de Mendonça Lima, the festival will this year be dedicated to social issues relevant to the local communities. The exhibition line-up features Joana P. Cordozo and Silvestre Machado, the two winners of the Portfolio in Focus Open Call, and they will be joined by such artists as Lucas Gibson, Paul Kurucz, Raphael Alves, Luca Meola, Jorge Pérez Higuera, Maria Isabel Oliveira, Patricia Ackerman, Eduardo Garcia, and Cristian Knepper. A series of workshops, screenings, and interviews featuring many prominent names in the industry will complete the program of events.

Photoville (Brooklyn, New York, US) September 21 - 25

© Santi Palacios, from the series Coming Ashore

Organized by United Photo Industries, Photoville is one of the premier photography events in New York City. Working in collaboration with such curatorial partners as Instagram, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and National Geographic, Photoville 2016 will present the work of over 400 artists across more than 60 exhibitions; each housed inside (and out) of re-purposed shipping containers in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The main highlights include: Santi Palacios, Coming Ashore; Zackary Canepari, Flint is a Place; Médecins Sans Frontières, Forced From Home in Virtual Reality; Mark Peterson, Political Theatre; Ron Haviv, The Lost Rolls; and the group exhibition, Ebola Through the Lens presented by Open Society Foundations. A supporting program of panel discussions, talks, hands-on workshops, guided walking tours, and evening screenings in the outdoor beer garden offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with the extraordinary power of visual storytelling.

El Ojo Salvaje (Asunción, Paraguay) until September 27

© Nicolás Janowski, from the series Adrift in Blue

Celebrating its fifth edition this year, El Ojo Salvaje is a Latin American festival that showcases photographers who use their camera as a tool for social change and aesthetic research. Running until September 27, the exhibitions program features a number of international guests – PHM curator Nicolás Janowski will display his project Adrift in Blue at the Museo del Barro de Asunción; Federico Pardo, Adriana Zehbrauskas, Danielle Villasana, and Christian Ugarte all feature in the show H2O at the Centro Cultural de España; and the Museo del Hospital de Clínicas will exhibit the work of Marguerite Perret, Bruce Scherting, Tina Brackman, and Teresita González in Flowers for the Waiting Room. A series of educational workshops have also been organized to encourage the exchange of ideas, with Janowski set to present Narrativas Glocales that will explore the construction of our globalized world, and PHM 2016 Grant juror Francisco Mata Rosas will host Fotografía 3.0, a reflection on the dissemination of images in the twenty-first century.

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

© Anna Filipova, from the series Research at the End of the World

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

Written by

Simon Hall

Reading time

8 minutes