The Best International Photography Festivals Opening This May 2022

PhotoLondon, Boutographies, and Triennial of Photography Hamburg are some of the great photographic events opening this month. Discover their program of exhibitions, public activities, and talks.

Triennial of Photography Hamburg / Hamburg, Germany / 20 May - September 18 

The 8th edition of the Triennial of Photography Hamburg will have its Opening Week on 20-22 May, preparing the stage for the Triennial Festival opening on June 2. The program will run until September 18 consisting of exhibitions and events. This year's edition uses the theme of Currency to invite reflection on the contemporary power of the photograph to relay and relate meaning across distance. The idea is to explore how extending this economic term to art and visual culture guides a multipart engagement with photography and its relationship to value-making, canon-making, access, circulation, and knowledge production.

This year's edition will be composed of 12 exhibitions and 77 artists. Among the highlights, there are two exhibitions devoted to the photographer Herbert List, presenting List’s never-before-seen photo book project from the 1930s and 1940s: Präuscher’s Panoptikum, and the first international survey exhibition of his work The Magic Eye. Also, 29 international artists will be presented at the Hall for Contemporary Art in an exhibition titled Currency: Photography Beyond Capture which explores conceptual approaches to photography in the “retinal age.” While Triennial Expanded, will feature 12 photographers selected via the open call in a dedicated platform for the local Hamburg photography scene.

Find out more about the program on their website

Photo London / London, UK / 12-15 May 

Photo London returns to Somerset House for its 7th edition from May 12 until the 15. The fair is a celebration of lens-based mediums in all their forms, bringing together works from the past and the present, including a wide selection of international galleries and publishers.

Focusing on fashion photography, its second major public program exhibition takes the form of a homage to the legendary photographer Frank Horvat, who passed away in 2020. The exhibition will present two series by the photographer: his fashion images and his photographs of Parisian Cabarets. This year will also include a new section dedicated to leading artists and galleries from China, called PHOTOFAIRS Shanghai, and a section dedicated to galleries less than seven years old, curated by Tim Clark.

The festival will include a talk program curated by William A. Ewing, the Fair’s annual Emerging Photographer Award in association with Nikon, book signings, tours, workshops, and satellite events. Moreover, after the success of the previous two editions, the fair is bringing back PhotoLondon Digital in partnership with Artsy, where visitors can explore, inquire and purchase artworks directly from Photo London exhibitors.

To find out more please visit their website

Boutographies / Montpellier, France / 7-29 May 

The Photographic Meetings of Montpellier are celebrating their 22nd anniversary with a resolutely international edition, through the selection of a jury chaired by curator Anne Immelé.

The event present the work of 8 photographers this May at the Pavillon Populaire, among which Laure Boyer, Alexandra Polina, Laura Pannack, William Lakin, and Teo Becher. The jury also selected the work of other 16 photographers to be presented in projection format. Les Boutographies is also an Hors-les-murs program, which means that cultural venues and partner galleries throughout the city of Montpellier offer photography exhibitions on the occasion of the festival.

The program also comprises screenings, award ceremonies, workshops, and portfolio reviews, with PhMuseum's Curator Rocco Venezia among the invited list of experts. Learn more here.

Riga Photomonth / Riga, Latvia / May 23 - June 22 

Riga Photomonth is an international art and photography festival that takes place in the capital of Latvia since 2014. The event will be dedicated to the theme of decadence - as a direct response to the ideological crisis of Western society, which has intensified in the context of recent socio-political events. More than 100 years ago, artists and writers talked about the demise of the (Western) world and it did not take place in museums or castles, but in cafes and bars, just like this year's festival will take place in non-commercial and independent venues.

Among the festival's participants are young and emerging photographers, painters, and musicians, such as Anna Dzerve (Latvia), Evija Abrama (Latvia), Ieva Stalsene (Latvia), Alexei Gordin (Estonia), and Tobias Klein (Germany). Their art not only reflects the mental states of the artists but also invites us to think about where today's society is heading - are we doomed to destruction or are we ready to change?

Riga Photomonth will kick off on May 23 with an exhibition by curator and artist Elina Semane. Yet the main opening days seems to be May 26 and 27, when the underground noise-punk music festival will take place at Tu jau zini kur in Tallinas quarter in Riga. A more comprehensive program can be found on their website.



Circulation(s) European Young Photography Festival / Paris, France / 2 April - 29 May

The 12th Edition of Circulation(s) presents the works of 30 young artists from all over Europe, with a particular focus on the Armenian artistic scene. The Festival takes place at the CENTQUATRE-PARIS, a cultural place in eastern Paris, and continues in the form of tours and off-site events in France and Europe. Find out more on their website.   

PHOTO / Melbourne and Regional Victoria, Australia / 29 April - 22 May

Located in Melbourne and extending to cities across regional Victoria, PHOTO is Australia's largest photography event. PHOTO 2022's theme is Being Human and addresses the contemporary human condition through the lens of Mortality, Self, Society, Nature, and History. Discover more on their site

Fotografia Europea / Reggio Emilia, Italy / 29 April - 12 June

The new edition of this festival will be discussing the human ability to push back against adversities and to not submit to momentary complications. The festival takes place in different locations in the municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy. It consists of a central core of exhibitions. Find out about the artists and the program on their website

Medium Festival of Photography / San Diego, USA / May 4 - 8

Medium’s annual photography festival celebrates boundary-pushing artists of our time, through a renowned portfolio review, workshops, artist lectures, and studio visits in San Diego and Tijuana. They are the only photo festival in the United States that offers tours to Latin America and grants for Latin American artists. See more on their website.

2022 ICP Photobook Fest / Essex, (NY) USA / May 21-22 

The International Center of Photography (ICP) presents this year's Photobook Festival, which will take place at their new venue in New York’s Lower East Side. The ICP was founded by famous photographer Cornell Capa in 1974, it has become a leading institution in the photography and visual arts culture. In this sense, their festival is a great opportunity for networking, a space for publishers and photographers, as well as those looking to get to know more about photobooks and visual culture. Learn all about it on their website.


Check out our festivals page to get a complete view of what's coming up on the photography calendar over the next few months.

© Sara Cwynar

© Sara Cwynar

© Nick Knight

© Nick Knight

© Peter Franck

© Peter Franck

© Anna Dzerve

© Anna Dzerve

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