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A Guide To September 2023 Photography Festivals
Published24 Aug 2023
PhMuseum Days, Verzasca Foto Festival, PhEST, Kranj Foto Fest, Visa Pour L'image, Charta Photo-book Festival, JIPFest, and Unseen are among the festivals you shouldn't miss this month.
Bologna, Italy / 22 September – 1st October
Themed I Don't Know How To Respond To That, the third edition of the PhMuseum International Photo Festival has its core in the post-industrial space of DumBO's Spazio Bianco, with solo exhibitions by Penelope Umbrico, Brea Souders, Andy Sewell, Luca Massaro, Daniel Everett, Leonardo Magrelli, The Cool Couple and Chloé Milos Azzopardi, plus a rich program of talks, portfolio reviews and projections. All around the city of Bologna, 4 on-site workshops, 4 additional solo exhibitions and one collective show will be scattered in galleries and open-air locations.
Aiming at exploring the dialogue between humans and machines, this edition of the Festival focuses on the development of language in the broadest sense. The physicality of technology and its environmental impact, attempts at conversating with algorithms, our ever-present need to imagine possible futures: this and much more will be at the core of the two weekends in Bologna.
To find out more about the festival and book your tickets, visit our website.
Verzasca, Switzerland / 30 August – 3 September
Verzasca Foto Festival takes place outdoors, in a mountain valley in Switzerland. For ten years, Verzasca has been creating exhibitions inspiring people to pause, observe, and engage with the territory around them. With freedom and spontaneity as firm values, they learned from the valley’s history, and shaped a meeting point between mountaintops, rivers, and fresh artistic currents.
This year, artists-in-residence Rita Khin, Gabriela Olivera Hidalgo, Santiago Escobar-Jaramillo, Mahmoud Khattab, and duo Sabine Hess & Nicolas Polli will present their projects created in the Swiss territory, while the works of ten international artists will shine a spotlight on narratives of youth in the old villa of Casa Azul. Additionally, the Nera di Verzasca winning project by Khashayar Javanmardi, and two collaborative exhibitions will be on display. Highlights of the program are a workshop with James Wellford from National Geographic, Portfolio Reviews, and live music and dinner event Night of Photography.
For more information about this festival, visit the website.
Monopoli, Italy / 1 September – 1 November
From September 1st to the 1st of November, Monopoli will showcase photographic and contemporary art for the 8th edition of PhEST, a festival where photography meets music, cinema, art, and contaminations from the Mediterranean to reflect on how the sea creates and blends identities.
What makes us human? This year, Cristina De Middel, Jan Fabre, Caimi & Piccinni, Robin Schwartz, Zed Nelson, Ingmar Björn Nolting and many more will offer a varied analysis in response to this question. While their installations will merge with the outstanding context of Monopoli, portfolio reviews and other events with artists and experts from all over the world will take place, nurturing a vibrant and diverse community of enthusiasts.
Find out more on their website.
Kranj, Slovenia / 23 August – 23 September
Exploring critical issues of our era, Kranj Foto Fest wants to exhibit, promote, support and develop the works of Slovenian and international artists. The scenic old town allows for an intimate, generous exploration of what contemporary photography can be, and of the ways an international scene can organically communicate with local communities.
On the theme of HUMAN – NATURE, the exhibition program is entirely based on an open call process, with Amina Kadous’ work White Gold being awarded the main exhibition for this year, and all shortlisted projects being showcased around Kranj and its natural surroundings. With outdoor exhibitions being a focus of the Slovenian festival, Kranj is transformed into an exciting stage for photographers to exchange experiences and build a strong network.
This edition features more than 20 exhibitions, a workshop by Viktoria Sorochinski on post-documentary photography across fact and fiction, as well as portfolio reviews.
More information is to be found on their website.
Perpignan, France / 2 September – 17 September
The 35th International Festival of Photojournalism Visa Pour l'Image is held in Perpignan from Saturday 2 September to Sunday 17 September 2023. Attendants will be able to discover the work of many journalists bearing visual witness to the reality of our times.
A window on outstanding photojournalistic work, the Festival is a great way to discover the city of Perpignan, with photographic exhibitions taking place in iconic locations such as the Couvent des Minimes, the Dominican church, and many more. Visa Pour l'Image will hold 20 free exhibitions throughout the city, with names such as Nanna Heitmann, Darcy Padilla, Emily Garthwaite, Sandra Mehl, Paolo Pellegrin, and Dimitar Dilkoff among others.
More information on the program can be found on their website.
Rome, Italy / 16 September - 24 September
Charta is a contemporary photography festival that aims to highlight photo books and independent publishing. This year's theme is Human x Nature, which concerns a reflection on the complex relationship between human beings and the nature that surrounds them. During the festival, 100 books will be exhibited that focus on and explore this very topic. Each expo will also feature video and sound installations that will bring the theme to life. The circuit will also feature a screening of the Charta Award shortlist, an exhibition of the Hong Kong Dummy Award, and a Talk Gallery dedicated to the most interesting editorial productions of recent years.
Find out more on their website.
Jakarta, Indonesia / 8 September - 24 September
Organized by PannaFoto Institute, the Jakarta International Photo Festival is a platform for impactful photography, aiming at the international dissemination of Indonesian artists. At its fourth edition, the festival’s line up features a vast array of artists and experts among whom Gaia Squarci, Jordan Marzuki, and Florian Braakman who will engage in the many activities proposed by the festival: exhibitions, a fair, public lectures, projections, portfolio reviews, tours, and workshops spanning from writing grants for photography with Sana Ullah, to finding inspiration with Hajime Kimura, and publishing photography by Aperture editor Brendan Embser.
View more on their website.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands / 21 September - 24 September
The Amsterdam-based art fair Unseen each year represents innovative and relevant contemporary photography. With a selection of 65 exhibitors, the fair’s circular design makes no distinction between established art galleries and up and coming initiatives, offering a varied and comprehensive view over the photographic international scene.
The fair and the publishers Bookmarket are complemented by the experimental, ambitious exhibition Unbound, created by the omonimous independent foundation of Unseen. This year titled “Suspended Matter”, Unbound will presenting large scale projects breaking the boundaries between photography, digital arts, performance, video art, and sculpture, by artists Djeneba Aduayom, Morvarid K, Philipp Groubnov, Stijn Elshuis, Tara Fallaux, and Thom van Rijckevorsel.
More information to be found on their website.
Also Open This Month
Gibellina Photoroad Open Air & Site-specific Festival 2023 / Gibellina Vecchia, Italy / 28 July – 30 September
The Gibellina Photoroad Open Air & Site-specific Festival aims at questioning how photography can shape itself in urban, public space, finding new meanings, visions and interactions with the public. The event will feature large format prints, open-air exhibitions, projections and installations in Gibellina, a city devoid of any visual and light pollution, where the viewing of exhibitions is not disturbed by urban chaos.
Arles Les Rencontres de la Photographie 2023 / Arles, France / 3 July – 24 September
The Festival Arles Les Rencontres de la Photographie 2023 reaches its 54th edition this year.
The aim of the festival is to explore the Arles territory and its ecosystem, coming in contact with the urgency of climate change and its impact on our daily lives. With the theme A State of Consciousness, the festival serves as a thinktank, with scientists, researchers, thinkers, and artists embarking on voyages of discovery to assess the territory.
Rolling Paper #5 / Paris, France / 23 September - 25 September
The Rolling Paper festival returns to Le Bal for its fifth edition from 29 September to 1 October 2023. Launched in 2017 by LE BAL Books, Rolling Paper is the meeting place for independent publishers of contemporary photography in Paris. Free admission, this year it will again present a wide-ranging programme combining concerts, launches, screenings, installations and performances.