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The Best Photography Festivals Opening This March
Published9 Mar 2023
- Topics Festivals
Festival Circulation(s), FORMAT Festival and Capture Photography Festival are some of the photography events across the world where you might discover new, compelling work this month.
Paris, France / 25 March – 21 May
The always more daring Circulation(s) is this year bringing young, talented European photographers to Paris for the 13th time, representing fourteen different nationalities with the curation of a 9-members collective. What binds the artists' visions together is a search for ways to explore today's pressing questions, adopting various conceptual and aesthetic approaches that blur the boundaries between photography and contemporary art.
Among the 27 exhibited works we find political satire as well as tender, autobiographical love stories; inquiries on megalopolises, immigration, and machine learning algorithms as much as explorations of volcano eruptions, haunting nightmares, and exotic plant species. The list could go on, as the selection of artists tackles the multiple layers of complexity of this disquieting present we are living in.
The festival's annual specific focus on one country is this time dedicated to Bulgaria's dynamic and engaged photographic scene, featuring artists Martin Atanasov, Mihail Novakov, Hristina Tasheva, and Tihomir Stoyanov. Other than the main exhibition venue, the festival offers an off-the-wall show displaying Felipe Romero Beltrán's work, plus a dense program of workshops, masterclasses, portfolio reviews, and more. Find out further information on Circulation(s)' website.
Derby, United Kingdom / 17 March – 9 April
Derby's FORMAT Festival is the leading contemporary photography event in the UK. At its eleventh edition this year, over 30 exhibitions will delve into the theme What Photography Can Be.
Oliver Chanarin's first UK solo exhibition will display his recent work A Perfect Sentence, an intimate and subjective record of the post-Brexit, post-Covid country reflecting on the need for new visual codes and representations. The festival lead exhibition, Radical Souls, will instead feature artists Cecelia Bengolia, Dele Adeyamo, Luciana Demichelis, and Volta Yang's exploration of dance as a revolutionary tool for self-expression. Young FORMAT, Gestures of Resistance, and FORMAT OPEN Call exhibitions complete the program along with talks, workshops, and events such as the FORMAT23 Conference, Portfolio Review, and Photobook Market. Visit FORMAT's website to read more.
Vancouver, Canada / 1 – 30 April
Western Canada's largest lens-based festival, Capture Photography Festival has been connecting Vancouver to the international contemporary photography scene since 2013. Dozens of galleries and venues throughout the city are contributing to the Exhibition Program, alongside a Public Art and an Events Program comprising tours, talks, community events, and more.
Among this year's several compelling shows, the group exhibition As We Rise: Photography From The Black Atlantic will bring more than 100 photographs from African diasporic culture as in the recently published Aperture volume, Ornamental Cooking by Svava Tergesen will explore the subversive potential lying in the legacy of the glossy imagery of food from the last century's women magazines, Here and Now will celebrate Capture's Festival tenth year by displaying ten new artworks commissioned to local artists, The Spiral of Spectacle: the Image Bank of Wang Guofeng will question documentary photography through algorithmic manipulation, while analysing North Korea's "silent masses". The Public Art Program will then feature the work of artists such as Vivian Sassen, Lucas Blalock, and Steven Beckly. Find out more about the rest of the program on their website.
ALSO OPEN THIS MONTH:
Kathmandu, Nepal / until March 31st
Kathmandu's photography festival brings its focus to environmental catastrophes, with the goal of shifting away from paralyzing and apocalyptic narratives to other modes of sensing and learning, re-orientating the discourse towards the earth as a living agent. The exhibitions' program is accompanied by workshops, symposia, a residency, a local arts education program for young people in the city, various collaborative pop-up events, and much more. Visit their website to view the full program.
Denver, Colorado / until March 31st
The biennial photography event presents dozens of exhibitions, talks, tours, and events across Denver. The Portfolio Reviews are a highlight: the two-event allows up to 72 photographers to present their work to prominent curators, gallery owners, publishers, and other professionals. Find out more 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.