15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date! 15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date! 15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date! 15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date! 15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date! 15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date! 15-25.06.2023 Fotofestiwal 2023 - save the date!

Fotofestiwal opening weekend!

This year’s Fotofestiwal’s theme is COMMUNITY. Therefore, accompanying events will be just as important as exhibitions, planned with inspiring meetings and creative interactions in mind. These include Neighbours’ Photo Studio, music Festival of All Cultures at Piotrkowska Street, a tour of artistic Łódź or discussions on the possibility of agreement between cultures with different values.

We are opening the festival today at 19:00 at Art_Inkubator. During the last year’s opening, the most memorable event was a performance of Belarussian Volny Chor (Free Choir). Inspired by that event and the unifying power of singing and music, this year we invited YAGODY, a band which in in its music combines Ukrainian and Balkan folk songs, all that with an impressive number of instruments, often adopted from distant cultures. This symbolic event will refer not only to Fotofestiwal exhibitions but also to those created at OFF Piotrkowska by the organisers of the Month of Photography in Minsk and Odesa Photo Days – two events that couldn’t take place in their homelands due to the censorship and political regime in Belarus and the war in Ukraine. Those three group exhibitions, addressing the changing definition of the term “home”, will be opened on Monday at OFF Piotrkowska at 19:30.

Music will be present in Łódź during the entire weekend of the Fotofestiwal opening. The Festival of all Cultures will begin on 10 June (Friday) and will celebrate the multicultural nature of the Piotrkowska Street. The restaurants, bars and cafes will feature music from the countries of their founders, selected especially for this occasion. In this way, we will change the Piotrkowska Street into a soundtrack that will take us on a trip around the world: from Italy, through Georgia or Syria, to India. Local sounds from different parts of the world will enter into dialogue, just like they used to nearly two hundred years ago, when buildings along this street were being erected by immigrants from many countries. On the first day, the event will be officially inaugurated at 16:00 in the Jewish Community Centre at 18 Pomorska Street, and a few hours later you can let your hair down at a party in the DOM club featuring DJs from Ukraine: Badalian, Facheroia and Shjva. You can walk through the Piotrkowska Street changed in this way until 12 June. A good place to finish your Saturday’s walk is Rynek Bałucki. The Neighbours’ Photo Studio is going to be set up there on Saturday at 10:00-14:00. Sit with someone at the table to become temporary neighbours, and photographer Paweł Ogrodzki will take a photo of you that you will be welcome to take with you as a souvenir.

We wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t invite you to a special place with unique history. This year, it will be Księży Młyn, a factory- and housing complex built in the 20 th century by Karol Scheibler, the richest factory owner from Łódź. This former self-sufficient city within a city, modelled on English industrial settlements, has become a hub for more and more creative initiatives over the last decade. On Sunday, during the opening, from 11:00 to 17:00, local artists and animators will invite you to a flea market with antiques and handicraft as well as to the Neighbours’ Photo Studio and Outdoor photo-experimentarium where you can take unique photos and take their printouts home, as souvenirs. The series openings will start at 12:00 with an official opening of a new institution in Łódź: the Doll Museum. Then, you can enjoy four vernissages, a tour of the infinite set exhibition created by the Strzeminski Academy of Art, Enter the patchwork workshops, and, at the end of the day, the We haven’t been to the Moon performance by the Szumowar collective. Each event is related to the festival’s theme and is intended to create space for the experiences and actions within the community. At the same time, there will be a series of meetings on photobooks held in the festival centre. On Sunday at 11:00, our Late Breakfast with Photo Publications will start, which is an overview of the most interesting photo publications from the last season and discussions with their creators. At 13:00, we will offer Pierogi & Books, which is an overview of the output of the 19 rzek/19 rivers collective supporting photography publishing houses all year round.

Those who would rather be active and move around on Sunday can take part in the Tracing communities walk through places that are important to the artistic communities of Łódź. The tour will be guided by Adam Klimczak from Galeria Wschodnia and persons related to the visited places. Start at 13:00 in Galeria

The opening weekend will be closed by a film screening and an important discussion: Visions of the rural life vs. rural life (12.06, 18:30). Is it possible to reach an agreement between a younger generation moving to rural areas and farmers with a more traditional lifestyle? What does it mean to be close to nature? The screening of the documentary Village of Swimming Cows will be a good starting point to ask these
questions. The film presents a clash of worldviews between hippies from Berlin and a family from the Podlasie region. The discussion will be held with the participation of the film director Katarzyna Trzaska and Paweł Sroczyński, co-creator of Osada Twórców – the Cohabitat research facility, an innovative location in a village near Łódź, which promotes creating natural habitats based on the principles of natural ecosystems. The discussion will be moderated by Agnieszka Obszańska, a reporter currently affiliated with radio 357.

The opening weekend will also involve vernissages in urban galleries and a series of events accompanying the exhibitions in both festival centres: Art_Inkubator and OFF Piotrkowska. It is there that the meetings with artists and curator-guided tours will take place. Most of them will be held by the creators of four group exhibitions from the Main Program COMMUNITY, six projects presented within the Open Program section, and four group exhibitions from Ukraine, Belarus and Czech Republic in the Guests Program.
Saturday evening, as usual, will be the time of a slide show, dance party and events accompanying as many as three exhibitions in the Book Art Museum. And, mind you, these are only the first days of the festival, which will be held until 26 June and will include dozens of other events in the program such, as a reveal of a unique mural or putting together jigsaw puzzles with artists.

Full schedule of the events: click