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Solidarity, community, care

Fotofestiwal in Łódź, in cooperation with Krakow Photomonth, has prepared a block
of events celebrating solidarity and expressing direct support for artists from Ukraine and Belarus. As part of these activities, we will host, among others, the Month of Photography in Minsk and Odesa Photo Days – two festivals that, due to the war in Ukraine and the repressive Belarusian regime, could not take place as usual in their home countries.

This year’s Odesa Photo Days were planned for 19-22 May in Odesa. In February, Russia launched an unjustified, criminal invasion against our neighbours. Currently, Kateryna Radchenko, the festival’s curator and organiser, is working to support Ukrainian photographers and continuously reports on events taking place in her homeland. She has selected two group exhibitions for presentation in Łódź. Foreboding Landscape features photographs taken by Ukrainian male and female photographers before Russia started a full-scale war against Ukraine. The works convey various aspects of life: understanding home and one’s own territory; visual connections with the past and the Soviet regime, which has so far been present in various forms in Ukraine; anxiety and subconscious preparation for the worst-case scenario that prevailed in moods, conversations and daily life. The second exhibition, The Thin Line, is a visual story about how quickly life can change. It is a mixture of photos-memories of a peaceful life and snapshots from contemporary, military everyday life in Ukraine. The two exhibitions will bring together the work of more than twenty artists working in their country and internationally, including Viacheslav Poliakov, awarded in the 2017 Fotofestiwal Open Program, or Elena Subach, selected for Talent Futures in 2019.

Home that doesn’t exist is the title of the exhibition that will be presented at OFF Piotrkowska by the Month of Photography in Minsk. This festival will take place in Łódź for the second time, due to the regime that prevents uncensored exhibitions of works in Belarus. The artists invited to cooperate this year by curator Sofiya Sadouskaya will take up the theme of the lost or never found home.

One of the exhibitions of the main program titled Solidarity, protest, care will also touch upon the themes of migration and refugees. Projects by, among others, Marta Romankiv and Yulia Krivich will show how art itself can be an effective support for male and female migrants. At the initiative of Fotofestiwal, a film about the situation on the Ukrainian border by Palestinian director Mohamed Almughanni and a film about refugees in Poland by Syrian filmmaker Rami Shai are also being produced. To top it all off, DJs from Ukraine will entertain us at festival gigs.

We also invite you to Krakow Photomonth (26 May – 26 June). You’ll have an opportunity to see the effects of the artistic residency of artists from Belarus (together with the Sputnik Photos collective and Staromiejski Dom Kultury), as well as a collective exhibition of artists from Ukraine, who will show their works together with members of the Czwartek collective.

We are currently co-running a playroom for refugee children at Art_Inkubator in Łódź. Vast majority of these projects and activities is created on an ongoing basis, and therefore this year’s editions of festivals in Krakow and Łódź will probably be the most up-to-date ones.

ph. Andriy Lomakin, “The Thin Line” exhibitionia_Fotofestiwal & Odesa Photo Days