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We announce the highlights of this year’s Fotofestiwal

How to confront the burdens of Christian culture in an unflinching, yet playful way? What difficulties must the museums of the global West face as a result of decolonialisation? Can photography be of aid to those grieving or getting over traumas? How to stop thinking about all this, relax, and simply enjoy looking at the photos?

Apart from this series of rhetorical questions, we have prepared for you the whole program of the 23 rd Fotofestiwal, the International Festival of Photography in Łódź. Today, we announce the exhibitions which are a part of the Main Program, tell you a bit more about the Open Call, and reveal some highlights of the City Program.

But first, make sure to take a look at our beautiful posters.

The posters have been designed by Kaja Studio and Dominik Murzyn, who have been collaborating with us for the past few years. Using a simple trick of obscuring the photo’s key part, they aim to focus the attention of the viewer, who is used to being flooded with images all the time, on what it is that actually makes a photograph and on the role the exhibition space plays in shaping our perception. We encourage you to experience the photographs in their full glory – in person and within the context of the exhibitions and spaces in which they will be displayed.

Now, the time has come to tell you more about the program, the starting point of all our endeavours.

In the process of putting together the program, we have also been doing our best to free ourselves of curatorial boundaries and work with the loose and broad idea that we insist on treating as a patron of this year’s Fotofestiwal rather than a title or a strict theme. The artists invited to the 2024 edition will present works that take up the challenge of breaking free from outdated socio-political structures, offering liberation from traumatic past and inner pressures, as well as from visual contexts and boundaries that seem to limit our perception. In this part, we will showcase the creations of the following artists, renowned on the international scene:

DIEGO MORENO brings with him the perspective, the sense of humour, and the hard- hitting style which have delighted the international scene in recent years (e.g., the prestigious Foam Talent 2022). He will point our attention to the burdens of the Christian tradition and heteronormative culture.

◾ Swiss artist LUKAS HOFFMAN, proclaimed the greatest revelation of the world’s biggest photo festival in Arles in 2020, has prepared a sizeable solo exhibition for Fotofestiwal. It will also be his first exhibition in Poland. In his beautiful and abstract large- format images, he returns to the roots of photography. His works invite the audience to take a moment for unhurried contemplation and liberation from the daily hustle and bustle.

◾ Another guest of the festival will be MARTIN KOLLAR – one of the most noteworthy contemporary Slovak photographers, who shares with the audience the story about the experience of someone dear and loved dying. Martin processed his own grief by returning to his own photo archive and using it to create the touching and bold project After.

YORGOS YATROMANOLAKIS photographs liminal moments between night and day in a beautiful and poetic way. In doing so, he attempts to capture and reflect the process of inner metamorphosis after facing the demons of yore following an unexpected return to his homeland. His visual magical realism has delighted the audiences, e.g. in the prestigious AprertureGallery.

◾ Works by GLORIA OYARZABAL will also be on display this year. She is a Spanish artist and a laureate of Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2020 who investigates the topic of the colonial legacy of the West. At Fotofestiwal, Gloria will focus on the oppressive role museums play in international culture.

◾ We are also thrilled to show you one of the most personal and frank artistic debuts in recent years: Soft Spot is a visual yet not-that-obvious story of a family affected by alcoholism. MICHALINA KACPERAK has presented her project at last year’s Portfolio Review, and now – as an artist at the JEDNOSTKA Gallery – she will unveil her work for the first time in Poland as an individual exhibition.

Albania, Bosnia, and the countries that no longer exist – the most interestingphotographic topics of the season in the Open Call. The Open Call is another part of the review of the international photography scene, which includes six projects chosen out of 1200 entries. In this section, artists will talk about such matters as the complicated and difficult history of the Albanian regime, the story of post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as five regions whose independence and identity have not been internationally recognised.

◾ Lavinia Parlamenti and Manfredi Pantanella – An Atlas of Countries That ‘Don’t Exist’ (Atlas krajów, które “nie istnieją”)
◾ Marcel Top – Reversed Surveillance (Odwrócony nadzór)
◾ Peter Pflügler – Now is not the right time (To nie jest właściwy czas)
◾ Adrien Selbert – The Real Edges (Prawdziwe krawędzie)
◾ Tomasz Jan Kawecki – In Praise of Shadow (Pochwała cienia)
◾ Camilla de Maffei – The Great Father (Wielki ojciec)

You can find full descriptions of the projects on our website under ● PROGRAM.

Long-awaited premieres.

Gęsicka, Dzienis, Hueckel, Wełnicki – do we need to say more? Well, we will, but not today, because such exhibitions need their own space. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why they’ll be showcased as a part of the City Program in our partner galleries (Lodz Film School’s SZKLARNIA Gallery, the Re:Medium Gallery in partnership with Warsaw’s JEDNOSTKA Gallery, the ŁTF Gallery, and Kamienica Hilarego Majewskiego). More details in the upcoming announcements. Stay tuned! Each of these exhibitions will be a premiere of the latest projects prepared by these fascinating and distinct artistic minds of the Polish visual scene.

Keep tabs on our social media, as well as our website, where we will reveal more about this year’s Fotofestiwal in the near future. There’s more ahead regarding the exceptional projects in the City Program, the events in the Music Program, the Film Program schedule and much, much more.

For the Facebook event, click ● HERE.