Traditionally in September, Sopot becomes the centre of Polish photography. The W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography is an opportunity to see premiere projects created during the festival artistic residences, as well as projects of leading Polish creators using photography.
This year’s festiwal will consist of exhibitions the essence of which is the subjectivism of the storytelling. One will be able to see typically documentary, photojournalistic works, as well as those containing elements of creation or assemblage. They are to show history, events, and accompanying them emotions in the best way. All elements of a photograph such as light, composition and aesthetics serve to evoke the character of the story, express its atmosphere, and to add an observer’s commentary. Artists intentionally use different techniques to give an impulse for considerations. Watching photographs stops us in the time to give a while for consideration, reaction, emotions, and absorbing elements of the complex situations.
This year’s residents of the festival are respected for their work artists from Tricity – Maciej Moskwa (doc! #12 & #32) and Kacper Kowalski, as well as the rising star of Polish photography, the winner of the second edition of DEBUTS – Konstancja Nowina-Konopka. They all will present their projects taking place in Sopot, that tangibly contemporary but also mystical, emotional, and simply historic one.
Besides the projects of the festival residents, there will be also an opportunity to see Krzysztof Miller’s exhibition Travel by Trans-Siberian Railway with never shown before pictures taken by him on that unusual trip in 1993. Grzegorz Wełnicki (doc! #27/28) will show the first part of his Eternal series dedicated to death, its presence and influence on human life. While Agata Grzybowska (doc! #42) will present her photographs from the 9 Gates of No Return series that she took when trekking in the Bieszczady Mountains where she was searching for the answer to the question what loneliness is.
The festiwal will be also accompanied by the f/5.6 exhibition, a cross-sectional presentation of works by Bogdan Dziworski (doc! #41), classic of Polish post-war photography; Wojciech Grzędziński’s (doc! #11 & #40) very impressive and personal exhibition Flashbacks; the group exhibition of the winners of DEBUTS_2018 project – the international competition for emerging photographers.
The festival programme also includes: an exhibition of evoking sentiments pictures of Sopot by Zbigniew Kosycarz, an exhibition of original cameras made by Marek Mazur and pictures taken with them by Krzysztof Mystkowski, a concert of Sławek Jaskułke, during which a presentation of Kacper Kowalski’s works will take place, and the presentation of Rafał Wojczal’s project Musher with musical improvisation of the artist.
The opening of the festival will take place at National Art Gallery on September 7, 2018. The festival opening weekend will be filled with lectures and meetings with artists. All the exhibitions will be open to the public until September 19.
The festival exhibitions will be presented at the National Art Gallery, in specially arranged for the festival galleries on the first floor of the Centrum Sopot, and in urban space.
More info @ wramachsopotu.pl (site in Polish language version only)
W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography
September 7-19, 2018
The 2018 W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Diffusion and disappearance are both gentle movements, often hardly noticeable. Nothing concrete is happening, it is going on slowly, not quite to the end and it continues. They are processes which often complement each other. Diffusion/Disappearance is the motto of the 6th Opole Festival of Photography.
The programme of this year’s festival includes exhibitions which focus on man’s issues, his associates with other man, with the space and memory. They are stories of relations and their dynamism, actually of these leading diffusion and disappearance. Sometimes blurred and difficult to define. What is more, in terms of the form, they can be found on the borders of genres, making them disappear.
Certainly, the most important presentation of this year’s edition of the OFFoto is the exhibition of Zofia Rydet’s monumental Sociological Record project, including some thousands of photographic negatives. Realised by Zofia Rydet from 1978 up to almost the end of her life, it permanently astonishes and impresses. It is so monumental, that can’t be shown as a whole during one exhibition, though any selection is extremely difficult. Zofia Rydet used to visit the inhabitants in their homes and portrait them sitting in their most representative place in their house. As the result, we have a picture of everyday life and thousands of faces. On one hand, they are common, repeatable and similar, on the other one – wonderfully different in outfits, poses, surroundings and decoration. The title suggests research material. So does Rydet’s approach – methodological and typological. However, the result of Sociological Record seems scientifically elusive. There are no clear classifications and divisions, no definitions and standards. There is man and his relationships.
Karolina Jonderko (doc! #1 & #18) used a very similar approach. Her Lost project consists of specific portraits of rooms belonging to the people, who haven’t come back to their places. They went to their jobs, schools, walks or shopping, leaving their rooms just for a while. Their beloved keep their spaces for them, hoping that one day their missing will come back to them. Jonderko took pictures of 15 rooms throughout Poland. She illustrated the history of the missing persons, determination of the loved ones, and the slow process of disappearance under the pressure of everyday life.
Maksymilian Rigamonti (doc! #1) in his Places that Do Not Exist project also focuses on memory and inevitability of its disappearing. He tries to find out how much one can learn about the old events just by looking at the space. His photographic travels to the Volhynia also use to listen to human stories. They are about everyday life that penetrated history and pushed it aside. We can see it taking over the space. Just a reflection on the frailty of human memory.
In turn, Spring, which Didn’t Bloom by Maciej Moskwa (doc! #12 & #32) is a story about quite recent events. Moskwa tells about Syria’s everyday life – from the beginning of the Arab Spring up to the present refugee exodus. He shows the literal disappearing of the world and how ordinary people deal with it.
A method, repeatedly proven in history of photography, is a record for remembering. Although it can’t replace our memory and is subjective, it still protects from disappearing, forgetting. Both, Paweł Frenczak (Noir) and Małgorzata Sajur (DEBUTS 2015; My Anxieties), record their own personal stories of their own everyday life. Another method is an attempt to reconstruct events from memory. Their repetition leaves ever-lasting record of photographic image. This is the method used by the winner of the Show up contest – Piotr Pardiak (Heritage).
The passage of time is the primary motive of the First Haircut exhibition. Michał Stolarski and Tomasz Liboska are reconstructing their memories from their youth. They invited Dominik and Marek to play their stories that took place 20 years before. “We are trying to recall everything that is possible: real places, details, gestures. We have to improvise. Lots of the places we remember either don’t exist any more or changed their character. Our memories are not the same as they used to be either,” – they say. Intertwining worlds of actors and authors, fading of memories, giving way to changes and yet it is all going on at the document happening today.
In many single photographs as well as in full stories and exhibitions of this years’s edition of the OFFoto we will find this intertwining of worlds, memories, reflexions on disappearing. Actually that is the purpose of photography. A photo is a trace of a certain event, authentic one or created. If authentic one – it is still subjective and as such it can be remembered in a different way by somebody standing just some centimetres away. The leading motto doesn’t explain the sense of every presentation literally and accurately, but, as usual, encourages to find one’s own interpretations and add their own stories and associations.
More info and detailed programme @ www.offoto.pl (website in Polish language version only).
6th Opole Festival of Photography
September 29 – November 13, 2016
The 6th Opole Festival of Photography is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Syrian Kobani and Turkish Suruç have been sister cities for nearly a hundred years. They were mostly inhabited by Kurdish people, related by blood, businesses, and their common culture. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed and independent Syria came into being, the cities found themselves in different countries. But only when Turks mined the border in the 1950s, Kobanians became brutally cut off from Suruçians.
Kobani was besieged by the Islamic State’s fighters from mid-September 2014 for four months. The city and the province got depopulated, and yet Suruç had to accept the refugees from behind the minefields. In a few days, a quarter of a million people broke into Turkey, with tens of thousands remained in Suruç in the hope of a quick return to Kobani.
Kobani tragedy is only a part for the over four years long war in Syria. The war has resulted with 300,000 people dead and a million wounded; a half of the inhabitants of the country became homeless, and four million people had to emigrate. For the rest of the world all these numbers are only gloomy statistics. Only the media attractiveness of Islamists and European fear of extremism will catch our attention to the besieged city for a while again. But, although the Islamic State will pass away, the war will remain.
text by Rafał Grzenia, photos by Maciej Moskwa
doc! #32 (pp. 189-213)
Wonderful news reached us yesterday evening. Picture taken by Maciej Moskwa (doc! #12 & #32) in Syria won the Picture of the Year award in one of the Poland’s most prestigious press photography contests – Grand Press Photo. Maciej also won the 2nd award in the News – Photo story category.
What is more, our staff photographer – Mariusz Janiszewski – is also a laureate of the contest. He won the 2nd award in the People – Single photo category.
Congratulations, guys! Congratulations to all winners!
What a great news! Mariusz Janiszewski, our staff photographer, and lots of photographers who have published in doc! photo magazine are among winners of the 11th edition of BZ WBK Press Foto!
Our list of winners includes:
The 2015 BZ WBK Press Foto Picture of the Year award winner is Agata Grzybowska (Gazeta Wyborcza) with the picture of weary demonstrators resting by the barricade on Instytutska Street, taken on February 20, 2014 in Kiev (Ukraine) that went down in history as Black Thursday. It was the day of the fiercest fights between demonstrators and Ukrainian security forces in Kiev resulted with nearly 70 people dead.
Congratulations to all winners!
More info @ BZ WBK Press Foto website (website in Polish language version only)
Yes, doc! photo magazine #32 has been published! This edition covers important issues from the USA, Turkey, Syria, Poland, Brazil, South Africa, Iran, and Ireland.
The doc! #32’s main photographer is Stephen Shames, an American photographer focusing on social issues and their impact on children, author of eight monographs, named by PBS a one of the photographers whose work promotes social change.
- interview – PHOTOJOURNALISM IS ABOUT THE SEARCH FOR TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE
- photo essay – HOMICIDE & YOUTH GUN VIOLENCE
Other stories featured in doc! #32 are:
- Ciro Battiloro – IRAN: LIFE, DEATH, AND PRAYER
- Silvio Crisóstomo – SÃO PAULO DISCOLOURED
- Ingvild Melberg Eikeland – LIVE ABOARD
- Maciej Moskwa (doc! #12)- LEAVING KOBANE
- Claudio Rasano – EVERYONE LIVES IN THE SAME PLACE LIKE BEFORE BLACK WHITE & COLOURED
- Miriam Stanke – AND THE MOUNTAIN SAID TO MUNZUR: YOU, RIVER OF MY TEARS
- Natalia Szemis – IMAGINARIUM
Go to our doc! store and buy the issue for just EUR 2.20!
Have a nice visual reading!
Photo cover: Stephen Shames