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Der Greif X Copenhagen Photo Festival: Looking ahead the festival's 15th edition


Copenhagen Photo Festival is the Nordic region's largest photo festival and in 2024 the festival celebrates its 15th anniversary from 6 to 16 June with a wide-ranging anniversary programme with more than 50 exhibitions stretching from the festival center to museums, galleries and pop-up spaces all over the capital region of Denmark and southern Sweden.

The main theme of the 2024 festival edition is 'entanglement'. This word or concept represents the interconnectedness that exists between us, both in terms of space and time. It highlights the mutual relationships and connections we have, where one thing can impact or rely on another. It also emphasizes the impact we intentionally or unintentionally leave behind.

"This year's program shows that photography is very strong on the contemporary art scene in the Nordics. In addition, we are happy to be able to introduce several new initiatives in our anniversary year, including the Photo Scene 2024, which supports and strengthens that development and our growing community," says festival director Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen.

According to Philosopher Donna Haraway, to quote one the major theorists of the concept of ‘entanglement’, human beings are deeply connected to the natural world, even on a microscopic level with the trillions of microbes that make up our bodies. This interconnectedness has become a significant ecological concept that is particularly relevant for researchers in the field. In her book, "Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene" (2016), Haraway discusses the concept of holobiomes’ or ‘holoents,’ where scientists, artists, community members, and nonhuman beings are intertwined in each other's projects and lives, relying on one another in various profound and tangible ways. Artistic practice often strives to establish intricate relationships with the world, acknowledging its own role in the environments it seeks to understand and uncover. This year’s festival programme examines how photography and image culture(s) in general can both create and respond to ecological interconnectedness.

The headline exhibitions are presenting four artists’ solo shows byChloé Milos Azzopardi, Emanuele Occhipinti, Mafalda Rakoš, and Marcus De Sieno: four diverse visual researches over . These four artists were specially selected to be part of the programme of exhibitions, accompanied by eight other artists exhibiting in a group show. We are especially looking forward to Der Greif Alumni showcases, definitely on Der Greif’s festival map.

Toby Binder presents the outcome of his time spent capturing the lives of Belfast city’s youth with his project “Wee Muckers”. Natalia Kepesz is participating with “The Iron Courtain”, unravelling an intricate tapestry of lives affected by the geopolitical shifts in the Polish territory. Katerina Tsakiri gives expression to entanglement with the body in a condition of cancer treatment, a status she recorded through her project “The Smiley Cut”. 

To continue, Seif Kousmate’s “WAHA واحة”, explores the intricate relationship between humans and nature in a very special environment. The project moves beyond the myths to reveal the systems, cultures, history and human ingenuity that birthed and sustained these ecosystems. We are also eager to explore Christine Lorenzen’s project “Coming of Age”, a photographic diary in lots of tactile nuances of gray tones depicting her personal relations and experiences over the past decade – from adolescence to adulthood. Jansen van Staden is showcasing his book “Some” in an exhibition format, bringing to a physical space his exploration of the controversial and contradictory past of being a white South African, Last but not least, Bjørn Nilsson’s “Conversations Failed” is a deep investigation into the challenges of communicating in a long-term relationship, still opening up the potential for understanding and reconciliation.