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Der Greif X Fotofestiwal 2024: What photography is all about


Central Europe’s biggest photography festival Fotofestiwal Łódź returns from 13 to 23 June for its 23rd edition, featuring 29 projects alongside partner events, concerts, screenings and networking. Fotofestiwal extends into various venues across the city as in the last years, with four Polish artists’ premiering projects.

"We always make sure not only to show photos and spotlight the unique personalities behind them, but also to wonder what photography is all about," says Marta Szymańska, member of the Fotofestiwal Program Board. "This year, we are taking a closer look at the stories of many authors for whom photography has become a way to cope with adversity and difficult experiences. We also welcome less intimate works, where the creators use imagery to talk about transformation and breaking free from stiff norms such as patriarchy or religion.” Liberation is the main motif that connects the six individual exhibitions of international artists presented in the main festival center.

In the main program, Weronika Gęsicka will present her newest projects such as “Encyclopedia”, a series of stock photos and AI-generated images on non-existing people and phenomena gaining worldwide recognition due to errors and fake entries in various encyclopedias and lexicons. Diego Moreno brings with him the perspective, the sense of humor and the hard-hitting style which have delighted the international scene in recent years (e.g., the prestigious Foam Talent 2022). Moreno will point our attention to the Christian undertones and burdens of Mexican culture through his widely known project “Malign Influences”. Another artist whose works will be exhibited is Gloria Oyarzabal. The Spanish photographer is interested in the topic of colonial legacy of the West. At Fotofestiwal, Oyarzabal will focus on the oppressive role museums play in international culture. Still part of the main program is Polish artist Grzegorz Wełnicki, whose Rats Agency, Archive of Public Protests” will conclude the 13 year long chapter of his artistic work focused on the topic of death.

The festival also includes artist Lukas Hoffman returns to the roots of photography in his beautiful, abstract images. His creations invite the audience to take a moment for steady contemplation and liberation. Martin Kollar, one of the most noteworthy contemporary Slovakian photographers, presents his series “After”, a delicate personal archival project posthumously collected after his partner Maria’s voluntary decease. As part of the grieving process the artist came back to the archive and materials they did together for the film “Letopis” that was planned as their film. Der Greif FUTURES 2023 nominated talent Peter Pflügler’s “Now Is Not the Right Time”is featured in the festival’s Open Program exhibition, which features 6 projects which, according to the jury, best reflects currently relevant narratives. To conclude, the festival also showcases Peter Puklus’ visual deconstruction of the dynamics of the pre-established female and male roles. Together with the well acclaimed and awarded “The Hero Mother – How to build a house”, Fotofestiwal presents Puklus’ latest project devoted mainly to the masculine role in the society and the family: “The Hero Father.”