The fifth Festival of Political Photography opens at the Finnish Museum of Photography on 8 October 2021. The exhibition Bird's-Eye View is open until 6 January 2022.
What if a crow could take
photographs? What kinds of photos would it take? What would the world look like
through the eyes of a bird? The festival reflects, through photography, on the
capacity of humans to imagine the perspective of birds and to understand the
world in an alternate way through that lens.
The festival approaches
the avian gaze both from a bird’s eye view and as a broader effort to
understand the animal gaze – to understand what the world would look like
through the eyes of a bird. Perceiving other species’ viewpoints and ways of
life through information and imagination increases the empathy that is vital
for the coexistence of humans and other species. The festival also illuminates
human blindness to the species loss occurring around us – more than a third of
Finnish birds are already threatened with extinction. Will birdsong survive
only as background music in shopping centre corridors?
The festival consists of an
expansive exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography and an ancillary
programme based on the exhibition theme. The PVF exhibition ‘Bird’s Eye View’
is the first Finnish Museum of Photography ensemble to open at the Cable
Factory exhibition space in Helsinki since its renovation.
This year the festival wants
to increase accessibility and lower the threshold for taking part, especially
by offering material related to the exhibition in several languages. The introductory
text unpacking the theme of the festival is available on the festival website
in Finnish, English, Swedish, Northern Saami, Russian, Arabic and Somali.
Photographers and artists featured: Camille Auer, Marek Jancovic, Hiwa K, Demelza Kooij, Jorma Luhta, Kristo Muurimaa & Juho Kerola, Tuula Närhinen, Anne Roininen, Rorhof, Leena Saarinen, Francesca Todde and Under Threat Working Group.
The Festival of Political Photography (PVF) has launched a mentoring programme for photographers and artists, aimed at supporting their work on long-term research-based projects. Of the 32 high-standard applications received through the open call for 2021, three photographers were selected for the inaugural programme: Naser Bayat, Shia Conlon, and Noora Sandgren.
The Festival of Political Photography wants to encourage photographers to engage in long‑term visually oriented research. Dedicated photography projects require both considerable material and intellectual resources from photographers. Often, a lack of professional feedback and limits to practical resources pose further challenges for photographers working independently. Therefore, PVF strives to provide professional support and practical resources to photographers working on longer-term projects.
The mentoring programme supports projects and photographers individually, in accordance with case-specific needs. In the course of the year, the photographers selected for the programme will receive professional feedback and support for deepening their examination of the topic, structuring the work, finding suitable pictorial form, and editing the visual material. In addition, selected projects will be supported with a working grant.
The mentoring programme is an independent part of the activities of the Festival of Political Photography and is realised with the generous support of the Patricia Seppälä Foundation.