The theme of the 2016 Festival of Political Photography is Homeland.
Why do the words home and land sound and feel good, but homeland refers to something restricted, nationalistic and even prejudiced?
During the festival, the theme will be discussed in relation to for example mental and geographical areas and landscapes, and in relation to belonging to them and their loss. In our time, homeland tends to be defined through the lack of or loss of a homeland. It is often also defined through restricting and controlling the movements of people who do not belong there.
In addition to the photography exhibitions and diverse seminar and discussion programme, the festival has invited Finnish photographers to comment on the social climate in Finland. What is the Finnish society right now? Who belongs here and who where?
With the theme homeland, the festival also reflects how photographs are used to establish feelings of belonging to a place and belonging in general, but also to establish a sense of exclusion and prejudice. What is it that we long for when we miss home or a specific place? What is shunned when the homeland is denied? A person can leave a place behind under duress or voluntarily. Relocating and crossing borders can be out of necessity or independence. In both cases, the change and distance will affect how one views the place and community left behind. Homeland is merely the perception of a haven of constancy and stability, and for a fewer and fewer people, a fixed place to which one can return.
With the theme homeland, the festival will also examine how people concretely, visually and on a mental image level take over areas. Taking over might mean on the one hand, involuntary admission and capture, which results in subjugation, but also the multi-dimensional understanding of issues.
The 2016 festival programme will be launched in January 2016. Read more about the 2016 festival photographers here!