Forever//Now is theme for photography festival

Mother of four is holding her daughter. The girl who is 10 months old is playing with fox skin. The family is interethnic: mother is Russian and father is half Tungus. Katangsky District, Irkutsky region. Russia, 2016 lmost 300 years ago, people came to colonize Siberia, then assimilated into the Evenkis (little nation) and founded a village in the taiga [the snow forest]. Katangsky District, Irkutsky region. Russia, 2016

FORMAT International Photography Festival is one of the UK’s leading international contemporary festivals of photography and it is staged every two years in Derby.

The festival, established in 2004, features the best in contemporary and archive photography and will be on at various venues in the city from March 15 to April 14. 

The theme for the 2019 festival is  Forever//Now exploring our attachment to the idea of forever and how we seek to represent our ever-changing world, society, lands and histories through photography. 

The festival will be launched on March 15 at QUAD in Derby with a Conference, presenting a range of high-profile international speakers, artists, writers and academics.

An International Portfolio Review for photographers, from 9:30am to 4pm, on March 16, will involve more than 50 international expert reviewers.  

The festival’s lead exhibition is Mutable, Multiple, in QUAD Gallery One. It features six artists Max Pinckers, Edgar Martins, Stefanie Moshammer, Amani Willett, Anne Golaz and Virginie Rebetez with photographic works that challenge modes of documentary and storytelling. 

Each of the artists employ both fact and fiction as they weave their stories using archive images, press materials, literature, interviews and staged photography

In Gallery Two, there will be the new commission by the Venice-based Japanese artist Kensuke Koike.

A conjurer of materials, Koike uses found photographs, often in collaboration with archives, in a process of reconstruction in which elements of these images are broken apart and reconfigured with precision and humour.

The FORMAT19 Open Call received 657 entries of over 10,000 images from 47 countries across five continents. The international panel of judges recommended 54 projects to be exhibited and they will be in various venues around the city and in Nottingham. They range from considering the slippage between fact and fiction in our manipulated media world; looking at concerns around identity and gender politics in the #metoo era; highlighting the survival of isolated communities existing on the outside of mainstream society; to responses to Brexit and shifting political landscapes.

The festival is also hosting the premiere of Sixteen, a multimedia project that asks what it is like to be sixteen years old in today’s Britain. The creative team behind it have worked with 16 photographers who have travelled across the UK making a series of visual vox pops. This will be exhibited at Derby Market Hall.

There is lots more going on during the festival, for details go to