About Festival of Photography Maribor

The third Festival of photography Maribor again presents outstanding photographers, continuing, and upgrading its first steps from past years. Beside recognized domestic authors as Stojan Kerbler, Miran Mišo Hochstätter, Suhadolnik, Peter Koštrun, Matej Sitar, Arne Hodalič and others, names from abroad appear, whereby the exhibitions of Nabuyoshi Araki, Sergej Melničenko, Inge Morath, Goran Palvetić,Swarat Ghosh, and Taha Ahamad cannot be overlooked.  
The red thread of the festival is the presentation of the diversity of motifs and contents, emerging in the photographic media; therefore, the viewing of the present exhibitions is like a walk through the rich palette of the photographic conglomerate. The presented motifs reach from documentary, erotic and urban to portrait, landscape, and also personal confessions. Some exhibitions point with resignation to the life around us, also that which is sometimes more hidden or less known. By that, the spectator is not only learning about the magic of photography, but also about its expressive power. Especially the latter has many times been of historical importance, although we must not forget the significant contribution, brought by the aesthetics of photographs as such. In the world of conceptualism, abstract forms, and modern practices it is nice to flash back also on the classic photography, speaking to us through its characteristic black-and-white language. The festival offers the visitors just that – through the genre diversity of exhibitions it jointly presents different photographic approaches and practices. Also essential is the dialogue – that between the camera and the photographer, and later that developing between the spectator and the photograph. Precisely because the photograph is so immediate and communicative, its effect can be momentary and emotional. 
The festival is aiming to focus on all generations of photographers, presenting thus also the continuity of the quality media in our midst and at the same time the current foreign photography. As usual, the festival offers not only the exhibitions themselves, but also an accompanying programme, focused in particular on lectures on photography. The exhibitions are accessible on different locations in Maribor, thus interlinking all important gallerists in Maribor. 
The Festival of Photography first took place in 2016. Its aim was to mark the important turning point in the history of Maribor´s photography – the 80th Anniversary of activities of the Fotoklub Maribor.  
As the festival exceeded the expectations and earned a wish for continuation from its visitors, it is becoming traditional. Certainly, the festival is young and developing as such, is designing, searching ...; but its goal is clear already from the beginning – to raise the awareness of the public, especially the young one, about the quality of photography as such. We live in a world flooded with photographic and visual material, with the photography being increasingly accessible and striving as such, together with music, film, and other similar branches, for the acknowledgement of the copyrights and credible representation and referential evaluation. An important goal is also the promotion of Slovenian photographers and the establishment of contacts with foreign photographers. In any case, a town with such photographic tradition as Maribor absolutely deserves a festival of such kind. 

Petra Čeh

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