This week marks the beginning of Riga Photomonth, an international festival of photography. Almost every day until the end of the festival on June 16, an ambitious photography culture program under the common theme «Territories, Borders and Check–Points», will offer various events and some exhibitions will remain open even longer.
«With Riga Photomonth we aim to turn Riga into a meeting place for those who wish to unfold the unique and less–known aspects in photography of Northern and Eastern Europe. In the program we focus on both well–known authors and emerging photographers from Latvia,» says the program director, photographer Arnis Balčus, who organises the festival the third year in a row.
Riga Photomonth will offer ten exhibitions and more than 20 events such as artists talks, discussions, workshops and book presentations.
From May 2, the advertisements of the first exhibitions of the festival are already being displayed on JCDecaux advertising stands on the streets of the city, and it will go on till May 15. Behind–the–scenes of image making are in the center of the exhibit entitled the «Comission01» created by London–based Latvian artist Reinis Lismanis, while «Territories, Borders and Check–Points» features the works that have been selected and short listed by an international jury from more than 800 applications.
The main exhibition «Territories» (May 13 to June 16), co–curated by JH Engström will take place at the Latvian Railway History Museum, featuring the works by seven photographers from Latvia, Finland, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Norway. The exhibition raises awareness of the mutual interaction between an individual and the respective period of time in photography. The artists focus on the social landscape of Belarus, a Californian town of Tranquility, stories on youth subcultures, the relationship of photography as a combination of reality and memory. At the same time, the exhibition reveals certain common and different features of the art of photography in Northern and Eastern Europe.
The public discussion program will address such issues as the image interpretation in the post–soviet countries as well as the challenges of photo magazines in the digital age with representatives of such important media as «1000 Words», «Yet», «Calvert Journal» and «The Eyes».
Riga Photomonth is also hosting a program «Self Publish Riga», which is a series of events dedicated to photo books and self–publishing culture, organized by the ISSP (International Summer School of Photography). The program includes an international photo book dummy competition, an extensive international exhibition of photo books, a series of lectures, talks and workshops on photo books, book publishing and design by the industry experts and bookmakers, including Erik Kessels («KesselsKramer»), Gordon MacDonald («GOST Books»), Hester Keijser («The Independent Photo Book»), Tom Mrazauskas («Brave Books»), Angel Luis Gonzalez («The Library Project») and Nico Baumgarten.
On May 10 the opening of the FK Magazine’s annual publication «Latvian Photography 2016» is scheduled, while on May 20 at «The Mill» the «FK Prize 2016» portfolio review for emerging Latvian photographers will take place to announce the winner.
More information on the events, venues and the full festival program is available on the homepage of Riga Photomonth. The festival is organized by the associations Riga Photomonth, ISSP and the FK Magazine in collaboration with the Latvian Museum of Photography, Riga Film Museum, National Library of Latvia, the Latvian Center for Contemporary Arts, «JCDecaux» and other partners.