— Zagreb in the center of European photography—
– more than 45 international artists and experts visited Croatia’s capital – education from international guests – daily round tables on the topic of questioning boundaries in practice and theory
International photography festival Organ Vida was organized for the seventh time in Zagreb, this year in Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, with a record number of visitors and the richest program so far.
The festival program began on September 3, 2015 with the openings of 5 different exhibitions: the festival main finalists’ exhibition Boundaries, exhibitions The Sochi Project, O Mothers of Bosnia, Inside Outside Under Bucharest and Frame Stories. Around 400 guests arrived at the opening and enjoyed the music from TAMAN Mlive-set and Ivan Liik. The party continued at the popular cafe Potepuh in Zagreb where there were V-jay parties for the next three evenings.
The following two days introduced the opening of 3 more photography exhibitions at different locations in Zagreb, including White Nights, Eastreet and Imported Desert in galleries Kranjčar, Zvonimir and Miroslav Kraljević.
Many international stars in the field of photography visited the seventh edition of the festival and displayed their work, educated and connected the Croatian and the international audience. Zagreb became a meeting place for many great names in photography and the guests themselves.
The Dutch photographer and co-author of the exhibition The Sochi Project, Rob Hornstra, held a two-day-long workshop in which he worked with the participants on how to successfully introduce their photography projects.
Tomasz Kulbowski, author of the Eastreet exhibition, also held a two-day-long workshop in which he shared his experience about street and documentary photography. Five more photography workshops and three portfolio checks were organized during the festival.
During the opening week the festival program was based on a diverse program with panels, artist talks and presentations of collectives and photography projects. Surely, the most visited artist talk was the one held by Roger Ballen. The audience learned much about the work of this interesting artist during his one-hour-long performance. British artists Hannah Starkey also spurred the interest of the public and talked about the notion of womanhood in contemporary visual culture. From other photography discussions we would like to mention the guided tour of the Boundaries exhibition, during which the finalists talked about their displayed photographs and projects. Also, another interesting talk was the Open Show Zagreb, an international platform where artists introduced their projects and discussed them with the audience.
During the festival, two books were introduced: H. Said He Loved Us by the finalist Tommas Tanini, the award-winning book on the prominent French festival Rencontres d’Arles and the book The History of European Photography.
István Virágvölgyi from the Robert Capa Centra in Budapest introduced a body of previously unseen photography works in color created during the period from 1938 to 1954 by the world-known photographer of Hungarian origin, Robert Capa. This year’s Organ Vida included a film program with films such as Reely and Truly by Tyronea Lebona and Salt of the Earth, which marked the end of the festival program on September 19.
The program in Klovićevi Dvori Gallery featured night exhibitions titled Emerge by Manika Katyala from the biggest Asian photography portal EMAHO Magazine, who introduced 15 photographers from all over the world.
Many foreign artists and guests recognized the quality of the festival. The great artists Roger Ballen stated that he was very impressed with the organization, enthusiasm and passion of the people who organized the festival and this made it a privilege for him to be a part of it.
British photographer Hannah Starkey commented: “I am one of the jury members at this year’s festival and it was an honor and privilege for me to be in the beautiful city of Zagreb and participate in such phenomenal work. The quality of works exhibited in the main exhibition Boundaries is very high, which made the evaluation process very difficult. Working with people who stand behind this festival, who are very young and energetic, is an inspiration.”
“It is unbelievable how a small group of people can create a big photography festival and an incredible atmosphere in which every guest feels a warm welcome”, said Marcus Henttonen, one of the authors of the Frame Stories exhibition.
Photography festival Organ Vida is a place where great names in photography meet and spend time with guests, young artists and photographers. It is a platform for connecting, exchanging and education of prominent and emerging photographers.
This year’s festival was financially supported by the Ministry of Culture, City of Zagreb, Tourism Association for the City of Zagreb, Embassy of Spain in Croatia, Embassy of the Republic of Finland and Goethe Institut.
Partners of the 7th edition of Organ Vida include: Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, galleries Zvonimir, Kranjčar and Miroslav Kraljević, Restart Association and School of Design at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Zagreb.
We sincerely thank our sponsors: Epson Hrvatska, Cerovski Print Boutique, Westin Hotel, Volvo, Tisak paketi, Croatia Airlines, Grupa products, Prostoria, iStyle, ARS Kopija, Bureau Hostel Zagreb and many others who helped in the realization of the festival and the volunteers of Organ Vida festival.