FORMAT17: Format International Photography Festival Programme


FORMAT17, the UK’s largest photography festival will launch in Derby on 23 March 2017. The theme of this year’s festival is HABITAT, and work by more than 200 international artists and photographers will be on display, documenting the world around us. A showcase for emerging talent alongside established artists, FORMAT17 will encompass 30 exhibitions, a photo book market, portfolio reviews and a series of innovative events and performances.


The wide range of projects on display at FORMAT17 are connected by the theme HABITAT – exploring landscape, environment, mobility, migration, digital worlds, ideas of home and displacement, conflict and regeneration through the work of international photographers and artists. Rapid changes in the environment caused by industry, technology, conflict, migration and climate are accelerating at such unprecedented rates that the human impact on the Earth has pushed us into a new cultural geographical epoch or era known as the ‘Anthropocene’. With tangible impacts of these changes being recorded, FORMAT17 explores the effect, solutions and conditions of this state that we are in, on micro and macro levels worldwide.


“I felt the idea of the Anthropocene would be timely. It’s a concept that’s important not just in art or photography, but more generally in terms of how we start to understand and come to terms with what is important in the world around us and our relation to it.' Louise Clements, Artistic Director QUAD & FORMAT International Photography Festival

(Image above: Part I: Redo  © Sadie Wechsler)

Ahead still lies our future

24 March – 11 June 2017

QUAD Gallery, Derby

Ahead still lies our future will be the key exhibition of FORMAT17, featuring the work of 10 international artists who encourage the viewer to speculate on imagined futures on a global scale. The artworks in the exhibition range from Ester Vonplon’s requiem for the melting glaciers in her native Switzerland, to a monumental video installation by Lida Abdul made in her homeland of Afghanistan, and Islands is Islands, an immersive VR installation by Japanese trans-media artist Kenta Cobayashi.

The exhibition is curated by Louise Clements and Hester Keijser and includes work by Lida Adbul, Lisa Barnard, Ursula Biemann, Kenta Cobayashi, Hannah Darabi, Sohrab Hura, Zhang Jungang, Wanuri Kahiu, Ester Vonplan and Sadie Wechsler. The artists are united by their exploration of the extraordinary interconnected nature of the human spirit and the habitat that it encounters or creates.

(Image above: from 'What we have overlooked' © Lida Abdul)



24 March – 23 April 2017

Various venues around Derby

Over fifty projects, selected by a panel of judges from the FORMAT17 Open Call will be exhibited across Derby for the duration of the festival. Entries were received from 68 countries, with over 50% coming from outside the UK.

The successful entries range from a study of Basildon by CJ Clarke and Christopher Smith; to the interior landscapes of the European Space Agency by Edgar Martins; concerns over the breakup of Yugoslavia by Borko Vukasov and Poulomi Basu’s A Ritual of Exile documenting women exiled during menstruation in Nepal. It also includes Modern Ornithologies, a group show curated by Rodrigo Orrantia highlighting stories of unusual bird-related activities including work by Stephen Gill and Martin Parr, and Balkan Trails, an exhibition spearheaded by photographer Ciril Jazbec retelling stories of migration in the Balkans.


(Image above: © CJ Clarke and Christopher Smith)


Open Call exhibited artists:


Alexandra Polina  Germany | Alexey Shlyk Belgium | Andrew Bruce UK |  Barbara Karant USA |  Borko Vukosav Croatia | Carlos Alba UK | Christopher Bethell UK | CJ Clarke & Christopher Smith UK | Claudius Schulze Germany | Daniela Friebel Germany | Dara McGrath Ireland | Dominika Gesicka Poland | Dragana Jurisic Ireland | Drew Nikonowicz USA | Edgar Martins UK | Farhad Berahman UK | Filippo Menichetti & Martin Errichiello Italy |  Slovenian Photographers – Boštjan Pucelj, Ciril Jazbec, Matej Povšeand Matic Zorman Slovenia | Gijs van den Berg & Jan Dirk van der Burg Netherlands | Guillaume Simoneau Canada | Jan McCullough UK | John MacLean UK | Jon Tonks UK |  Jost Franko UK |  Julia Fullerton-Batten UK | Katrin Koenning Australia | Laurent Chéhère France | Lee Deigaard USA | Lia Darjes Germany | Liz Orton UK | Magda Biernat USA | Mandy Barker UK | Mark Wright UK | Masamichi Kagaya Japan | Michel Le Belhomme France | Miia Autio Finland | Miren Pastor  Spain | Monica Alcazar-Duarte UK | Nikolas Ventourakis UK | Nishant Shukla India | Poulomi Basu India | Quentin LacombeSwitzerland | Rachel Glass UK | Rebecca Najdowski Australia | Anais Lopez, Leon Reidl, Maria Sturm & Cemre Yesil, Mark Mattock, Martin Parr, Ricardo Cases, Stephen Gill and Yohei Kichiraku. Curated by Rodrigo Orrantia UK | Sheng Wen Lo Netherlands | Simon Aeppli UK | Stephanie Rushton UK | Tim Simmons UK | Truth Leem Republic of Korea | Yee Man Cheng Hong Kong | Ying Ang Australia |

(Image above: © Sheng-Wen Lo) 


Flâneur: New Urban Narratives

Cathedral Green, Derby

24 March – 23 April 2017

New works by Tom Hunter, Liz Hingley and international collective Discipula will be on display for the first time as part of the finale of the Pan-European Flâneur: New Urban Narratives, project. Twenty-six commissions have been completed over the past three years across 12 different countries, challenging contemporary photographers to create artistic interventions within public spaces. Alongside the new commissions, the exhibition include work from the entire Flâneur project showcased in outdoor lightboxes. The new works were commissioned by Flâneur, FORMAT and First Art.


Here, here and everywhere

24 March – 23 April 2017

New works by a special selection of photographers and multimedia artists from across India will be presented at FORMAT17. A newly commissioned audio-visual performance by BLOT will animate the communally collated Indian Memory Archive, alongside Shivani Gupta’s images of Ladakh, and Aradhana Seth presents a pop-up studio where audiences can interact and create studio-portraits. Supported by British Council and Arts Council England as part of the Re-Imagine India programme, commissioned in partnership with New Art Exchange, Defina Foundation, Primary and MAC.


People, Places, and Faces: The W. W. Winter’s Archive

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

This survey exhibition will explore early studio photography from 1854 onwards with a focus on the collection of W.W. Winters Studio Derby, one of the oldest running studios in the world. Curated by Greg Hobson, the exhibition will be accompanied by an interactive programme by QUAD and Derby Museums, and a symposium curated by Pete James on 8 April 2017 at QUAD. The symposium, Under the Dark Cloth: working with photography studio archives, is produced in collaboration with Heritage Lottery Fund, UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC), the Royal Photographic Society, The Photography Collections Network, QUAD, FORMAT Festival, Derby Museums, Arts Council England, W. W. Winter and The Art Fund.


FORMAT Photobook Market

24 – 26 March 2017 

For the 2017 festival FORMAT have partnered with Sebastian Arthur Hau from COSMOS/Polycopies, to present over 25 international publishers and imprints, a selection of self -publishing artists, live events, photobook surgeries and drop-in activities.


FORMAT Portfolio Reviews

25 March 2017

50+ international photography professionals will be attending the annual FORMAT Portfolio Review, the UK’s largest gathering of experts offering help and advice to photographers.


FORMAT17 launch days: 23 March – 26 March 2017


FORMAT17 festival: 24 March – 23 April 2017


Venues Across Derby, UK


Further information and full programme on from early 2017


Opening Weekend Events: 23 – 26 March 2017

Festival Diary Highlights:

23 March 2017 Kicking off at 4.00pm the evening will be full of exhibition openings; live music and the infamous launch party into the evening

24 March 2017  All day conference and series of talks will explore the festival theme of HABITAT, new landscapes of photography and to discover if we truly are in a new epoch – the Anthropocene. Key speakers include Hester Keijser, invited artists and academics, plus ‘Autoportrait Martin Parr’ in which Parr will discuss his long career in photography’ (supported by Leica).

24 – 26 March 2017 The popular photobook market will be a new special edition for the 2017 festival, curated by Sebastian Arthur Hau and will have some old favourites and new imprints for the browsers and collectors, plus new events.

25 March 2017 50+ international photography professionals will be attending the annual FORMAT Portfolio Review, the UK’s largest gathering of experts offering help and advice to 80+ Photographers.

26 March 2017 Talks and tours of the exhibitions across Derby, the day will culminate in a trip to Bolsover Castle for a spectacular performance to round up the launch weekend.



Derby, UK

24 March – 23 April 2017

Opening Weekend: 23 – 26 March 2017

FORMAT is directed by Louise Clements, organised by QUAD and the University of Derby Supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and multiple partners from the UK and international origins.