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About

Photoworks Festival

Visit Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts this Autumn to experience Photoworks Festival on campus.

The first Photoworks Festival - Propositions for Alternative Narratives - takes place from 24 September to 25 October 2020, with 11 international artists coming together to exhibit work for audiences to engage with in real life and online.

Photoworks Festival is the reshaping of one of the UK’s longest running photography festivals - Brighton Photo Biennial - and is an idea which asks what a photography festival can be and who they are for. The 2020 edition can be experienced by audiences in three ways; via a printed ‘festival in a box’, through a major presentation of outdoor exhibitions on billboards spanning Sussex, and online through a digital festival hub.

As part of the billboard element, a triptych of works will be displayed at ACCA, both in the foyer and at the café-bar windows (viewable from outside the venue).

The programme ranges from the dazzling Afrofuturist inspired works of Alberta Whittle, to Ivar Grāvlejs poetic compositions of the everyday captured in supermarket checkout-lines, and Farah Al Qasimi’s brightly coloured observations of postcolonial structures of power and gender in the Gulf region. These works will sit alongside the poignant telling of a cross cultural relationship as experienced by Pixy Liao. The sites of past borders as observed by Roger Eberhard, and Poulomi Basu’s exploration of the war between the government and the Maoist insurgent group People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army in India feature. Alix Marie meanwhile, asks us to consider the body’s tactility and capacity to provoke emotions when transferred to the photographic medium. Sethembile Msezane’s interdisciplinary practice combines photography, film, sculpture, and drawing to explore issues focused on spirituality, politics and African knowledge systems. Ronan Mckenzie’s project explores the colour brown as a concept and a starting point. Lotte Andersen’s work will bridge the online, and the real life, using collage, photography and text her flyer displayed outdoors and in the ‘festival in a box’ will act as an invitation to an online work taking place in October.

At ACCA see works by Ivar Gravelejs and outside Falmer Student Union a work by Poulomi Basu as well as more across Brighton, Hove and Worthing.


Ivars Gravlejs (LV)

Ivars Gravlejs, (Latvia, b. 1979) is an artist who has been taking photographs since childhood. Often Gravlejs is described as an “enfant terrible”. He plays with language, with combinations of words and images, and mystifies the spectator with a certain degree of infantility. The art of provocation is typical of Grāvlejs who, as it happens, can pretend nothing special is at stake. The artist holds a Master’s degree from FAMU in Prague and is currently a PhD student and teacher of “speculative spiritual photography” in Czech Republic. His work has been displayed across Europe, with solo exhibitions including: Prague-based work such as 'A glass of champagne' in 2015, 'THERE WILL BE DICKS!' in 2014, and was featured in the 4th Biennale in 2011; 'Who's Next' in Moscow in 2013; and his 'Early Works' shown in Bratislava in 2010.


Poulomi Basu (IN)

Poulomi Basu (India, b. 1983) is an Indian transmedia artist, photographer and activist. Poulomi’s work has become widely known for advocating for the rights of women.

Published in 2020, her photobook Centralia was Shortlisted for the 2020 Rencontres d'Arles Discovery Award. For this work, Poulomi was also awarded a

National Geographic Explorer 2020 award. She created Blood Speaks to utilise the power of photography and visual storytelling/activism to result in tangible social change and amplify the voices of women from the majority world.

In 2018 she collaborated with Action Aid on the campaign #MyBodyIsMine and with WaterAid in 2014 for To Be A Girl, raising £2 million and providing 130,000 girls with reusable sanitary kits and built toilets. In December 2015, she created The Rape in India Project, a crowd sourced platform to share photos of sites of rapes to protest against the shocking frequency of sexual assault in India.

Her work has been internationally exhibited and she won the Magnum Emergency Fund in 2016 and was a Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellow in 2012. In 2017 the artist was shortlisted for the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award and the Catchlight Fellowship in 2017 with Blood Speaks a nd selected for the Sundance New Frontiers Lab with that same project. She has also been shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award for Centralia, and for the FOAM Paul Huf Award amongst others.

She is the Director of Just Another Photo Festival, a travelling guerrilla visual media festival that democratizes photography by taking it to the people and forging new audiences. Her festival was listed by BJP as 2015’s most Cool and Noteworthy and in 2016 in JM Colberg’s Conscientious Photography Magazine as an alternate voice of the ‘audience’.

The artist is also a visiting lecturer for the Visible Justice & Collaborative Unit at the London College of Communication, and has also undertaken the 'Reporting in Crisis Zones' hostile management training at Columbia School of Journalism, kindly supported with a bursary from the Rory Peck Trust.

Dates & Times

Monday 21 September, 2020
– Sunday 25 October, 2020
Visual Arts
​Photoworks Festival
Monday 21 September  – Sunday 25 October
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