Month of Photography – Bratislava
Much has changed during the sixteen years since the first Month of Photography Bratislava was held – in the organization of our festival, the society and also photography.
Initially our aim was just to prove that world photography has numerous personalities who, thanks to the “Iron Curtain” remained hidden from our public. However, in 1994 1995 we realized that such “an education strategy” will not do, that we have joined a steadily growing stream of international photographic festivals and therefore must choose a concept that would be oriented not solely inwards but also beyond Slovak frontiers. That was when the idea of the festival of the Month of Photography Bratislava became crystallized as an offering unique space for Central and Eastern European photography. This change was implemented also thanks to the support of our friends in neighboring countries, but particularly in the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. The launching in 1995 of the IMAGO magazine (whose 20th issue is ready for a print) helped to reinforce our conviction that narrowing down of the concept was functional. In 2000 we became a link in the worldwide chain of photographic festivals under the heading Festival of Light.
To us this meant as completion of efforts at including Central and Eastern European photography within the national content, just as retrospective of works by such personalities as Duane Michals, Sebastian Salagdo, Josef Koudleka or Joel-Peter Witkin had been a completion of our initial efforts.
On the edge of 21st century we have broadened boundaries of our festival. We started biannual competition of photography books published in our region (2000), we included workshops in our programme (2001), we adopted Meeting Place from Fotofest Houston to our conditions (1998), we went from the gallery space into parks and streets (2003). In the last years we want more to reach the audience not just by presenting the work by famous artists but also by bringing art of photography closer to the public. Among accompanying events viewers can find: portfolio reviewing, concert, international conference on photography and workshops. The festival is held each year in November.
The fulfiment of our visions of promoting Central and Eastern European Photography we see in the foundation of the Central European House of Photography proclaimed by Slovak Ministry of Culture on November 5, 2004.
by Vaclav Macek
Central European House of Photography
814 99 Bratislava Slovakia
E-mail: info(a t)sedf.sk