International Photofestival Sunsvall Sweden


The Photofestival, and its organizer Photomuseum, in Sundsvall, Sweden has emerge out from the needs of the extensive photographic, art and journalistic educations in the Mid Sweden region which is historical a heavy industrial region. Some 20 years ago the political will and devotion of some private persons, under the clouds of post industrialism and negative industrial trends decided to try to transform the region in to Picture Region No 1 in Sweden and to an educational region.  Mid Sweden region was already a popular place for artist collectives but also with good ground in educational knowledge.  Bildens Hus Fotomuseum started 11 years ago as one of the first steps in the new direction.
The Photo Festival has three main pillars: political/social, journalism, aesthetics. None of these three our formore rather they cooperate, but the political or social side has from the beginning been one of the main pillars. The photo festival is usually connected to the Festival “Week of Democracy” in Sundsvall.  Within framework of the democracy week the photo festival has tried to fine visual conceptions acceptable and offending, not only covering subjects, but also stressing them to the limits.  In that case both photojournalistic and pure ecstatic trends have been at show. A major role in the festival is the discussion.  The meeting and how we can try to create debate from the visual exhibition. That’s the way we label our way of making photo exhibitions, Communicative Photography. We exhibit photos that are communicating.
The festival is always in mold and for the last years the main subject has Been Our Contempt for weakness, racism and war.  During 2003 the festival was called Dokument 03 and was produced together with Photojournalism dep. at Mid Sweden University.  Dokument 03 did put at show more than 45 photographic exhibitions, 30 lectures and 10 films and is up to today the biggest ever photofestival made in Scandinavia.  Names as: Paolo Pellegrin, Antanas Sutkus, Emil Heilborn, Georg Oddner, Vladimir Nikitin, Josef  Koudelka and more has been at show in Sundsvall Sweden. 2004 the program was smaller but also thematic tighter. Within the framework of our contempt for weakness five exhibitions five films ad ten lectures was erupted.  The main exhibitions were: Without Sanctuary, Lynching photography in USA 1880 – 1960, and GAZA by Palo Pellegrin.
Both exhibitions were European premier and Gaza World premier. 2005 the festival is devoted to Photojournalism.  2006 the theme of the festival will be PanopticonPrison.
Never is the exhibition only focus on Swedish photography neither is photography it self the only purpose.  It is always the discussion, the pictorial and social debate that we stress. Because of this, we are not so focus on doing ”only Swedish photographers or only American or Documentary photography, or only photo for that matter – we take what we need to make a good story.



International Photofestival Sunsvall Sweden


Hus fotomuseet Magasingatan

12852 34 Sundsvall,


Tel:  46 60 192534/39/89