International photography festival FORMAT returns to Derby

Leading international photography festival, FORMAT, is back in Derby in 2015 celebrating its 10th anniversary, bringing together the best of contemporary photography under the curatorial theme of EVIDENCE.

FORMAT has established a reputation for championing international photography and introducing new talents to the UK, attracting visitors from all over the globe.

The 2015 biennial festival will take place from Friday 13 March to 12 April and continues in this tradition.

Exhibiting artists include photographers from China, Eastern Europe, Europe, India, North America, Russia, Scandinavia, and South East Asia, making the historic city of Derby the place to discover new and innovative photography.

Since its invention in the 19th century, photography has been crucial to the collection, recording and display of evidence, and the search for traces and proof of something, someone or somewhere existing.

Across 30 venues in Derby, war stories, fairy tales and crime scenes, landscapes, street photography and performative projects, will combine to offer a diverse interpretation around this theme of evidence, reflecting the expansion of photography into an interpretative as well as a recording medium.

Taking its cue from the legendary 1977 work Evidence by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, the main exhibition at Derby QUAD, co-curated by Louise Clements and Lars Willumeit, is entitled Beyond Evidence – An Incomplete Narrative of Photographic Truths.

Featuring a wide range of work, including photographs by Natasha Caruana, Edmund Clark, Mishka Henner and Cristina De Middel, the exhibition will explore the relationship between image and knowledge, provoking the audience to ask how we determine beyond a reasonable doubt, what is true.

New to this year’s line-up will be the launch of two new digital platforms for the festival, FOCUS and the EVIDENCE APP. Designed by Floating Point Digital, FOCUS, is a photographic storytelling site enabling an immersive experience through text, sound, moving and still imagery.

The EVIDENCE APP, created by a digital innovation research team and funded by the ERDF Know How programme, is a pioneering interactive guide that will bring the technology of gaming to the festival.

Building on the previous success of MobFORMAT, the involvement of amateur and photography enthusiasts will also be encouraged through a partnership with The Mobile Photography Network, who will stage a mass participation project using Instagram to create an evolving interactive installation for the duration of the festival.

EXPOSURE Open Call: Award Winners

FORMAT has a strong tradition of creating opportunities for emerging photographers. In response to this year’s Exposure open call, photographers from over 50 countries around the world submitted work based on the theme of evidence. Selected by an international jury, this year’s award winners are:

    • FORMAT Paul Hill Award: Francesca Seravalle– Until Proven Otherwise/On the Evidence of the First Photos and Wawrzyniec Kolbusz – Sacred Defense


  • Clifton Cameras Award: Matt Henry – The King



  • Genesis & Fuji Award: Lisa Barnard – Whiplash Transition



  • IdeasTap Award: Jiehao Su – Borderland and Martina Cleary – Postcards from a Life



  • The Photography Show Award: Boris Eldagsen – the Poems and Fan Shi San – Great Wall



  • SHOW ME PICTURES Award: Pixy Yijun Liao – For Your Eyes Only/Experimental Relationships



  • The Photocaptionist Award: David Fathi – Anecdotal

Find out more

To see the full programme and find out about exhibitions, events and portfolio reviews visit FORMAT’s website.

FORMAT is supported by public investment from Arts Council England. You can read more about why the Arts Council invests in art and culture here.

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