11th International Photo Festival — Phodar Biennial

Vernissage on Thursday, 7 October, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., observing all anti-epidemic measures and with controlled access.

The theme of this year’s Phodar Biennial presupposes a historical perspective on reality and, at the same time, sits at the heart of the phenomenon of photography. The exhibition presents 22 artists from 13 countries. The pandemic situation, the isolation, the limitations, all affect the daily life of each one of us and the functioning of society as a whole. The photo stories introduce us to the first wave of COVID-19 in Italy, the survival of the orangutans on the Island of Sumatra, the actions of the bloody regime in Venezuela, the trafficking of goods banned by the Islamic authorities in Iran, and the olive groves on the island of Sicily affected by another virus that left numerous people without a livelihood. Bulgarian artists have turned their attention to the oblivion and destruction to be found in many places around the country. The clearly stated humanistic profile of the Biennial expands the scope of its interest.

The Phodar Foundation was established in 1999, with its primary activity in the visual arts, focusing on photography, and with its principal event being the International Photo Festival—the Phodar Biennial. Its editions are thematic; photographic series and cycles are accepted. The jury consists of 9 to 11 experts in the genres of photography, the visual arts, and various disciplines in the humanities.

Over the years, representative collections of the Biennial have taken place in Sofia (the National Palace of Culture, 1999; the Central Railway Station, 2004; the National Art Gallery, 2006), Plovdiv (2003 and 2004), the House of Humour and Satire in Gabrovo (2010 and 2011), in the Alma Mater Gallery of St Kliment Ohridski Sofia University (2014), and at the Museum of Art from the Socialist Period (2019).

The festival is made possible with the financial support of the Sofia Culture Programme. The National Gallery is the event co-organiser. Media partners: BulFoto, Vagabond Media, and Bulgaria Today newspaper.