Belfast Photo Festival 2023

International Event, Northern Ireland

For over two centuries, photography has been used to capture the world around us. From its beginnings, it has been a tool for exploration, showcasing to viewers parts of the world that had previously been unreachable.

As a medium, photography thrives off our desire to see more and to know more: an urge most of us now feed through our insatiable engagement with images on social media, where far off lands and people on the other side of the earth are reachable at the click of a button. In this globalised and highly digital moment, what does it mean to ‘journey’, and what unknown worlds does photography specifically allow us to see?

This edition of Belfast Photo Festival, we explore how artists in the contemporary moment are interpreting the idea of the ‘journey’ as a subject of art. The festival features projects that approach this centuries old preoccupation from new and surprising angles: from works that chart global surges in civil unrest; re-trace epic pilgrimages; explore the passage of time; map out unwritten histories; and chronicle journeys of self-discovery that look inward rather than out at the world.

Longing For Love, 2018 from the series A Myth of Two Souls © Vasantha Yogananthan
New Ghosts N°1 (2011) © Aki & Astrid Sinikoski
Pool, 2019. Cambridge, MA. From the series ‘Cousins’ © Kristen Joy Emack
The Barber Shop – Accra, 2023. From the series ‘Boys Will Always Be Boys’ © Carlos Idun-Tawiah
The Wave © Lorraine Turci
Fairmont High School Majorettes, Cape Town, 2018. From the series ‘Drummies’ © Alice Mann
Fur coated twins waiting to cross the road, Manhattan, New York City, USA, 1973 © Alain le Garsmeur
‘Susan McCrory’ from Principled & Revolutionary Northern Ireland’s Peace Women by Hannah Starkey, 2023. Courtesy The Artist & Belfast Photo Festival