Latest News | 20 May 2024

Theme announced for major international photography festival

University of Derby
QUAD Derby
Derby City Council
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QUAD and the University of Derby have announced the theme of a major international photography festival, which is due to take place in the city next year.

Taking place every two years, the FORMAT International Photography Festival is a major event in the city’s calendar, attracting thousands of visitors, not just locally but across the globe.

Now, QUAD and the university have announced that the theme for the 2025 festival and open call is ‘CONFLICTED’.

The theme takes inspiration from past and recent historical events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and wars, set against an era where ‘political populism’ has seemingly become the norm.

FORMAT25 aims to show that photography can “speak truth to power” – and organisers are now welcoming diverse and imaginative proposals from international photographers, curators, artists and collectives that “make us stop, think and reset”.

Peter Bonnell, director of FORMAT, said: “This open call, which seeks applications for exhibition as part of the 2025 festival, is a crucial platform for FORMAT to be able to support artists, collectives and curators – from the local, to the national and international practitioner – to realise outstanding new projects of work.

“With the support of and advice of our exemplary judging panel our aim is to select work that comments on, examines further or is inspired by the 2025 Festival theme: ‘CONFLICTED’.”

FORMAT is organised by and is a partnership between QUAD and the University of Derby, supported by Arts Council England, Derby City Council and UK and international partners.

Marketing Derby will also once again be a sponsor for the 2025 event.

The FORMAT25 open call is supported by partners including Picter, Spectrum Photographic, Genesis Imaging, Lishui International Photography Festival and the British Journal of Photography.

Proposals submitted to the open call will be assessed by a jury panel of international experts and the FORMAT curatorial team.

They will select up to five projects to be exhibited at FORMAT25.

Each selected artist will also have the opportunity to receive one of the festival awards, and will receive a £1,000 fee, travel and accommodation costs, and a production budget to deliver their exhibition.

Peter said: “The term ‘conflicted’ can be interpreted in multiple ways; but the fact – or facts – remain that our world is in even more of a heightened state of flux than ever before.

“Yet I am confident to know and excited to see the work and ideas that we will receive from artists across the globe as part of this open call.”

For more information about the open call visit .

For more information about FORMAT visit .

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