The first edition of the annual Rotterdam Photo Festival was organized by Stichting Daguerre, taking place at the stunning location at the Deliplein (Deli Square) area, near the Dutch Fotomuseum from 11th to 16th of February 2016. The event became a part of the Art Week Rotterdam, one of the biggest European international event organizing fairs and special exhibitions.
Deli Square was transformed into an immersive photography hub with ten shipping containers – galleries. The festival space was divided into different categories, united by the general topic – "Identity".
The official festival opening was together with Frits Gierstberg, curator of the Dutch Fotomuseum. Together with Popunie Rotterdam, we organized a series of live music events. In addition to the extensive exhibition program, the Rotterdam Photo organized a series of workshops, panel discussions. The entire area was transformed into a large open-air exhibition. The festival was open to the public—all ages and free of charge - visitors had an opportunity to enjoy their time. It made it unlike any other art fair in the city of Rotterdam.
ROTTERDAM PHOTO 2017
Theme | Identity
The second edition of the annual Rotterdam Photo Festival, organized by Stichting Daguerre and More Production, took place at the pleasant location in Katendrecht: Deliplein (Deli Square) from 9th to 12th of February 2017, during the Art Week Rotterdam.
Visitors had an opportunity to visit more than 25 shipping containers-galleries full of portrait/documentary photography. The participated photographers presented their work related to the topic of the year – ‘Identity’, questioning the notion of the identity and its construction.
Along with the exhibitions, we organized several events like workshops, catchy music performances, three days’ workshops from Bieke Depoorter.
This edition was noticeable for us as we’ve launched the first edition of the Rotterdam Photo Talks, which today became a mandatory part of our festival. During the event, participants had a chance to join a discussion and Q&A session after with Lars Boering (World Press Photo), Bieke Depoorter (Magnum Photos), and Sterre Sprengers (De Correspondent). The talented and young photographers Lizette Schaap, Lars van den Brink, and Hanne van der Woude presented their works and discussed the possible development of the photography industry. Vincent Cardinaal (Vers Beton) concluded the Photo Talks, questioning the truth-finding in today’s visual society.
Traditionally the festival location was full of tents with vendors and a various selection of food tracks to feel comfortable during cold February days. The festival, as always, was open to the public—all ages and free of charge.
ROTTERDAM PHOTO 2018
Theme | Fake Truth
The theme of the Rotterdam Photo 2018 was - FAKE| TRUTH. Every image is fake; every image is the truth. No matter how much a photographer tries to stick to the truth, a photograph by definition subjective, and everyone can interpret it in their way? Photography is the result of the choices we made. Do I take a step forward, or do I go a little more to the left, or do I stay in this position? Do I focus on the foreground, or do I leave out a striking detail? Before the photographer focuses on the button on his camera, dozens if not hundreds of options that determine the result have gone through his head consciously and unconsciously.
Deliplein, Katendrecht was transformed into the hub for photography fans from 8th to 11th of February 2018, during the Art Week Rotterdam. This edition of the Rotterdam Photo Talks was inspired by the notion of the photographic medium, ‘machina veritas’, and as always organized for photo enthusiasts and professionals. We’ve discussed various aspects of visual culture and the role of photography in it together with photographers Robin Butter, visual storyteller Jan Rosseel, photographer Lyle Branson, founder of Viewbook Rien Swagerman, and photographer Rob Hornstra. Traditionally our moderator was Frits Gierstberg, curator of the Netherlands Fotomuseum.
The music accompanies these festival days was provided by vibrant music performances from David Fagan and Arnoud Verheul (Band Rats on Rafts) and Peter Faber Jonker, extraordinary songwriter and brilliant alt-rock.
ROTTERDAM PHOTO 2019
Theme | City Limits
The annual independent photography event took place from the 7th to the 10th of February 2019, during Art Week Rotterdam. Deliplein, Katendrecht, as always, became a shipping container village where 30 selected photographers from around the world, among them, were such renowned street photographers as Otto Snoek and Jeroen van Dam, presented their photo exhibition for the general public. Being inspired by the theme ‘City Limits’, photographers focused on documenting our living environment, the environment that sometimes manipulates and challenges the representation of our urban living conditions.
The Rotterdam Photo Talks 2019 edition was organized together with World Press Photo Rotterdam and took place in a stunning location – the top floor of the WTC Rotterdam tower. We shed new light on our contemporary image society together with Bas Princen, Batuhan Keskiner, Anjes Gesink, Marwan Bassiouni, Eddo Hartmann, Laisa Maria, Christine Tomás (Perth Centre for Photography), and Annette Behrens with Carina Hesper. The Photo Talks as usual was moderated by Frits Gierstberg, curator of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, and is programmed together with Photo Talks coordinator George Knegtel.
To maximize our festival joy, we invited Popunie Rotterdam to help us to create a special music program with a varied selection of local bands, DJs, and songwriters.
ROTTERDAM PHOTO 2020
Theme | Transitions
Together with the exhibitions at the Nederlands Fotomuseum and the fine art photography fair Haute Photographie, the ‘Kop van Zuid’ was transformed into the photography lovers’ hub from 6th to 9th of February, 2020, during Art Week Rotterdam.
The world has reached a historical turning point: see the rise of populism, Brexit, the Trump era, and all the (humanitarian) crises that emerge from that. The near future is uncertain. These crises, or better: transitions, formed the red line of Rotterdam Photo 2020 and its theme.
Over 30 selected photographers exhibited their work. Both national and international selection reveals the intriguing works of photographers like Daniel Marquez, Annemie Martin, and Nicola Moscelli. These selected photographers displayed their work alongside renowned photographers such as Luuk Smits, who presented images from his project from 119m be- low to 152m above (2019), Otto Snoek, and Perrine Phelomeen.
The annual Photo Talks event took place together with such speakers as Charlie Koolhaas, Darren Smith & Adrian Lambert, Perrine Phelomeen, Otto Snoek, NWO Suzette, Inger Johansson, Luuk Smits, and Ilvy Njiokiktjien. Such music gigs as Midwinter Bonfire, DJ Meneer Jansen, and Instead of Ella collective accompanied us throughout the entire festival and were responsible for the creation of a spectacular atmosphere.