Diffusion: Inaugural Cardiff International Festival of Photography makes for great May

By Culture24 Reporter | 30 April 2013

Festival preview: Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography, various venues, Cardiff, May 1-30 2013

A photo of a young woman standing in a butchers
Catrine Val, Victoria from Feminist (2011). Val will be part of European Chronicles at The Cardiff Story during the inaugural Cardiff International Festival of Photography© Catrine Val
For a month, the national photo agency for Wales’ home might not seem too far removed from industrial Portugal more than 50 years ago.

Edgar Martins, the award-winning Portuguese photographer, has been given exclusive access to 20 power plants across his native land, rebuilt during the period between the 1950s and 1960s when rapid economic growth and social change was anticipated across the country.

His appearance at Ffotogallery is Martins’ contribution to the inaugural photographic festival in the Welsh capital. There’s also a premiere for filmmaker Gideon Koppel’s Borth – set in the wild west Wales town it is named after, pitching the sea against architecture and human gesture – and a first solo exhibition, at Chapter, for the Italian Maurizio Anzeri, featuring new commissions from an artist known for his “photo-sculpture”.

A coal miner’s son who became a professional wrestler, the story of Adrian Street sounds even more compelling under the focus of a Jeremy Deller film as part of a group show, The Valleys Re-Presented, which also includes archival work by photographers including David Bailey and Peter Fraser at Tramshed, as well as new projects by Zhao Renhui, Alicia Bruce and Sean Edwards.

The first year has been impressively broad in its scope: European Chronicles lays on a selection of individual, often deeply personal projects at The Cardiff Story – not least The Brothers, a portrait of two brothers on a small farm in rural Norway, made by Elin Høyland.

And Ffotogallery has created five “hives” around the city, from where visitors can tweet their photos. Talks, workshops, schools’ programmes and the Cardiff Photomarathon accompany the exhibitions.

More pictures:

A photo of a young woman working in an industrial mill
Maurice Broomfield, Preparing a Warp, British Nylon Spinners, Pontypool (1964). Part of The Valleys Re-Presented at Tramshed© Maurice Broomfield
A photo of a technological laboratory
Edgar Martins, Lindoso Power Station - Control Room (Frontal View) (2012). At Ffotogallery© Edgar Martins
A black and white photo of people wearing animal fancy dress
Geoff Charles, Ellesmere Carnival (September 4 1955). Part of Structures of Feeling: The Photographs of Geoff Charles© Courtesy National Library of Wales
A photo of various chairs in a lounge overlooking a city
Peter Bobby, High-rise (23rd, Bar) (2007). At Tramshed, May 1-27© Peter Bobby
A photo of a group of people sitting in a portable hot tub
Mindaugas Ažušilis, From Happiness in Lithuania (2012). Part of European Chronicles© Mindaugas Ažušilis
A black and white photo of two men sitting cross-armed next to each other
Elin Høyland, The Brothers (2001-2002)© Elin Høyland
A black and white photo of an industrial city
David Bailey, Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Trehafod, from The Valleys Project (1985). Part of The Valleys Re-Presented© David Bailey
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