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Today marks the first day of the 2nd Edition of the Gazebook Sicily Photobook Festival.

The international event, organised by this year’s BJP Breakthrough competition winner Simone Sapienza, celebrates all forms and strains of photography, with a special focus on the printed book.

Taking place in Punta Secca, a small fishing village off the coast of Sicily, the weekend festival boasts a rich programme of workshops, talks, portfolio reviews and exhibitions, which visitors are invited to enjoy with light refreshments in an inclusive, party-like atmosphere.

GB. England. New Brighton. From 'The Last Resort'. 1983-85. Image © Martin Parr
GB. England. New Brighton. From ‘The Last Resort’. 1983-85. Image © Martin Parr

For example, the ‘Lemonade’ talks keep the summer alive, starting today with a talk entitled ‘We Love Photobooks!’ led by Martin Parr, and continue later in the afternoon by curator Chiara Oggioni Tiepolo and photo-editor and art director, Maurizio Garofalo.

Somewhere in between there is a ‘Book Launch and Watermelon’ event, where new publishers are invited to present their photobooks alongside “a quick swim” and with a “watermelon [to] refresh your photobook taste”.

The day concludes with a reggae and dancehall Gazebook party, setting the precedent for a photo-buzz that promises to continue over the next couple of days.

© Klaus Pichler
© Klaus Pichler

Other speakers at the festival include Colin Pantall and Lina Pallotta on the Saturday, (which will also end with a beach party and a midnight swim) and concludes with a talk by Klaus Pichler and a workshop by Adam Broomberg on Sunday.

As with the festival itself, the workshops concentrate on the ins and outs of all things ‘photobook’, such as a three-part class looking at the structure, and another entitled ‘Image to Page’.

© Olivia Arthur
© Olivia Arthur

Finally, no photography festival would be complete without a series of stellar exhibitions.

Olivia Arthur shows her series ‘Stranger’, which looks at the imaginary future of a passenger from an old shipwreck that sank just off the port of Dubai in 1961; Clementine Schneidermann, one of our Portrait of Britain winners, will be showing her work, ‘The Unbearable, The Sadness and The Rest,’ as part of the emerging talent exhibition; and Finnish emerging photographer, Esa Ylijaasko gives us an insight into the life of a Syrian refugee community in Suleymaniye, in Istanbul, Turkey with his striking collection of prints from the ‘November Is a Beginning’ series.

© Esa Ylijaasko
© Esa Ylijaasko

The weekend of activities is free to attend, and is a positive and fun-loving example of a festival that celebrates photographic publishing whilst maintaining a high calibre of contributors.

© Clementine Schneiderman
© Clementine Schneiderman

The festival is taking place from 9 – 11 September 2016. For more information, click here.

Izabela Radwanska Zhang

Starting out as an intern back in 2016, Izabela Radwanska Zhang is now the Managing Editor of British Journal of Photography in print and online. Her words have appeared in Disegno and Press Association. Prior to this, she completed a MA in Magazine Journalism at City University, London, and most recently, a Postgrad Certificate in Graphic Design at London College of Communication.

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