Festival: the Independent Photography Festival returns

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“I’m into showing the spectrum of photographers – some are well known and some are amateurs. There’s not many rules,” says Lola Paprocka, the curator behind the London Independent Photography Festival.

First held in London in 2015, the festival is taking over venues from 04-28 May to show work by “living, breathing artists, creatives and bodies who make up our varied, but nowadays very screen-based discipline”. Featured artists include Christopher Nunn, a Yorkshire-born photographer who’s working on a long-term project in Ukraine and showing his work at Calvert 22 from 10-14 May; and Juno Canedo, a New York-based artist who grew up in Brazil, and is showing work shot at Black Bike Week in South Carolina at The Printspace from 11-18 May.

Featured events include a showcase for the Deadbeat Club, an indie publishing company supported by Deanna Templeton, Clint Woodside, Devin Briggs, Ed Templeton, Grant Hatfield, and Nolan Hall, held at 71A Gallery on 20th-28th May.

Image © Pavle Nikolic, shortlisted for the IPF Photo Prize
Image © Pavle Nikolic, shortlisted for the IPF Photo Prize

This international aspect is key to what IPF does, says Paprocka, adding: “It’s nice when people are coming from different places and shooting their own communities [as opposed to] only photographers who can afford to visit those locations.

“There’s quite a lot of landscapes, it’s calm photography [this year],” she continues. “There was no brief, so anyone could submit whatever they felt like. There are so many different spectrums and styles of photography and we’re trying to make it fair.”

The result of this open brief has been a whopping 2500 entries for the keynote show – the IPF Photo Prize at House of Vans, a group exhibition of shortlisted artists on show until 27 May. The prize was judged by Andrea Kurland (editor-in-chief Huck Magazine), Eva Eicker (curator, The Photographers’ Gallery) and Leo Scott (The Printspace).

There is massive support from the community in general,” says Paprocka. “We want to show a different community and people together. It’s about sharing the love for photography.”


Image © Lucy Yang, shortlisted for the IPF Photo Prize
Image © Lucy Yang, shortlisted for the IPF Photo Prize
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy