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Founded in 1997 the Pingyao International Photography Festival is China’s most prestigious photo festival, featuring images from more than 50 countries each year in indoor and outdoor venues across the UNESCO-listed ancient city. This year it includes a huge exhibition called Distinctly, which is curated by Open Eye Gallery’s Tracy Marshall and which will travel to Merseyside in 2019 as one of the main exhibitions of LOOK International Photo Biennial.

Featuring work by 12 documentary photographers – Martin Parr, Chris Killip, Daniel Meadows, John Myers, Markéta Luskačová, Tish Murtha, Ken Grant, Paul Seawright, Niall McDiarmid, Robert Darch, Elaine Constantine, and Kirsty MacKay – the exhibition takes a unique approach to the depiction of Britain and its distinct landscapes, industries, social and economic changes, cultural traditions, traits and events” over the last six decades says Marshall. “The exhibition looks at the gentle, the humorous, the starkness, the beauty, and the realities experienced and captured by the photographers around their lives living and working in Britain,” she adds.

The Pingyao International Photography Festival is open from 19-25 September; LOOK International Photo Biennial returns next year.

From A Topical Times for These Times © Ken Grant
Karen and Paul, 1981. From Youth Unemployment, shot by Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha
Richard and Louise Woods, 1978. From Elswick Kids shot by Tish Murtha © Ella Murtha
GB. England. Cleckheaton. Farm auction, March, 1979. From the series Bad Weather © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
GB. England. Epsom station, April 1975. From the series Bad Weather © Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
© John Myers
© John Myers
© John Myers
© John Myers
“Bootboys,” November 1974. Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Left-to-right: Brian Morgan, Martin Tebay, Paul McMillan, Phil Tickle, Mike Comish. From the series Now & Then Portraits from the Free Photographic Omnibus © Daniel Meadows
“Bootboys,” July 1995. Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. Left-to-right: Brian Morgan, Martin Tebay, Paul McMillan, Phil Tickle, Mike Comish. From the series Now & Then Portraits from the Free Photographic Omnibus © Daniel Meadows
From the series London Street Musicians © Markéta Luskačová
From the series London Street Musicians © Markéta Luskačová
From the series In Flagrante © Chris Killip
From the series In Flagrante © Chris Killip
From The Fish That Swam Away© Kirsty Mackay
From Belfast © Paul Seawright
From Belfast © Paul Seawright
English Street, Carlisle – Oct 2015. From Town to Town © Niall McDiarmid
King Street, Kilmarnock – Sept 2016. From Town to Town © Niall McDiarmid
From Durlescombe © Robert Darch
From Durlescombe © Robert Darch
© Elaine Constantine

 

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

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