A Bristol-based festival dedicated to photobooks

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BOP 21, the Books on Photography festival, returns this year with over 50 publishers and a rich programme of artist talks and events

“There is just something so tangible about the photobook,” says Martin Parr, a well-known photobook aficionado. Indeed, Parr and his foundation (the Martin Parr Foundation) produce the Books on Photography festival (BOP) with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) annually.

“It’s an important time for photography,” Parr continues. The last 18 months have dramatically affected the medium and those involved in the photographic community. The 2021 iteration of BOP, which runs from 22 to 24 October, reflects this, exploring the changing photographic landscape with over 50 publishers. Highlights include photographer Giya Makondo-Wills’ talk on race and decolonisation in the photobook and documentary photographer Nick Hedges discussion with Parr on the impact of photographic history on the present day. 

© Jon Tonks.

“For me, being able to skim these books physically and discover new projects is what makes the book fair so important,” says Michael Pritchard, director of the RPS. Although photo festivals adapted to the online realm during Covid-19, opportunities to experience photobooks physically were lost. “Being in the space with these books leads to the unexpected; you never know what you will find,” he continues.

The Books on Photography festival takes over Paintworks Event Space, Bristol, from 22 to 24 October 2021. Tickets for the talks can be found here.

Isaac Huxtable

Isaac Huxtable joined the British Journal of Photography in October 2020, where he is currently the Editorial Assistant. Prior to this, he studied a BA in History of Art at the Courtauld Instititue of Art, London.