Topic: Adaptation

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© Lucas Foglia / Michael Hoppen Contemporary, London

Through the theme of adaptation, a subject that is of particular contemporary relevance, the 19th Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography will reveal trends in emerging Swiss and international photography. In their explorations of the remarkable ability of living things to adapt, the invited photographers record how human beings, animals, and even the landscape are transforming themselves in reaction to new conditions. In the 21st century, the challenges are mainly created by humans themselves. Confronted with entirely new situations, individuals, whether in isolation or as members of a group, seek ways to adapt, or sometimes to resist it.

The Festival has selected works of photography which engage closely with issues that raise questions for the future of our contemporary societies: intensive resource development, neocolonialism, demographics, economic needs, recent political changes, religion, genetic modification, climate change, new technologies, as well as the uses of the medium of photography itself. The photographers have aimed at finding subjects that reflect a present that is very near to us, from one end of the planet to the other: from Japan to the US, from Ukraine to Lesotho, and in Switzerland too. The images offer a panorama of the practice of photography now: documentary photos, humanistic projects and conceptual ones; photographs with a scientific or classificatory aim; projects that incorporate archival images or images found on the internet; and installations that take possession of the exhibition space. 

Comprising 22 exhibits, most of which will be receiving their Swiss premiere, even worldwide, the Festival is a unique opportunity for discoveries. On the walk from the museums to the old town of Biel/Bienne, there will be a surprising new venue, which will be visible this year only. With a rich programme of activities centred on dialogue about the images and meetings with the artists, the Festival is a three-week long celebration of photography. We invite you to come enjoy it! You will also be able bring a photograph home by becoming a collector of the “Editions of the Biel/Bienne Festival of Photography”.