What is Unseen Photo Festival?

by Unseen June 30 2016

This year, from the 16th to the 25th of September, Unseen hosts its second edition of the Unseen Photo Festival – a ten-day celebration of photography in and around the city of Amsterdam. During the festival, Unseen invites visitors to be challenged, inspired and excited by a programme bringing together many of the city’s leading institutions, galleries, artists and initiatives using photography in unexpected and provocative ways.

Every year Unseen Photo Festival takes place in a newly chosen neighbourhood of Amsterdam, in an effort to not only get visitors acquainted with the various areas of the city, but also to get locals – both individuals and businesses – acquainted with the world of contemporary photography. For this edition, Unseen Photo Festival will be focusing on the Spaarndammer neighbourhood in Amsterdam West – a historic part of the city dating back to the end of the 19th century. Originally built to house the city’s many dockworkers, the neighbourhood, designed by Michel de Klerk, is a classic example of architecture in the style of The Amsterdam School, which celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2016.

A prime example of this type of architecture is Museum Het Schip – a former apartment block that now acts as a museum for the Amsterdam School of Architecture. During the festival this location will be hosting an exciting exhibition guest-curated by renowned artist Anton Corbijn, TOUCHED – Craftsmanship in Contemporary Photography. Whilst in the neighbourhood, visitors can also see campaign artist Christto & Andrew's exhibition, The Politics of Sports, at the outdoor swimming pool Het Brediusbad or works by a new generation of Japanese photographers at the Lumix meets Beyond 2020 exhibition in Josilda da Conceição Gallery, or enjoy an artist-curated dinner at the neighbourhood restaurant Hembrug & Zaandammer. Together these locations, in combination with others, make up the Festival Heart of the Unseen Photo Festival. See the Festival Heart page here.

In addition to the chosen neighbourhood, many of Amsterdam's leading cultural institutions, organisations, gallerists and individuals will be contributing to this year's exciting programme. Not only will guests be welcome to visit exhibitions at institutions such as the Stedelijk, the National Maritime Museum, and Huis Marseille, they will also have the opportunity to visit a variety of events, screenings or performances at De Oude Kerk, Framer Framed, Pakhuis de Zwijger and Felix Meritis, amongst many others. For a more detailed list of participating venues, please see the Cultural Institutions page here.

Be sure to drop by Amsterdam this September for the photography-focused festivities in store for you during the Unseen Photo Fair & Festival 2016!