About Copenhagen Photo Festival

Copenhagen Photo Festival is the largest photo festival in the Nordic region, running on June 3-30, 2021, with more than 50 exhibitions in collaboration with galleries, museums and cultural institutions in Copenhagen and southern Sweden. Each year, 250 Danish and foreign photographers contribute, and the festival is visited by around 55.000 people. In June, photography is on the agenda under the three main pillars Framing Identity, Framing Society and Framing Vision, through exhibitions, workshops, talks, portfolio reviews and more.

Copenhagen Photo Festival focuses on development. New forms of exhibiting, new ways to use photography as well as new perspectives and emerging talents. The festival presents a programme of high quality – artistically and conceptually – building bridges between fine art and documentary photography. Copenhagen Photo Festival is for those who want to break new ground and challenge the idea of what photography is and can be, now and in the future.

The festival centre is located on Refshaleøen, an island in Copenhagen with an industrial history. The raw atmosphere has made the island a creative centre with art institutions such as Copenhagen Contemporary, Reffen – Copenhagen Street Food, theatres, and cultural events which draws an audience from the entire world. Through the festival we challenge traditional presentation methods, finding new and innovative ways to present the artists’ vision.

The festival prioritizes experimentation and sustainability in its production. We work with partners within architecture, crossing the border between in- and outside through innovative use of our established festival centre and its surrounding exhibition park.

You can see previous editions of the festival here.

The Copenhagen Photo Festival programme is divided into three pillars that build bridges between fine art and documentary photography. Applicants for our solo exhibitions must, therefore, be able to define which of these categories they identify most with their project.

Framing Society: Politics, ideology and cultures

Framing Vision: Aesthetics, technique and medium

Framing Identity: Subject, existence and identity

Vision and mission

Copenhagen Photo Festival is more than just a photo festival. The vision is to strengthen our ability to ponder the photography as a form of expression by creating a year long platform that:

KURATERER både fysiske udstillinger og online via sociale medier

DEBATTERER via undervisningsmateriale, paneldebatter og talks

ENGAGERER folk gennem workshops og vandreudstillinger

INFORMERER om fotografiet bl.a. via podcasts og videoer

Festival exhibitions

The festival’s programme consists of two sections: A curated festival centre and a programme that takes place all over Copenhagen. The festival’s exhibitions are categorized in accordance with three main pillars, Framing Identity, Framing Society and Framing Vision, which contributes to our vision of building a bridge between fine art photography and documentary photography.

Festival Centre

Jana Sophia Nolle på Beddingen. Foto: Hans Vedsted

The festival centre consists of both photographers and visual artists, who have been invited or photographers and visual artists, who have been selected from an open call. The festival centre is curated by the Copenhagen Photo Festival’s programme committee, and the exhibitions show both fine art photography and documentary photography. During the whole festival period, visitors can also participate in guided tours, workshops and screenings.

The festival centre has been located in different areas of Copenhagen, Bremerholm, Carlsberg Byen and Østerbro among others. The festival centre presents both indoor and outdoor exhibitions, including the Copenhagen Photo Festival’s mobile exhibition space, FRAME.

The Censored Exhibition

The Censored Exhibition has been a part of Copenhagen Photo Festival’s programme since 2012. The exhibition, which is presented in the festival centre, is a group show that exhibits works chosen by a jury based on an open call. The jury consists of both a curator, a critic and an artist and the works chosen for The Censored Exhibition all fall in the genre of fine art photography, and Copenhagen Photo Festival aims to present contemporary international photo art from the past three years.

On the last day of the festival, selected works from the exhibition go up for auction in collaboration with the renowned auction house Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers. The idea behind the auction is to focus on the many qualities of photo art as well as give established as well as new collectors the opportunity to acquire hand-picked photo art from all over the world.

Gloria Oyarzabal – “Pink Girl (On Exotization, Hipersexualation, Victimization and other -Zations)”, from the series WOMAN GO NO’GREE, 2019

The Official CPF Exhibition Programme

DAC. Foto: Hans Vedsted

Copenhagen Photo Festival also presents several exhibitions in the rest of Copenhagen. These exhibitions are arranged by our exhibition partners, consisting of both established galleries and museums as well as independent exhibition spaces ranging from private apartments to cafés to libraries.

Through these exhibitions, the festival seeks to focus on the role of photography in contemporary art, and the exhibitions are often open past the end of the festival. All exhibitions are chosen by Copenhagen Photo Festival’s programme committee and will be featured in the printed as well as the digital programme.

Previous exhibition partners include Det Nationale Fotomuseum, Fotografisk Center and Banja Rathnov Galleri & Kunsthandel as well as Reffen – Cph Street Food, Københavns Kulturcenter and The Italian Cultural Institute. See the full list of exhibition partners here.