Join us for a festive afternoon to celebrate the opening of Copenhagen Photo Festival 2022!

We invite you to celebrate the grand opening of this year's festival at our Festival Center FRAME on Refshaleøen and celebrate the beginning of our 12th festival 2 June from 5 to 8 pm.

With a host of exhibitions expanding our knowledge on photography as the main attraction, we hope you want to join us for an evening brimming with great photography, people, talks, music and drinks in the afternoon sun!

The Grand Opening is a chance for you to meet our three solo artists, Hien Hoang, Alexandra Rose Howland and Krista Svalbonas as well as many of our partners from the Festival Partner Venues and the many creative, dedicated people from the Danish and international photo scene. 

At the opening we invite you to explore the nine exhibitions presented at the Festival Center. This year we will host two exhibitions presented by Odesa Photo Festival as well as exhibitions by our three open call winners. But we also host the exhibition Inside-Out curated by TOFU collective, the group exhibition A Female Gaze curated by Norwegian artist Charlotte Wiig, selected works by three talents from DMJX school of photography and of course our five Futures Nordic Talents Oscar Scott Carl, Inuuteq Stork, Tine Bek, Iben Gad og Luna Scales.

DJ SHYMAN will set the musical tone from 5-8 pm. The event is free and open for everyone – come join us for art meetings, drinks, talks and enjoyment!

Alexandra Rose Howland: Leave and Let Us Go

Alexandra Rose Howland (1990, US/UK) has spent the last decade living in the Middle East and creating work that challenges traditional coverage of the region and its geopolitics. Her background as an abstract painter continues to impact her work, leading to a multidimensional practice using imagery, found objects, collage, sound, and video. At Copenhagen Photo Festival Howland presents an exhibition at the Festival Center and an open air exhibition in the square by Biblioteket på Rentemestervej.

In 2017, Howland moved to Iraq to continue her long-term work of trying to understand and translate a nation fractured by decades of instability and war. She first created an 88km panoramic image of Mosul Road, the main thoroughfare connecting Erbil and Mosul. At the height of the Mosul offensive, Howland sat on a truck creeping along the road and took one image every three seconds. She manually stitched each image together to create a visual of the people, landscape, and daily life along a road that connected the heart of the proclaimed ISIS Caliphate to a city they could not capture. The viewers see everything from the extremes of a conflict zone to the regularity of the everyday, challenging their understanding of this overly documented country.  

Throughout this time, Howland became acutely aware that what a foreigner views and photographs does not always embody the lived reality of locals. On her first day on the frontline, a soldier sat next to her and flipped through his phone, sharing pictures: His kills. His wife. His girlfriend. His children. His university graduation day. His wedding night. This interaction repeated with myriad of Iraqis who wanted their lives witnessed, not just represented. 

Howland began asking to download these first-person accounts; over the next three years, she built an archive of roughly 350,000 images and videos from over 50 individuals, from selfies to family photos, to Snapchats. The resulting Leave and Let Us Go is an intimate and multi-dimensional portrait that returns the narrative power of an often-misunderstood country to its own citizens. Leave and Let Us Go is comprised of sections from the panoramic image of Mosul Road, phone images, scanned family photo albums, and Howland’s own documentation throughout her time living and working in Iraq. Leave and Let Us Go is published with GOST Books and is currently a central part of Copenhagen Photo Festival with the outdoor exhibition here in front of BIBLIOTEKET and at the festival center on Refshaleøen on display June 2nd-12th.

About the artist

Alexandra Rose Howland (1990, US/UK) has lived in the Middle East over the last decade, creating work that aims to challenge and expand the ways that geopolitical events are communicated. Her background as an abstract painter informs her practice, resulting in multidimensional projects that use images, found objects, interviews and video. Through her work, she seeks to generate a more expansive understating of how conflict is portrayed. She has shown internationally with both solo and group exhibitions including Leave and Let Us Go (solo), FOAM Museum Amsterdam, Road to Mosul (solo), London, Textured to Only Us (solo), Los Angeles. Leave and Let Us Go was published by GOST Books in 2021.


Alexandra Rose Howland (1990 US/UK) har boet i Mellemøsten de seneste 10 år og skab værker, der udfordrer den traditionelle dækning af regionen. Hendes baggrund som abstrakt kunstner har stor indflydelse på måde at arbejde tværdimensionelt og visuelt. I sin praksis benytter hun billeder, fundne objekter, collage, lyd og video. Under Copenhagen Photo Festival kan man opleve Alexandra Rose Howland i FRAME på Festival Centrum samt i en open-air udstilling på torvet ved siden af Biblioteket på Rentemestervej!

I 2017 flyttede Howland til Irak for at fortsætte sit langsigtede arbejde med at forsøge at forstå og oversætte en nation, der var knust af årtiers ustabilitet og krig. Hun skabte først et 88 km langt panoramabillede af Mosul Road, hovedfærdselsåren, der forbinder Erbil og Mosul. På højden af ​​Mosul-offensiven sad Howland på en lastbil, der sneglede sig langs vejen, og tog et foto hvert tredje sekund. Hun syede alle fotografierne sammen i hånden for at skabe et portræt af mennesker, landskab og dagligdag langs en vej, der forbandt hjertet af det udråbte ISIS-kalifat til en by, billederne ikke kunne indfange. 

Beskueren ser alt – fra en konfliktzones ekstremer til hverdagens regelmæssighed – hvilket udfordrer forståelsen af dette overdokumenterede land. I løbet af denne tid blev Howland meget opmærksom på, at det en udlænding ser og fotograferer, ikke altid afspejler lokalbefolkningens levede virkelighed. På hendes første dag i frontlinjen sad en soldat ved siden af ​​hende og bladrede gennem sin telefon og delte billeder: Hans drab. Hans kone. Hans kæreste. Hans børn. Hans dimission fra universitetet. Hans bryllupsnat. Dette gentog sig med utallige irakere, som ønskede, at deres liv skulle være bevidnet, ikke blot repræsenteret.

Howland begyndte at bede om lov til at downloade disse førstepersonskonti, og i løbet af de næste tre år skabte hun et arkiv med omkring 350.000 billeder og videoer fra flere end 50 personer, fra selfies til familiebilleder til Snapchats. Resultatet Leave and Let Us Go er et intimt og flerdimensionelt portræt, der giver fortællerstemmen tilbage til Iraks egne borgere – et ofte misforstået land. Leave and Let Us Go består af sektioner fra panoramabilledet af Mosul Road, telefonbilleder, scannede familiefotoalbum og Howlands egen dokumentation gennem hele hendes tid med at bo og arbejde i Irak. Leave and Let Us Go er udkommet som bog hos GOST Books og er lige nu en central del af Copenhagen Photo Festival med denne udendørsudstilling i samarbejde med BIBLIOTEKET og i festivalcentrummet på Refshaleøen, hvor den fulde udstilling kan opleves i perioden 2.-12. juni.

Om kunstneren

Den engelsk-amerikanske kunstner Alexandra Rose Howland (1990) har løbende boet i Mellemøsten gennem de sidste ti år, hvor hendes kunstneriske fokus har været at udfordre og udvide måden vi kommunikerer om geopolitiske begivenheder. Hendes baggrund som abstrakt kunstmaler afspejler sig i hendes praksis i form af flerdimensionelle projekter, der bruger billeder, fundne objekter, interviews og video. Gennem sit arbejde søger hun at skabe en mere ekspansiv forståelse af, hvordan konflikt skildres. Hun har udstillet internationalt med både solo- og gruppeudstillinger, herunder Leave and Let Us Go (solo), FOAM Museum Amsterdam, Road to Mosul (solo), London, Textured to Only Us (solo), Los Angeles. Leave and Let Us Go blev udgivet af GOST Books i 2021.

Krista Svalbonas: Displacement

The American-Latvian artist and this year's solo artist in the Framing Vision category, Krista Svalbonas, is fascinated by the effect of architectural form and structure on the psychology of the human condition and her cultural background as an ethnically Latvian/Lithuanian artist informs this interest. Krista ́s parents spent many years after the end of World War II in displaced-person camps in Germany before they were allowed to emigrate to the United States.

Svalbonas's exhibition "Displacement" investigates her family's childhood memories of temporary housing structures, that were appropriated from other (often military) uses to house tens of thousands of postwar refugees. Svalbonas's connection to this history has made her acutely aware of the impact of politics on architecture, and in turn on a people’s daily lived experience. Svalbonas ́s work explores architecture’s relationship to cultural identity, social hierarchy, and psychological space.

Group Exhibition – DMJX Photojournalism

The photojournalism education at DMJX – the Danish School of Media and Journalism is the only documentary photography education in Denmark. At this institution, the students use stills and video to tell contemporary stories about the time we live in.

For the Copenhagen Photo Festival 2022, we have chosen to exhibit three student projects, which show the diversity in visual languages and the variety in subject matters that our students work within.

The three projects are:

I'll eat you up. I love you so by Louise Herrche Serup

Queer mental health by Mads Frost

The Life of the Evacuated Afghan Refugees in Denmark by Jesper Houborg

The exhibitions are made possible with support from Aarhus Stiftstidendes Fond and Ophavsretsfonden.

Group exhibition: The Thin Line (Odesa Photo Days Exhibition)

Odesa Photo Days presents the group exhibition “The Thin Line” curated by the Ukrainian curator and leader of the Odesa Photo Days, Kateryna Radchenkol. Due to the Russian invasion Odesa Photo Days do not have a venue in their home town for their annual festival. Instead CPF hosts two exhibitions including “The Thin Line”.

"One winter morning we woke up to the sound of explosions. This was the beginning of a full-scale war in Ukraine. The foreign media predicted a rapid development, but we were gaining patience. The war in Ukraine has been going on for eight years, more than a month — an active invasion by Russian troops. During this time we have changed inevitably: our understanding of time, our daily habits and values have changed.

The exposition is organized in such a way that among the photos of war and destruction one can find the pictures of much earlier periods taken in peaceful cities and towns. It is like our memory, where the moments of life before the war emerge, but then we look around and back to our reality, our ruined cities where people were killed in the streets.

It seems that everything that happened to us before is a dream that we did not have time to fully experience, feel and enjoy. The thin line between past and present, between mirage and reality. We walk on thin ice, but below it is our river, and if we fall into the cold water, our body will reach its native shore.

Artists: Yurko Dyachyshyn, Andriy Lomakin, Volodymyr Petrov, Stas Yurchenko, Mickhail Palinchak, Elena Subach, Serhii Nuzhnenko, Viacheslav Ratynski, Yulia Chervinska, Oleksandr Navrotskyi, Alina Smutko, Sirhiy Hudak, Shilo Group, Pavlo Dorohoy, Igor Efimov, Kateryna Moskalyuk