"The quality of the photographs has enhanced public space." This is how a citizen of Baden expressed her enthusiasm for the Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo in mid-August and summed up what the exhibitions on I LOVE AFRICA have achieved. On display at a huge open-air gallery in Baden near Vienna from 8 June to 30 September during the Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo was the who’s who of photography – brought together under the theme I LOVE AFRICA. It attracted 189 258 visitors. Besides euphoric visitor reactions, the largest photo festival in Europe has already received three important awards: the Austrian Event Award 2018, the Maecenas Austria and Maecenas Lower Austria 2018.
34 photographers from 15 countries took part in the festival. The aesthetic magic of 2000 photographs on screens of up to 300 m² in size transformed the parks, streets and squares of Baden into a 'city of pictures' on a stretch of 4.5 km. Between Josefsplatz and Strandbad, photography and garden design merged into an enchanting open-air gallery. Admission free of charge. Four months long.
The energy of the festival draws on two main aspects: geography and environment. First, the pictures highlight one country – in 2018, the photographs, mainly from African portrait studios, talk about the dreams of people living in sub-Saharan Africa. Second, longer-term reportages tell us about moving relationships between humans and animals. In addition, schools in Lower Austria participated in the photo festival with their photos shown in an exhibition.
By conveying in photographs urgent environmental issues as well as the beauty of our planet, the festival stands for the human desire for peace and the good life. Events throughout the four months of the festival take the form of conversations with artists, workshops, theater productions and guided tours through the exhibitions.
Of great importance to the initiators is the EU-political dimension: From the cooperation between the city of Baden, situated on the eastern rim of Central Europe, and the photo festival in La Gacilly, situated on the western rim of Brittany, a pan-European spirit and joint effort emerges. The festival will be held annually in cooperation with the Festival La Gacilly Photo with a different theme each year. It is currently planned for five years.
A Few Facts & Figures
- 189 258 people visited the festival.
- 89.51% came from Austria and 10.49% from abroad.
- 4 716 000 euros estimated value was generated by day tourism.
- 1 165 000 euros estimated value was generated by overnight stay tourism.
- 1.3 million euros of publicity value was generated by the photo festival via 247 appearances in the media – with 2.2 publications on average per festival day.
The festival has received the following rewards:
AUSTRIAN EVENT AWARD 2018 – Gold in the category Public Events Charity / Social / Cultural (P2P)
MAECENAS AUSTRIA – main award in the category Special Award, Art & Culture for Cultural Institutions“
MAECENAS LOWER AUSTRIA 2018 – Artist Recognition Award in the category Special Award, Art & Culture
I LOVE AFRICA, the 2018 festival catalogue was published by Edition Lammerhuber. German/English; 17 x 23 cm; 260 pages; softcover; € 14.90. - edition.lammerhuber.at/en/books/i-love-africa
I LOVE AFRICA will be followed by HYMNE AN DIE ERDE (Hymn to the Earth) on 1 June thru 30 September 2019. For the 15th Anniversary of our partner festival La Gacilly, the curators have chosen The World as its theme. Contemporary photography is used to describe the state of the Earth, its unique beauty as well as the dangers that threaten the blue planet and humanity. Photographic observations range from Thomas Pesquet's impressions of the Earth, which he orbited as an astronaut for 196 days at the International Space Station (ISS), to Spike Walker's million-fold magnifications of life as seen under the microscope. "From my spaceship, I had the best possible place to observe the Earth," Thomas Pesquet says enthusiastically – "its beauty with all its treasures, but also its vulnerability".
Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo . 1 June thru 30 September, 2019 . Baden near Vienna. Opening hours: 24 hours. Admission to the festival is free of charge. Contact: Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo. Dumbagasse 9, A-2500 Baden. firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: +43 2252 42269 . festival-lagacilly-baden.photo