Photo North Festival 2019

Photo North Festival in Harrogate is in 2019 only in its second year but has already become an important date in the calendars of photographers in the UK. It is organized by a small team of photography and curatorial professionals and held annually at the Harrogate Convention Centre.

This year’s photography exhibitions were centred around mental health, food and fashion. Different photography genres were represented showing the works of established as well as emerging artists. 

Apart from the photographs on display, the festival offered a forum for photographers to discuss and exchange ideas, learn new techniques, attend talks or enjoy a coffee next to the marketplace where the books of the artists could be purchased.

Photography that talks about social problems

The thought of food photography seems dissuasive at first but reveals itself as something completely different than what social media makes people believe. The part of the exhibition that honours global food photography is a social wake up call that reminds the viewer of animal cruelty, starving children and the excess of food and unhealthy eating in a society that has been corrupted by fast food chains. The use of colour and black and white photography highlights this contrast at the Photo North Festival in Harrogate.

Following the topic of food and clean water, the second aisle in the exhibition documents food production around the world. The photography collection shows 50 communities and tells the stories of local farmers and fishers under the title of “We feed the world”. As opposed to what big corporations would like to make people think, the photographs show who produces the food we eat – and in a sustainable way. Locations where these photographs have been taken include Europe, Latin America and China which makes it a truly global approach and a global solution to many of the modern challenges with regards to the environment.

Other parts of the exhibition focus on topics like domestic violence, fashion and technology. One section gives young girls a voice to share their concerns about the world we live in and their aspirations and dreams for the future.

The festival is not only for photographers but for everybody interested in photography. More information about next years Photo North will soon be available at photonorthfestival.co.uk