31.5. – 16.6.24

The 10th edition of f/stop—Festival for Photography Leipzig


Radical Care

Time  00.00 – 00.00

Curated by  Magdalena Stöger, Leon Hösl


The 10th edi­ti­on of f/stop—Festival for Photography Leipzig opens up a space for actions on the thres­hold bet­ween indi­vi­du­al care and poli­ti­cal effec­ti­ve­ness and uses pho­to­gra­phy and cine­ma­to­gra­phy as media for loo­king into the rela­ti­onship of visi­bi­li­ty and oppo­si­tio­na­li­ty from a his­to­ri­cal as well as a con­tem­po­ra­ry per­spec­ti­ve. The festival’s jubi­lee edi­ti­on points out pos­si­ble ways of visua­li­zing acti­vist prac­ti­ces wit­hout limi­ting their agen­cy and high­lights the poli­ti­cal dimen­si­on of image pro­duc­tion against the back­drop of cur­rent socie­tal deba­tes and glo­bal crises.

The fes­ti­val title “Flucht in die Öffentlichkeit” refers to a con­trol­led out­ward move­ment as a pos­si­ble stra­tegy of artis­tic, poli­ti­cal and acti­vist work. The German house­hold expres­si­on is used e. g. when tal­king about whist­le blo­wers who seek pro­tec­tion through publi­ca­ti­on, brin­ging their incri­mi­na­ting mate­ri­al to a broad public which can act as a safe space in con­fron­ta­ti­ons with insti­tu­ti­ons or com­pa­nies. Visibility is used as a con­trol mecha­nism which calls on the public opi­ni­on for sup­port for cri­ti­cal actions.

In the GDR, “Flucht in die Öffentlichkeit” meant demons­t­ra­ting stead­fast­ness and unity, as oppo­sed to sub­li­mi­nal dis­rup­ti­ve govern­ment stra­te­gies. Visibly announ­cing cul­tu­ral event, e. g., would pro­vo­ke a public reac­tion by law enforce­ment in cases when they tried to stop the­se events.

“Flucht in die Öffentlichkeit” remains an effi­ci­ent stra­tegy in today’s acti­vist struggles—be it Iran’s femi­nist move­ment or the fight against cli­ma­te change—when they con­cep­tua­li­ze indi­vi­du­al worries as a coll­ec­ti­ve desi­re and pro­vo­ke a reac­tion from a see­mingly over­powe­ring oppo­nent. The fes­ti­val trans­po­ses the ongo­ing deba­te about care as an alter­na­ti­ve form of coll­ec­ti­ve soli­da­ri­ty onto the are­as of image pro­duc­tion, public space(s) and acti­vism, thus high­light­ing the poten­ti­als and the scope of prac­ti­ces of care. A spe­cial focus will be pla­ced on archi­val approa­ches and how they take on respon­si­bi­li­ty for the past.

A pro­gram of exhi­bi­ti­ons, art resi­den­ci­es, work­shops, a sym­po­si­um and a cata­log will allow artists working in Leipzig and the regi­on into a dia­lo­gue with inter­na­tio­nal artists and estab­lish rela­ti­ons bet­ween his­to­ri­cal artis­tic posi­ti­ons from the 1970s and onward and con­tem­po­ra­ry pho­to­gra­phic practices.

The fes­ti­val its­elf will move out into the open in an attempt to chall­enge the city, its frag­men­ted publics and its insti­tu­ti­ons through pho­to­gra­phic and cine­ma­to­gra­phic prac­ti­ce and con­front them with today’s pres­sing issues. Consequently, the festival’s key ques­ti­ons is, how can radi­cal care be brought to the audi­ence as a poli­ti­cal atti­tu­de, and how can it help us re-think our social coexistence?

Radical Care