Two decades after the fall of Communism it has begun to be extraordinarily important to look back, not just in the social and political context, but also culturally. That led us to the selection of the theme for the first Prague Photo Festival: The Eighties – Endless Waiting. There has now been a sufficient amount of time for us to be able to assess the last decade of the existence of Czech photography in a sort of strange isolation, while at the same time including it in the context of contemporary photography work. From this we have drawn the festival’s concept addressing the Eighties. It would have two main platforms. The first will be a system of parallel-run exhibitions that Fotograf 07 o.s. will work on together with Fotograf Gallery, Školská 28, Leica Gallery Prague, Artinbox Gallery, Langhans Gallery, the Josef Sudek Studio, NOD and Gambit. A further part will include an exhibition of material from the archives of art and photography publications of the 1980s: the Art Archive in the tower at the Centre for Contemporary Art DOX. Meanwhile, discussion evenings together with film viewings and contributions by individual exhibit curators (including guided tours with commentary) will take place in all galleries. A further platform will be a symposium involving both local and foreign photography theorists and critics addressing the topic: the Eighties. Due to the difficulty of simultaneous interpretation the symposium will take place in co-operation with the French Institute and the Goethe Institute. The final important part of the festival will include film viewings for the general cultural public at the Světozor movie theatre. These will involve theoretical-critical commentaries. The festival will take place in October 2011. It will be a two-day event planned for 9–10 October 2011. A print catalogue of 136 pages will be issued as an accompaniment to the Fotograf Festival “The Eighties – Endless Waiting.„
Given the importance of this new cultural initiative, we want to ask the Prague City Hall (City of Prague) to act as partner and propose that Prague’s Lord Mayor, Doc. Bohuslav Svoboda, give official backing for this international festival and take part in its opening ceremony on 9 October in the Světozor movie theatre. For some time now Fotograf 07 o.s. has co-operated with various cultural institutes such the Goethe Institute, the French Institute, the Belgian Embassy, the American Cultural Centre, etc. We expect that these institutions will be involved in the festival as their resources allow.
One can claim without exaggeration that photography during the past decades has – thanks to digitalization and automation – become hands down the most popular visual medium. In conclusion we would like to express our belief that our application for a partnership with the Prague City Hall to support the Fotograf Festival “The Eighties – Endless Waiting„ will receive a positive response, thus giving Prague’s cultural scene a further important activity that will help enrich the cultural-social life of Prague’s residents, as well as Prague’s attractiveness as a tourist destination, i.e. as a city of photography.
Editor in chief of the Fotograf magazine& Artistic Director of the Fotograf festival