An Unstructured Approach to Photographic Storytelling — Grady Newsource

I came across the Copenhagen Photo Festival after seeing a poster advertising it in the main part of town. Not knowing what to expect, I ventured out to research the festival and found a community sharing stories through photographs.

Advertisements for the Copenhagen Photo Festival are posted in Copenhagen on June 4, 2022. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

Why it’s newsworthy: The Copenhagen Photo Festival offers travelers a unique way to experience photography outside of the usual museum setting.

The annual festival was held June 2-12 in a converted industrial area called Refshaleøen. On the first day, visitors interested in photography gathered for the grand opening of the event, during which we were able to stroll through a combination of unique indoor and outdoor spaces to view the exhibits.

People gathered at the grand opening of the Copenhagen Photo Festival, which took place at Refshaleøen in Copenhagen on June 2, 2022. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)


The festival featured work by a variety of artists, established and emerging, centering on themes of society, identity and vision seen through a wide representation of photographers.

They all had unique ways of encompassing these patterns. Some incorporated humor and others historical documents into their work, but by and large used the medium of photography to tell stories of the past and present.

Photo exhibits feature work by students from the Danish School of Media and Journalism, in particular Louise Herrche Serup’s I’ll Eat You. Exhibition I love you so, at the Copenhagen Photo Festival on June 2, 2022. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)
The photo exhibition features the work of one of the chosen FUTURE Nordic Talents, Inuuteq Storch’s Keepers of the Ocean, at the Copenhagen Photo Festival on June 2, 2022. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)
Hien Hoang’s Asian Bistro – Made in Rice exhibition at Copenhagen Photo Festival on June 2, 2022 represents the identity theme of the festival by communicating its own perspective in order to combat stereotypes and discrimination related to the Asian community. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

For example, Alexandra Rose Howland, a star American photographer focused on framing society, used a combination of images that “come together and show a different portrait of Iraq”.

Alexandra Rose Howlands’ Leave and Let Us Go exhibition at Copenhagen Photo Festival presented at Copenhagen Photo Festival on June 2, 2022 compiles her own photos, a wallpaper made from a panoramic image of the road to Mosul and images cellphones of people across Iraq. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

Similarly, Krista Svalbona, a Latvian-Lithuanian-American multimedia creator and photographer, told in images the stories of Baltic refugees who fled after World War II.

“I’ve always been interested in pushing the medium of photography to become something else,” she said when explaining her exhibit.

Krista Svalbona’s exhibition at the Copenhagen Photo Festival on June 2, 2022 includes photos of Baltic refugees from historical archives and recent images of some of them now. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

Staff member Vivian Monteiro Malta found that this photograph fosters deeper learning and experience when she reflected on the purpose of the event and why she decided to volunteer at the festival.

“I think photography is very important for us to understand things and reflect on things,” she said. “I think photography can be used in different ways as a method both to show something but also to understand things.”

Monteiro Malta has additionally accredited this for the unique venue of the festival.

“It’s quite interesting how the space is unfinished, allowing people to create different things and feel freer to think,” she said.

The place

The grand opening of the Copenhagen Photo Festival takes place on June 2, 2022 at a venue that includes urban green space and shipping containers. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

In its entirety, the party center was a set of three spaces: FRAME, SPACE FRAME and the exhibition center. The areas were, respectively, a permanent collection of shipping containers, an outdoor wooden infrastructure and an urban green space.

SETTING: Inside one of the shipping containers is the A Female Gaze exhibit, curated by Charlotte Wiig. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)
SPACE FRAME: This wooden architecture houses the collective exhibition Tofu by Luo Yang and Lin Zhipeng. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)
THE EXHIBITION PARK: One of the nine global exhibitions, The Life of Afghan Refugees Evacuated to Denmark by Jesper Houborg, was presented on a cube-shaped structure against a natural backdrop. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

The setup was very different from that of a standard art museum, particularly in the way the exhibits were integrated into the industrial yet green urban environment. The unconventional scene was recalled by a returning American visitor, Anya.

“We’re kind of like in this park that was never intended to be a park, but it’s just kind of rewired and they’ve turned it into a photography exhibit in shipping containers that still have a pile of trash underneath,” Anya said. . “I love how it’s so…it’s so unexpected.”

Each exhibition had different multimedia and artistic components, such as lighting and sound. This configuration is the result of the collaboration between the photographers and the organizers of the festival.

“I would say it’s a partnership, so we kind of work together to figure out how things are going to play out,” said Svalbonne.

Part of Krista Svalbona’s exhibition at the Copenhagen Photo Festival on June 2, 2022 depicting buildings made from the laser-printed words of refugees. (Photo/Hailey Hubbard)

the atmosphere

This teamwork between the artists and the employees of the place seemed to be an important component of the event and its atmosphere.

Monteiro Maltawho had studied in Denmark for a few years, said the Danish egalitarian way of working was evident in the construction of the collaborative and creative space. It also marked Howland.

“It’s a lot more laid back, and it’s like a kind of all-hands-on-deck approach,” Howland pointed out. “This creates a lot more of a community, you know we’re all in this together.

This spirit seems tangible to visitors, including another American traveler.

“He has that kind of basic feeling. There’s nothing organized about it, but it’s more like a community thing rather than someone on their ivory tower putting up an exhibit 10 feet away or something. It feels organic.

Hailey Hubbard is an indecisive sophomore major at the University of Georgia.

Michael E. Marquez