From the 1st to the 4th of June, street photographers from all over the world will gather in the capital of Europe for the ‘Brussels Street Photography Festival’. A selection of the most moving and beautiful photographs from local and international artists alike will be on display during this unique festival in Brussels.
The images have been chosen from more than 2,000 entries from every corner of the world. There will also be lectures, discussion panels and film screenings about street photography. Active photographers will find things to do as well, with feedback sessions, workshops, master classes and photo walks. Street photography will once again be at the epicenter of the cultural scene after a four-year break.
We want to put street photographers and the vibrant character of our capital at the center of the festival.Lies De Jaegher, coordinator of BSPF
The centerpiece of the festival is the main exhibition in the Marquis Building, a stone’s throw from Brussels Central train station, consisting of the best street images by 72 photographers chosen from an international open call. On June 3, participants in this open call, from more than 20 countries, will find out whether or not they are laureates of the competition and can take home a cash prize.
In addition to the images of this edition, the organizers also dive into the past with “BSPF Retrospective”, where the organizers showcase the best of past editions, with special focus on the perspective of the female gaze. 25 female photographers show us how they, from their own point of view, capture stories from the streets. Both exhibitions remain open to visitors after the festival weekend and run through July 9, 2023.
At Centrum Hageltoren, a second exposition will take place until June 11 where renowned photographers will exhibit part of their work. On display are images by Dutch photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien. This photojournalist with a talent for telling (visual) stories does not shy away from sensitive themes: from changing times in South Africa to the fate of the LGBTQI community in Ukraine, where the Russian invasion does not bode well. Mary Gelman also portrays socially sensitive issues, but in her native Russia.
A context where the daily existence of vulnerable people is not always evident. Both photographers will present their work during a lecture on June 3. Homegrown talent will also have a place in the exhibition. Sébastien Van Malleghem, whose book ‘Allfather’ was voted one of the best non-fiction books by Belgian newspaper De Tijd in 2021, pays tribute to the intensity of nature. Sebastian Steveniers shows images from the series ‘Bosfights/Live Free’, an insight into the violent nature of man and the world of “freefights”.
Throughout the festival weekend workshops, feedback sessions, photo walks and lectures will be organized for those who come to Brussels. Both the passive and active (street) photography enthusiast will be pampered with 29 possible activities to participate in.
“The community of street photographers is very large worldwide. We want to put them and the versatility and vibrant character of our capital at the center of the first weekend of June,” said Lies De Jaegher, staff member at BREEDBEELD and coordinator of the Brussels Street Photography Festival.
3. Back after a 4-year break
In recent years, the corona measures did not make the planning of the festival any easier. In the meantime, the festival’s organization was transferred to BREEDBEELD, the support center for everyone involved with photography, film and media arts.
“The Brussels Street Photography Festival fitted perfectly within our objectives of providing showcasing opportunities for photographers, bringing them together and at the same time also inspiring them in the creation of new work. The international character is also a big plus”, said Lies De Jaegher.