Fotograf Magazine

Encontros da Imagem 2002 in Braga

The festival Encontros da Imagem, in the Portuguese city Braga, where an independent photography centre was recently opened, is famous not only for its friendly atmosphere, but also for the high quality of most of the exhibitions. The 16th year of the festival, held in May and June in Braga as well as in the nearby towns of Famalicaõ and Guimaraes, was no exception. One of the three main themes was ‘solitude’, represented by expositions of documentary and arranged photographs by Florence Chevalier, Christina Spengler, Elina Brotherus, Irina Ionesco, Marla Sweeney, Philippe Bazino, Bruno Santos and others. This theme was also treated in a group exposition of Portuguese and other international photographers, revealing ordinary life in a foreign city in both socially oriented and distinctly subjective shots. The director of the festival, Rui Prata, originally planned to present the second theme, ‘surreal photography’, in exhibitions of rare originals by the inter-war Surrealists. In the end, however, he focused mainly on the influence of Surrealism in contemporary photography. One of the artists presented was the blind photographer, Evgen Bavçar, whose work was recently exhibited in the House of Art in Opava. The third theme was the ‘heritage of photography’, treated in innovative retrospectives of the lesser known artists Augusto Lemos, Eric Bourret and Vasco Ascolini. There were also lectures, portfolio evaluations and film screenings as part of the annual festival.

Vladimír Birgus