Under the motto stop. think. feel. act. the Fotofestival Zürich 2023 Open Your Eyes invites you to pause, reflect and be enchanted.
In the heart of the city of Zurich, world-class photography meets world-class science for the first time to create an entirely new communication format. The focus is on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Open Your Eyes, ETH Zurich and The Photo Society (TPS), the association of more than 200 National Geographic photographers, are creating expansive open-air installations in the gardens, streets and squares of Zurich.
The aesthetic magic of the picture narratives transforms Zurich into a picture city and the public space becomes the stage set for a Gesamtkunstwerk, whose meaning is linked to scientific research results and innovations that affect us all. In 17 exhibition islands, the photo festival combines documentary photography and scientific findings in a plea for peace, tolerance and a coexistence borne by a humanistic spirit.
In this context, the photographic works are not to be understood as illustrations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but as comments and annotations in the sense of Cornell Capa’s “Concerned Photographers.” Capa chose this term to describe works that go beyond documenting events and show them with a humanitarian impulse. This school of thought is also known as a concept related to science: The term “Concerned Scientists” is used to describe the use of independent science to solve our planet’s most pressing problems.
The line-up of photographers at the Open Your Eyes festival is unique:
Esther Haase, Chris de Bode, Maryam Firuzi, George Steinmetz, Ciril Jazbec, Ana María Arévalo Gosen, Jodi Cobb, Vera Mercer, Dominic Nahr, David Doubilet & Jennifer Hayes, Rina Castelnuovo & Jim Hollander with Tsafir Abayov, Eli Reed, Steve McCurry, Bea Bar Kallos, Roger Ballen, Ziv Koren, Stuart Franklin, Lois Lammerhuber, Brent Stirton, Peter DeJong, Patrick Zachmann, Gilles Peress, Alfred Yaghobzadeh, Alec Soth, Peter Turnley, Peter Menzel with Alexandra Boulat, Miguel Luis Fairbanks, Peter Ginter, Leong Ka Tai and Louis Psihoyos; Renée C. Byer, Cássio Vasconcellos, Jerome Gence, Gerd Ludwig, Randy Olson, James Balog, Shana & Robert ParkeHarrison, Cooper&Gorfer, Anna Boyiazis, Michael Nichols, Goran Tomašević, Markus Eisl and Gerald Mansberger of eoVision and the special exhibition “Code of the Universe” by CERN.
The festival divides the exhibitions into a city route – Polyterrasse, Lindenhof, St. Peter, Münsterhof, Frauenmünster, Limmat, Grossmünster – and a lake route, which leads from General Guisan Quai through the Arboretum to the lake resort Hafen Enge. Nearly four kilometers long, with free admission.
“We have come together to celebrate life,” Lois Lammerhuber, artistic director and mastermind of the photo festival, summed up the essence of this new festival format in his opening speech on September 8, 2023. The following Media Day gathered the exhibiting photographers and scholars in a tour of all the exhibitions to discuss their works and their significance in dialogue before the more than interested journalists from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the USA.
The festival catalog is available directly at the visitor center at General Guisan Quai, Zurich and online at Edition Lammerhuber: online bei Edition Lammerhuber
It not only shows the quintessence of the exhibitions but also enchants with its typical scent of hay. CO2-neutral printed on grass paper, it underlines the theme of the festival: the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
Fotofestival Zürich : Open Your Eyes
from September 8 to October 15, 2023