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It’s autumn : time for PHOTOFESTIVAL 18th in Milan


PHOTOFESTIVAL is the largest Milanese event dedicated to photography, with Milan as its epicentre. In fact, over the years the festival has spread to many areas of the Lombardy Region.

Opening Up to the World: Photography as a Civil Commitment is the theme of PHOTOFESTIVAL 18TH, which begins on 15 September. It aims to encourage reflection on the act of taking photos, which, when practised with rigour, is not just an expression of personal creativity. It’s the way we observe reality and interpret it according to our values. And the images so resulting are a fertile basis for discussion and dialogue. Photography, then, is inherently a way of expressing one’s civil commitment, which can be expressed in different ways, from reportage to research or portraiture.

This annual showcase of authorial photography involves art galleries, museums, libraries, showrooms, historic buildings, institutional and private spaces with exhibitions and events.

Among the highlights of the current edition: Storie immaginate by Piero Gemelli, who, he, an architect by training, with a highly evocative style that takes his portraits and still lifes beyond the world of fashion and far from the advertising for which they were originally intended.

The exhibitions Luigi Ghirri. Nostalgia del futuro. L’immagine necessaria and Una vita da fotografo by Fabio Borquez, are to be seen as the one entitled Invidio quelli che ballano by Maria Vittoria Backhaus.

An obvious suggestion is to check the dates of the exhibitions on the useful online calendar ( ) as they are held at different times within a month and a half.

PHOTOFESTIVAL is also an opportunity to see (or rediscover) the works of masters such as Mario De Biasi, Romano Cagnoni or Robert Doisneau. Also not to be missed is the immersive journey into the beauty of the Amazon rainforest, between the two strands of its spectacularly lush vegetation and the daily life of the indigenous people inhabiting it, with Amazônia by Sebastião Salgado. For fans of classic cars and restoration, the date is set with The Shapes of Passion by Romana Zambon and Edoardo Baj Macario. And then all you have to do is to immerse yourself in this metropolis, which in the autumn becomes a precious showcase of photography open to all.

The formula of PHOTOFESTIVAL, under the artistic direction of Roberto Mutti, includes the promotion and production of projects as well as the inclusion of independently proposed initiatives, the alternation between established photographers and emerging talents and the comparison of different languages, to spread photographic culture and offer new insights to delve into the contemporary artistic language capable of capturing moments of history and daily life in a single frame.

The exhibition program is complemented by a calendar of accompanying events including photography workshops, portfolio readings, talks and presentations (

It is also possible to visit all the exhibitions virtually, thanks to the virtual gallery accessible from the website. There is also an interactive guide, with a map, to help you to plan a personalized itinerary through the “photographic metropolis of Milan” (

Maurizio Galimberti, a well-known figure on the international scene, is the author of the coordinated image for PHOTOFESTIVAL 2023 with the unique work Piercing Gothic Duomo, 2009, composed of 400 Polaroids assembled into a huge mosaic.

Finally, keep an eye on the Bound Images Award for the best book of the year 2023, now in its fourth edition

PHOTOFESTIVAL is promoted and organised by AIF – Associazione Italiana Foto & Digital Imaging in collaboration with Impresa Cultura Confcommercio Milano and with PhotoSHOWall®, it takes place under the patronage of the Municipality of Milan, the Lombardy Region and the Metropolitan City of Milan. It’s supported by individual AIFoto partners, museums (like MUMAC) and Fondazione 3M.

Paola Sammartano


Photofestival 18th
Opening up to the world
Photography as a civil commitment
September 15 – October 31, 2023
Milan and Lombardy

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