Fotobokfestival Oslo 2020

Official opening: September 10th, 6pm
Festival period: September 10th - 20th
Venue: Arbeidersamfunnets plass, Oslo

The Norwegian Association of Fine Arts Photographers (FFF - Forbundet Frie Fotografer) is delighted to announce this year's exhibition for Fotobokfestival Oslo 2020.

The main exhibition for 2020 is curated by artist Ethan Rafal: The Climate Emergency in 50 Rounds. The exhibition will focus on photo book projects addressing the Climate Crisis. The chosen works have been created by artists working around the planet, and offer a comparative analysis of a global phenomenon that has now reached a state of emergency. Inspired by the Occupy Movement and contemporary intersectional, horizontal movements, the exhibition will be a space for learning, gathering as a community, and participating in concurrent direct action. The festival will be timed with global climate marches occurring in September, 2020. The focus is equally on artists and the participation of an activated audience. The artists included work across the photo book spectrum — from Artists Books to Zines — and the festival will include their related video, performance, and social practice projects.

Concurrently with the main exhibition, a seminar will be held under the same title at the Klimahuset in Oslo. Here a gathering of artists, scientists, and activists will address recent developments in photography and photo book projects addressing the climate crisis; reflect on the historically-specific role that the photo book has with our understanding of nature; and work to develop the necessary measures to confront the state and private industry to make a survivable planet.

The finalized program for the festival will be released and announced Mid-June.

Ethan Rafal (b. 1983, New Jersey) is an artist and photographer based in San Francisco, California and Oslo, Norway. His work deals with the individual and collective experience of violence, and the ways in which subsequent representations of violence inform personal and national mythologies. He teaches, mentors, helps run an art space, collaborates with social practice and activist groups, and curates projects in Europe and North America.

Rafal’s work functions at the intersection of photography, expanded art practice, social science research, and activism. His principal output is through photography, books, installation, and a unique presentation method that is equal parts performance art and oral tradition story telling. Major presentations of a 12-year project, Shock and Awe, were conducted in 100 venues across 14 countries. This book, and its associated performance, was presented at museums, universities, but also in many non-traditional venues, including public spaces, often created for the work itself.

Fotobokfestival Oslo is a week-long event which aims to explore the photobook as an artistic medium and phenomenon. The festival was established by The Norwegian Association of Fine Art Photographers (FFF) and continues to feature widely recognized art photographers and young, new participants in photography, the photo book genre, and publishing activity nationally and internationally. It takes place in Oslo every September and is free and open to all. Also connected to the festival is a satellite program where relevant participants participate to the festival with their own events.

The Norwegian Association of Fine Art Photography Professionals was initiated and established by Knut Evensen and Robert Meyer in 1974, in a time when lens-based art sought to be acknowledged as an artistic medium. FFF has since then become a nationwide members association dedicated to working purposely for its members with both art politics and art education, and also mediating the importance of art photography in Norway.


Art Council Norway
The Norwegian Photographic Fund (Nofofo)
Oslo municipality
Fritt Ord Foundation