Susan A. Barnett (USA) “Not In Your Face”

Thanks for the Greetings!

In 2013 KAUNAS PHOTO festival is celebrating its 10th edition and is ready to please those in love with photography with numerous new surprises.

When the festival “Kaunas Photo Days” was launched in 2004, it was too daring to hope that a humble beginning of photography festivals in the Baltic States will be successfully continued, that it will get media attention, acquire and grow its photo-sensible audience, invite collaborators and inspire those, who would follow the example from Kaunas and implement festivals of photography in other towns of Lithuania and other Baltic States.

As the festival was growing, the framework of “Kaunas Photo Days“ soon became too limited in terms of calendar and geography. Since 2007, the festival of rising stars of international scale is known as “KAUNAS PHOTO”. Up until today, it is the only uninterrupted annual photographic festival organised 10 consecutive years in the Baltic States. It would have been impossible to do it without a support of important personalities of photography in Lithuania and the financial support of the state. Kaunas municipality was supporting the festival since its first edition in 2004, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania joined in 2006, becoming the main patron in 2007.

Long-term projects, such as photography festivals, are permanent challenges for the organisers.

It is not simple to make a constantly refreshing program, not “a festival as usual”, and expand the audience, as well as the international importance of the festival. Domestically, the audience of “KAUNAS PHOTO” festival has been growing slowly, but steadily every year. In the world of photography, meanwhile, “KAUNAS PHOTO” is known as a stage of emerging photographers’ premieres.

The opening events of the 10th “KAUNAS PHOTO” program will invite viewers on April 11 and 12, 2013 and the line-up of other exhibition openings, projections, artist talks will be distributed all along the calendar until the middle of autumn. The 10th festival will be full of discoveries for photography students and professionals, who are seeking improvement of their creative expression or looking for new ways to mediate their work.

Masterclasses with world-renowned photographers will be the highlight of the edition. Portfolio reviews of two formats – internet-based and face-to-face will invite photographers to embrace the opportunities to position their work in the competitive world of publications, galleries, festivals, museums by finding ways to exhibit, get published and progress faster.

On April 11, one of the main partners of the festival since the first edition, National M.K.Čiurlionis Art Museum, this year will invite the fans of photography to the opening of the central exhibition of “KAUNAS PHOTO” at M.Žilinskas Art Gallery dailės galerijoje for a large collective exhibition on the theme of celebration.

On April 12, the celebration will continue in the old town of Kaunas. At KAUNAS PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY and “Meno parkas“ gallery.

Quite naturally, the 10th program KAUNAS PHOTO is built around the motive of celebration.While preparing the exhibition program we have gone through hundreds of portfolios, we received around a hundred of proposals of photographers from different continents. While reportage photography of traditional, religious and ethnographic reportage has been set to the edges, the spotlight was dropped on works that mirror the way in which we have become the party lions in the past years, and which feature simple people in the celebration of their childhood, student life, foolishness, quest of ideals, small towns or cities, white hair, eternity, etc. Beside the subject matter, we have considered important that we select works that were created with lots of commitment, investment of thought and heart.

From the behalf of VšĮ “Šviesos raštas” the initial organiser of “KAUNAS PHOTO” festival, I will take the opportunity to thank our co-oganisers – Kaunas Branch of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers, its former leader Aleksandras Macijauskas, who joined efforts in the dawn of the festival, and Gintaras Česonis, the current chairman, who keeps on working since 2009.

My sincere thanks go to all collaborators, sponsors, partners, and our regular audience, who were the reasons to work for reaching the 10th KAUNAS PHOTO festival.

Wishing you intense moments of photographic and festive experience with our 10th festival!

Mindaugas Kavaliauskas

KAUNAS PHOTO festival Founder and art director VšĮ Šviesos raštas, director