OFF Bratislava is an international festival of contemporary photography. It takes place every year in Bratislava in the historic building of the Danube department store. It retains its uniqueness as a platform for new talents in the photographic world. It is the one and only cultural event in Slovakia that presents young talented photographers and up-and-coming authors to such an extent. In 2022, the festival aspires to draw attention to artists from the V4 countries and Ukraine. The thirteenth year, under the title “Elsewhere”, will focus on the issues of migration, borders of all kinds that prevent free movement, and will discuss the idea of home versus abroad.
By focusing on artists from the V4 countries, the festival would like to facilitate the connections between the artists from these countries. Currently, there is an absence of organized events to meet and share ideas despite being neighbouring countries. This is a unique opportunity for cooperation and knowledge sharing. The festival aims to equally help up-and-coming artists to find peers and space to express their opinions regardless of their financial situation.
Every year, the festival announces a central theme that reflects current events in society. The 13th year, called Elsewhere, will be about the force that pressures the people to move, migrate and their idea of home and abroad. This theme will inevitably release the question of borders of all kinds that hinder free movement in this world. Unfortunately, the topic became relevant in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Traditionally, the festival wants to open an artistic discussion to the widest possible extent, to provide a diverse range of viewpoints to help us move forward "beyond" our thinking. The 13th OFF Bratislava will take place in November 2022. It will once again present the work of hundreds of young talented authors to the general public and professionals. The exhibits will be centralized in one exhibition space in the historic building of the Danube department store in Bratislava. This centralization will allow exhibitors and visitors to see the complete program of the festival in one place and gives more space to the creativity of artists and their unique installations. Art projects from V4 countries (in the OFF ACADEMY section - school projects, OFF LIBRIS and at individual exhibitions) will be presented by the festival with a visible label, thus offering a space for thinking about V4 projects as a whole, which works in relation to other international projects. Discussions and international cultural exchanges will be encouraged by individual lectures, workshops and roundtables focused on V4 topics. In addition to fixed awards (ON AWARD, LEE AWARD), the festival will also create a separate V4 award for the most original project.
With its initiative, OFF Bratislava supports communication and relations between countries in an artistic context. One of the main efforts is to promote healthy competition and eliminate qualitative declines by democratically offering each country equal presentation conditions. At the request of artists, the festival offers the possibility of festival production (printing and installation) of exhibited projects. The festival allows artists to gain rare professional relationships and thus an opportunity for future cooperation between the V4 countries. The artists arrive at the festival before its official beginning and participate in the preparation of the festival. During the installation week, students create proposals for the installation of their projects, which they afterwards implement in the space with the help of the festival team and curators. Artists from these countries have the opportunity to win the prestigious LEE AWARD, intended for individual exhibitions and ON AWARD for an individual from exhibited schools and therefore there is an opportunity to gain prestige at the international level. In 2022, the festival would like to offer the opportunity to win a new V4 AWARD, for the most original art project from the V4 countries. Discussions and workshops focused specifically on artists from the V4 countries and Ukraine in the context of the theme ”Elsewhere”.
List of participating schools, in alphabetical order: