Bristol Photo Festival 2nd edition – The World A Wave – first press release

The second edition of Bristol Photo Festival —The World A Wave—will open in autumn 2024. Exhibitions will be held in the city’s major visual arts institutions alongside independent and unconventional spaces accompanied by a wide events programme.

The exhibition programme focuses on the personal stories of those confronting societal changes whilst navigating daily life. Confirmed artists include Akosua Viktoria Adu Sanyah, Kirsty Mackay, Amak Mahmoodian, Trent Parke, Sarker Protick and Hashem Shakeri. Each artist addresses a world in constant motion where social, political and environmental conditions are ever-evolving.

Describing the programme, festival director Alejandro Acin added: “I believe in photography as a tool to experience the world anew. In a time of multiple crises, we need photography more than ever. I want the festival to be a space full of nuanced and unexpected stories that foster greater understanding of our shared world.”

The festival has an international focus but is grounded in the city of Bristol. For this edition, alongside the exhibition programme, the festival is collaborating with local residents and port workers from Avonmouth to create a community archive, accompanied by a programme of creative activities. The festival, in collaboration with Prison Education, will present The Prison Mobile Library, an educational photography project across three sites in the South West of England.

The festival opening week will take place between Wednesday 16th – Sunday 20th October. The opening week will include reception events and artist talks across the city. Following this, all exhibitions will remain open for a duration of 1-3 months. The full lineup of exhibiting artists will be released in July 2024. 

Participating artists

Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah

Georgian House Museum residency

Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanya— known for her work examining the relationship between photography and memory, particularly in relation to her own family history— will be in residence at the Georgian House Museum, creating a new body of work relating to the building’s colonial history.

Kirsty Mackay

The Magic Money Tree

Bristol-based photographer Kirsty Mackay has worked collaboratively with groups and individuals from across England to explore the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and what poverty looks like in the world’s 6th richest economy.

Amak Mahmoodian

120 minutes

17 Midland Road

Premiering as part of the festival — in collaboration with Multistory — Bristol-based artist Amak Mahmoodian’s new project uses images, poems, archives and video to explore the dreams experienced by those in exile. The work was produced collaboratively with communities of refugees and asylum seekers across the UK.

Trent Parke


Martin Parr Foundation

This dystopian project, to be exhibited outside Australia for the first time, extends the metaphor of the moth drawn to a flame to city life and beyond. Photographs taken throughout Parke’s career are edited to create a vision of humanity engrossed by and drawn to an inescapable light.

Sarker Protick

Bangladeshi artist Sarkar Protick has been commissioned by the festival to produce his first solo exhibition in the UK. Bringing together multiple bodies of his work incorporating photography, video and sound, the exhibition will draw upon the history of and contemplate the ever-evolving story of Bangladesh.

Hashem Shakeri

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Iranian visual artist Shakeri has been documenting daily life in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of British and American military forces and the consequent arrival to power of the Taliban. This work will be shown in the UK for the first time as part of the festival and accompanied by an engagement programme in collaboration with the Afghan community in Bristol.

Notes for Editors

Bristol Photo Festival is an international biennial of contemporary photography. The first edition in 2021 drew 200,000 visitors, with 18 exhibitions staged across the city’s museums, galleries and independent spaces.

As an organisation, we believe in the power of photography as a tool to experience the world anew. Our mission is to present nuanced and unexpected stories that foster greater understanding of shared pasts, presents and futures. Our work is internationally-focussed yet locally grounded, built from the urgencies of our city and its inhabitants. As a platform, we support artists to experiment, creating work that breaks with convention, exploring the  possibilities of photography as a political tool today.