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Białystok Interphoto


Dichotomy. East and West

For illusion is not the opposite of reality, but another more subtle reality
which enwraps the former kind in the sign of its disappearance.

Jean Baudrillard 

Dichotomy. East and West, like North and South. The duality of our world is omnipresent. It permeates nature. It is the ebb and flow, the inside and outside, night and day, light and darkness, motion and stillness, assertion and negation, love and hate, sweet and sour, hard and soft, male and female, negative and positive. Life is an absolute unity yet it is undeniably ruled by duality. Polarization has been present in nature since time immemorial. According to art historian Michał W. Ałpatow, prehistoric people were capable of experiencing the moment. When the sun rose above the horizon, new life began. When it disappeared, everything died. A bird flying over the fire turned red as if it came from fire, which burnt it and brought it back to life. The beginning and the end as we know it- an integral part of our life journey. The mythical phoenix, resurrected Osiris, Mithra and Jesus. Dichotomy, duality, bipolarism, black and white, positive and negative, are intrinsic elements of human existence.

Similar phenomena can be observed in photography in its classical form. Daguerreotype- one of the first mechanical forms of copying reality, is a direct combination of the two poles. Thanks to its mirror-like surface and depending on the angle at which it is viewed, the image is either negative or positive. What is more, the positive print invented by Talbot as we know today, does not exist without the negative. Between the two prints, there is also a hidden image which does not see the light until we develop it. Existent and not-existent at the same time. These are only a few technical aspects of a photograph which, due to itsveristic features, is integrally related to the time and place at which it was taken. This wide spectrum of duality is interpreted by the artists of this year’s edition of International Photography Festival Bialystok INTERPHOTO.


Artistic Director Of The Festival
D.A. Grzegorz Jarmocewicz



The main task of the festival is to constantly expand the platform for the exchange of experiences and thoughts of artists from Eastern and Western Europe, created by us earlier and enabling cross-border dialogue not only for artists and people interested in photography, but also for the general public.


The festival promotes photography and related media that make up the contemporary form of visual expression.


In addition to the classic artists of this medium we present creators who employ modern themes and techniques, representing the neo avant-garde or utilizing their art in criticism. These presentations not only influence society’s understanding of photography or multimedia, but also expose the modern issues of a civilization absorbed in materialism. They develop sensitivity to moral dilemmas, public and individual change, suffering and political problems of both democratic countries and those governed by various regimes. They draw attention to ubiquitous oppression, McDonaldization, nationalistic threats and the climate, but also distinguish the progress of civilization achieved through scientific means.


The festival’s main subject is “Dichotomy. East and West” Using the medium of photography, it will explore social phenomena that concerned the previous and the present generations from the period after Poland regained independence, through those emerging directly after 1945, to the present day.


One of the main objectives of the festival is also to strengthen the integration of different artistic communities and the international community on the supuralocal level, covering not only Poland, but also Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, and many other countries, with particular emphasis on Eastern nations.




is a recurrent festival at a high artistic level, It is held biennially, every two years, including not only exhibitions but also meetings, lectures, workshops, media shows, school competitions, works which couple photography with music or literature, location based games. The offers are aimed to groups of all ages. The festival has been developing continually since 2013 and it is becoming the most important event of this type expected by spectators, artists and critics not only in Poland, but also in East-central Europe. During the last editions, statistics showed that over twenty thousand direct recipients and over a million internet users honor us with their participation.


The activities of the festival popularize current trends in contemporary Polish and foreign photography with an emphasis on artistic phenomena in Central and Eastern Europe. An important element is the educational thread embedding the medium in relation to social and historical issues. That is why they have been permanently included in the exhibition schedule showing the artistic phenomena taking place in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, which had an impact on the development of world art. The festival also presents contemporary Polish continuators of the artistic thought of the interwar period to show the continuity of the development of Polish art after 1945. Hence the main topic of “Dichotomy. East and West “, will be based on a historical and visual analysis of the influence of Polish art on both the” East “and” West “.


The main subject of the festival, regardless of an edition, is A BORDER / A LIMIT, with all of the slogans belonging to it like Genius Loci or fields of individual experience (spiritual or experimental one).


Within the confines of this year’s edition we have planned to present more than 200 artists, we invited for cooperation 12 curators, 14 jurors. There are going to be : 25 exhibitions, 4 film displays, Portfolio Review and the competitions: INTERPHOTO GRAND PRIX, Street Art, the show of the photos with live music, the scientific panel about Witkacy’ art, lectures, workshops, 30 meetings with the authors, an international stream press conference, solemn inauguration with an audience, the guests, the artists, the local authorities, the curators, the critics, the publishers; a picnic and a photographic walk. 


A lot of artists have been invited from Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine; the directors of photography festivals, the jurors and the critics from Austria, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Philippines, Poland, Spain and Sweden. In the Grand Prix presentation, we will present the projects of artists from around the world, and 10 of them will take a part in the final exhibition. Two big corporate exhibitions are going to be organized with a cooperation with Art Museum in Olomouc / Czech Republic and the Latvian Museum of Photography in Riga. 


The most important artists exhibited during the 2021 edition will be: J Krzysztof Gołuch, Gvido Kajons, Chirag Jindal, Hannes Jung, Pavel Mára, Andreas Müller-Pohle, Aleksandras Ostašenkovas, Evgenyi Pavlov, Ania Ready, Jozef Sedlák, Aleksei Shinkarenko, Sigrid Viir, Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz / Witkacy, Grzegorz Zygier, Paweł Żak or representatives of Czech photography of the 1960s, such as: Hajn Jan, Ladislav Postupa, Rupert Kytka, Stibor Miloslav, Vávra Jaroslav, Pikous Jan, Reichmann Vilém, Přeček Ivo, Gribovský Antonín, Kolářová Běla, Kohoutek Jaromír, Sapara Vojtěch, Kubíček Jan, Krátký Čestmír, Medková Emila.


Grzegorz Jarmocewicz

Artistic Director of INTERPHOTO


Marek Grygiel

Art historian, 1990-2015 photographycurator  in the Centreof Contemporary Art in Warsaw.  Expert in portfolio reviews at numerous national and international photography festivals,  such as Mesac Fotografie-Bratislawa, Fotofest-Houston, Image Festival-Aarhus, Photo Festival-Kaunas, Krakow Photomonth Festival, Photofestival Łódź, and many other. Curator of numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad.  Founder and editorof  photographic journal FOTOTAPETA (online version in the last several years). Cooperated with, among others, Images, European Photography, Foto, Exit, Photography, Sztuka.pl, Imago.Photoeditor for Gazeta Wyborcza. Honorary member of ZPAF and member-correspondent of Deutsche Fotografische Akademie.

Hubert Humka

A.D.,lecturer at the Film School in Łódź, curator, artist.Author of the award-winning album „Evil Man. He explores quasi-document and authenticity ofphotographic medium in various contexts. Winner of many international competitions: Prix Voles Off: Selections 2013 The Rencontresd’Arles Off Festival, France; Photo Diploma Award 2013, Poland. Has exhibited in Poland and abroad.

Grzegorz Jarmocewicz

Art director of the International Festival Białystok INTERPHOTO, D.A., lecturer, curator, juror of photography competitions. Lecturer of Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk. President of the Photography and Multimedia Forum Association. Author of many exhibitions in Poland and abroad, as well as publications about photography. His works can be found in private collections, at the Center for Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, Museo Ken Damy in Brescia in Italy, in the Regional Museum in Suwalki and Ludwik Zamenhof Centre in Bialystok.

Krzysztof Jurecki

Born in 1960. PhD in art history, critic, juror, curator of exhibitions (including: Joseph Beuys, Zofia Rydet, Jan Saudek, Erwin Olaf, Diane Ducruet, Katerina Mistal) and lecturer in the history of photography. In the years 1985-2005 he worked at the Art Museum in Łódź, most recently as the head of the Department of Photography and Visual Techniques (1998-2005). Blog author: www.jureckifoto.blogspot.com, www.omniekrzysztofjurecki.blogspot.com

Sławomir Sikora

Image anthropologist, Ph.D habilitatus, an assistant professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Warsaw; involved mainly in visual anthropology, city anthropology, anthropology of contemporaneity. Author of books: Photography. Between document and symbol  (2004) and Film and Paradox of visuality. Practising anthropology (2012) and a large number of scientific articles. Co-author of the film Żeby to było ciekawe (2009) and co-editor of the book Disappearing Borders. Anthropologization of Science and Its Discourses (2009). Coordinator of projects completed in 2016: Bottom-up Creation of Culture and Images of Cultural Diversity and Heritage.

Magdalena Świątczak

Art exhibitions curator, editor of art publications, author of numerous completed grant projects, initiator of many interdisciplinary artistic undertakings. She has realized hundreds of exhibitions of Polish and foreign artists. She also carries out exhibition projects presented at international festivals. She cooperates with many cultural institutions in Poland and abroad. Since 2011, she has been the curator of five galleries, including  renowned FF Gallery and Imaginarium Gallery. She edits art press for Art Museum in Łódź, among others.