Brighton Photo Biennial 2008

Memory of Fire: the War of Images and Images of War that will run for six weeks from Friday 3 October to Sunday 16 November 2008.

Brighton Photo Biennial has established itself as one of the most important photography festivals in Europe by delivering a challenging and stimulating event for both the general public and art specialists.

For Memory of Fire the provocative writer and critic Julian Stallabrass will curate ten exhibitions exploring photographic images of war, their making, use and circulation, and their currency in contemporary society. Stallabrass will explore the history and diverse scope of images of war using vernacular, documentary, art, digital, montage, historic and contemporary photography.

From the horrors portrayed in the Vietnam war to the wildly divergent imagery created during the current conflict in Iraq, which takes in state-sponsored military firework displays made for the camera and the online spectacle of bombings and executions. From the oscillation between triumphalism and the melancholy of defeat in Latin American resistance movements to the futility of trench warfare in World War I. From the sublime beauty of aftermath art photography to the harrowing depiction of long-term damage endured by civilians and war veterans. From the revealing photographs made by serving soldiers to the mobile phone images of exiled Iraqi civilians. Given the continuing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East, the representation of war dominates the wider culture. The festival will create space for visitors to explore the complexities of war as a theme and how photography is used, with the invitation to make up their own minds and express their own views.

"The title is borrowed from Eduardo Galeano's extraordinary book, Memory of Fire, an epic literary account of 500 years of Latin American resistance to imperialism. The book consists of numerous self-contained episodes which can be read in isolation but also combine with their neighbours to produce a larger picture of the book's subject. Similarly, BPB 2008, which covers a long stretch of the South East England coastline, comprises many exhibitions and events, each of which stands alone, but which may be enriched when other elements are seen. Memory of Fire: the War of Images and Images of War takes on various issues as its main themes: first, it examines the production and dissemination of images in time of war, especially the changing conditions from the Vietnam era to the present. Images made by photojournalists, both as prints and as published in magazines and newspapers, are shown alongside presentations of online image displays, either on screen or made into wall-bound objects.

Brighton Photo Biennial runs for six weeks from Friday 3 October to Sunday 16 November 2008 and various venues please see the Brighton Photo Biennial website for more detials.

Image Credits:

Image 1: Photograph by Philip Jones Griffiths Quynh Lan, 11 years old, at her home in A Luoi, Vietnam. Her father was sprayed many times with Agent Orange.© Philip Jones Griffiths / Magnum Photos From Agent Orange (Pallant House Gallery)

Slide Show:

A mobile phone photograph of exiled Iraqi civilians: a Muslim family celebrates Christmas at home.Image collected by Geert Van KesterenFrom Why, Mister, Why? and Baghdad Calling (Lighthouse Gallery)

Photograph by Paul Seawright Valley, Afghanistan, 2002 © Paul Seawright From The Sublime Image of Destruction (De La Warr Pavilion)

Photograph by Geert Van KesterenNear Tikrit, Iraq, August 4, 2003© Geert Van Kesteren From Why, Mister, Why? and Baghdad Calling (Lighthouse Gallery)