If you’re in Penang this August, you owe it to yourself to go see the 6th iteration of an amazing local photography festival. It is known as the OBSCURA Festival of Photography and it’s happening this 18th of August.
To those not in the know, the OBSCURA Festival of Photography describes itself as Malaysia’s premiere festival centered around storytelling through photography as a medium. It is a platform for photographers to share their ideas and messages with each other and the public. The festival consists of masterclasses by professionals to aspiring photographers. Additionally, there is also a multi-format exhibition to be displayed.
There’s often a theme for each year and this year, the theme is ‘Multiplicity’. Festival Director Vignes Balasingam elaborated that this theme ‘revolves around the idea of multiple truths and how we as individual nations and societies navigate a landscape of changing realities.’
The multi-format exhibition this year will be the largest and most elaborate in the festival’s history so far. With 23 submissions, there will also be projection nights, artist talks, roundtable discussions, and a collection of curated photobooks. The photobooks are to be curated by the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive.
One other really interesting thing about the festival is the fact that esteemed professional photographers, editors, and creators offer to review the portfolios of any aspiring photographers. So if you’re someone who has a backlog of photos you shot, perhaps it’s time to compile the best ones into a portfolio and head on over to have it looked over by the eyes of a pro!
The festival has already opened in other parts of the region such as Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, and will open in conjunction with this year’s festival in Manilla. There are also plans to have it travel to Australia, New Zealand, and Frankfurt in 2019.
The festival opens on the 17th of August with masterclasses so if you’re in the area, make sure you don’t miss it. And if you needed a reason to travel to Penang, this is a great reason to do so. As much as they get international support, local support for the festival is still lower than desired. So why not go see what they are all about?
This is the festival’s sixth year running. So whether you are a photographer, a photography enthusiast, or simply curious, consider heading over to the OBSCURA Festival in Penang to see the best of what local talent has to offer. And who knows, maybe you might learn a thing or two from the classes they hold or the talks they give.
Header Image Source: The Malay Mail