The Chinese may think it's the Year of the Rabbit but here in London the unofficial Year of Street Photography is beginning with an energising glut of projects and exhibitions plus a brand new festival in 2011.
The inaugural London Street Photography Festival takes place 7-17 July 2011 in and around Kings Cross. Produced by Shoot Experience, it's bound to be a creative, exciting and vibrant affair. The Festival defines street photography as: “candid, un-staged photography which captures, explores or questions contemporary society and the relationships between individuals and their surroundings.” Having an open mind ready to capture whatever appears in the viewfinder is essential.
To get the streets buzzing ahead of the forthcoming programme, two new awards are announced:
- The International Street Photography Award is looking for the world's best street photographer. The global winner will receive £1,000 cash PLUS an all-expenses-paid trip to the exhibition launch and awards ceremony in London. Application deadline: 31 March 2011
- Student Street Photography Awards will select six finalists to take part in a one-day workshop with celebrated street photographer Nils Jorgensen and work together to produce an all-expenses-paid group show at a prestigious central London venue. An overall winner will be awarded a fantastic Olympus PEN camera. Application deadline: 28 February 2011
And there's lots happening elsewhere, as the Festival shapes up:
- The Photographers' Gallery is part way through Street Photography Now, a participative project run by the authors of the book of the same name, Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren. The project is due to end just as the Gallery is due to reopen, so we're hoping for an exhibition then. Meanwhile, you can join in now.
- Photofusion's annual members' show includes the work of street photographer Alexander Bartsch, interpreting the city with a hint of grime, humour and voyeurism, until 28 January.
- The February edition of London Independent Photography Magazine has street photography as its theme - in fact, the deadline for submissions for inclusion is 16th January so look sharp, shutterbugs.
- Museum of London's exhibition of London Street Photography opens on 18 February, featuring 59 photographers and over 200 candid images of everyday life.