With Opening Days, we are opening up spaces and pathways for contemporary discourses on photography. Photographic archives will be a core theme: artists will give insights into the organisational structure of their work (Liz Johnson Artur) and talk about their interventions into photographic archives (Falk Haberkorn/Sven Johne). Sergiy Lebendynskyy, Director of MOKSOP – Museum of Kharkiv School of Photography, will be amongst those discussing what it means to secure an archive in exile. Issues of preservation and future development of photography will be discussed by Claudia Roth (Member of the German Bundestag and Minister of State for Culture and Media) in her 5 March keynote, which will be followed with a roundtable in which curator Florian Ebner – alongside artists Ute Mahler and Adrian Sauer – will discuss the issues in greater depth.

Insights into new works on current issues – contemporary approaches to documentary photography, post-photographic strategies – will be offered in the talks with artists such as Andreas Langfeld and the duo Fabian Hesse & Mitra Wakil. Melinda Matern will speak with artist Cihan Çakmak about the latter’s self-portraits, in which she breaks down concepts of identity within society. A talk with Yevgenia Belorusets and Tobias Zielony will address artistic responses to war and conflict.

Together with festival partner exhibitions, the opening of the Touch. Politiken der Berührung (The Politics of Touch) anniversary exhibition, the Drängende Gegenwart (Urgent Present) special exhibition, and the awarding of the Käthe Kollwitz Prize to Nan Goldin at Akademie der Künste, visitors can look forward to a wide-ranging and multifaceted programme.

Adrian Sauer, Wolken, 2015, from the series Form und Farbe, 2015, digital C-Print , 121 cm x 161 cm

© Adrian Sauer