Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

PhotoIreland Festival explores theme of migration and diaspora

The third annual PhotoIreland Festival will feature the work of 323 artists across 50 venues in Dublin for the month of July, exploring migration, diaspora and cultural identity.

Tue, Jul 3, 2012, 11:30



The theme of migration will take centre stage at this year’s PhotoIreland Festival, which will showcase some of the finest national and international photography exploring diaspora and cultural identity. The festival runs in and around Dublin city from 1-31 July, featuring the work of 323 artists across 50 venues.

One of the main events at the festival is Living-Leaving, an exhibition of the work of David Monahan and Maurice Gunning at the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar. Monahan’s Leaving Dublin portraits of imminent emigrants, taken as they prepare to depart the city, have featured several times on the Generation Emigration pages. Thirty 1 X 1.3m photographs from the collection will be on display, alongside Gunning’s work on the Irish diaspora in Argentina.

Speaking about this year’s theme, PhotoIreland Festival curator Moritz Neumüller said: “Migration is not only moving from one place to another, it is also a process of losing, rebuilding, defending and examining one’s own cultural identity. The photographic medium has always been at the forefront of investigating these phenomena, producing iconic images, recording moments of change, questioning cultural identity.

“With this year’s theme we want to discuss and present issues related to Diasporas and Migration, their past and present impact on identity, culture and the imagination, place and space, emotion, politics and the complexity of transnational lives today.”

The On Migration exhibition, which runs at Moxie Studios from 13-22 July, will feature projects such as Dinu Li’s Mother of All Journeys, Max Becher’s & Andrea Robbins’ 770, Isabelle Pateer’s series Unsettled and Jean Revillard’s Sara on the Bridge, among others. See the PhotoIreland website for a full list of exhibitors and venues.

A book and magazine fair will focus on the latest international photography publications, and a series of guided tours, talks, workshops and portfolio reviews will take place throughout the month.

The festival will be officially opened this Thursday at the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar at the launch of Evelyn Hofer’s Dublin and Other Portraits exhibition, and David Monahan and Maurice Gunning’s Living-Leaving exhibition. The evening will conclude with a video projection in Meeting House Square at 10.30pm.

For a full programme of events and updates, see, or follow @PhotoIreland on Twitter.