Belfast Photo Festival marks milestone 10th edition with Broken Spectre premiere

Belfast Photo Festival marks milestone 10th edition with Broken Spectre premiere

Belfast Photo Festival’s landmark 10th anniversary edition from 6-30 June, will animate public spaces and the city’s built heritage with exhibitions from a host of international visual artists, including the island of Ireland premiere of Broken Spectre by Richard Mosse.

This year’s festival, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Arts & Business Northern Ireland and Alexander Boyd Displays, explores the theme of Divergence and aims to delve deep into how contemporary photographers are interpreting the climate emergency, rapid digitalisation and the ethical questions surrounding artificial intelligence.

Presented in the deconsecrated Carlisle Memorial Church with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Belfast Buildings Trust will be the debut of Broken Spectre by award-winning Irish artist Richard Mosse. Seeking to overcome the challenge of representing climate change,Broken Spectre is Mosse’s most ambitious project to date. Taking the audience deep into the Brazilian Amazon, this immersive 74-minute audio-visual installation, set within one of Belfast’s most striking buildings, is the result of three years of filming in the world’s largest rainforest. Admission is free of charge and accessible 11:00 – 19:00, Tuesday to Sunday.

Riddel’s Warehouse, one of the most remarkable examples of 19th century industrial Belfast, will host SMILE AI. by Dutch artist Matthias Oostrik. Presented at the festival with the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL, Kingdom of the Netherlands and Hearth Historic Buildings Trust, this dystopian art installation actively immerses the audience in a future where reality is refracted through the lens of AI's statistical interpretations.

Among this year’s other highlights, Our Streets are Full of White Bears by Barbara Caillot and Aleksandra Karkowska will be exhibited on the lawn at Belfast City Hall from 10th – 30th June, with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute. These photos showcase the artists’ fascinating project of the legendary White Bear of Zakopane, exploring how thousands of pictures of people with white bears have become a symbol of Polish popular culture, and both an antidote and provocation during uncertain times over the past 100 years.

The festival has also announced artist Adam Rouhana as the recipient of its annual Spotlight Award for his project BeforeFreedom (2022-On-going). Adam is a Palestinian-American photographer who aims to reappropriate representations of Palestine from a Western description by presenting a contemporary view of Palestinian life.

Belfast Photo Festival runs from 06–30 June. For more information, visit

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