Photoworks – Festival in a Box @ GoMA

Recently there was an intriguing email that hit our inbox. GoMA was invited to take part in the first Photoworks Festival – Propositions for Alternative Narratives – which rethinks what a photography festival is and who it can be for. Like a number of arts festivals, Photoworks was affected by the Covid19 restrictions. Already rethinking what a photography festival was the team had to reconfigure radically the plans for 2020 to include an outdoor festival – where visitors can see commissioned works on poster sites and billboards across Sussex; an online version – viewed through the website; and the Festival in a Box. This unique and limited edition was inspired by the artist Dayanita Singh and her approaches to expanding ideas of exhibiting photography to reach a wider audience – particularly the work Sent a Letter (2007).

Festival in a Box – Propositions for Alternative Narratives enables the festival to be disseminated widely and the recipient becomes the curator who decides where and how to install it. The desire is that it unfolds in different homes, offices, schools, community or commercial spaces in a myriad of displays each determined by the new owner. It is also beautifully the size of a book so can neatly slot a bookcase or archive while not on display.

When Photoworks asked us to take part once we re-opened we were excited by the ways to connect our audiences to another city’s festival – especially in the current climate with our ability to travel severely restricted. We are delighted to display some of works in GoMA, particularly the commission from Glasgow Museums’ collection artist – Alberta Whittle – who has included images from footage taken in Gallery 1 in this building when she was Associate Artist (2018 -2019). The pop-up display will be on until 25 October and you will need to book your FREE ticket in order to visit GoMA and more information on how we are back and open is here.

Further information on how to acquire your own Festival in a Box or more information and resources from Photoworks can be found online at

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