FotoLeggendo: it’s time to say goodbye

Dear friends,

after 14 years, we have decided to conclude the extraordinary adventure of the FotoLeggendo Festival.

This was not a last-minute decision. We have long reflected upon the path it has taken and realized that the time was ripe.

FotoLeggendo was the largest undertaking Officine Fotografiche committed to in terms of human and financial resources. It began as portfolio reviews organized by a small association. Throughout the years, it grew into a festival at international level that had the honor of hosting internationally acclaimed photographers from all over the world. The event paired up professional artists with participating photographers in the spirit of initiating a dialogue between professionals and amateurs; it became a place for exchanging views and opinions, and creating informal and personal encounters. The event was free of charge so that everyone had access to it in quest of fostering the art of photography that has been the backbone of Officine Fotografiche since its beginnings.

We are and will always be deeply grateful to everyone who supported us and helped us to grow by participating in the project with their professional expertise and knowledge: historians, photographers, curators, photo editors, journalists, gallery owners, educators, as well as the members of Officine Fotografiche who collaborated unconditionally in organizing exhibitions, hospitality and security.

In particular, we would like to thank the staff at the Boutographies – Rencontres photographique de Montpellier Festival with whom we have collaborated for 11 years in the productive exchange of ideas and exhibitions for the  Premio Échange. Special thanks also to the Controchiave Association that has been our partner in every edition of the Festival and the Premio Tabò.

Thank you also to all the international partners we have worked with, including FotoBookFestival di Kassel and Lens Culture, and to the directors of the exhibition spaces that gave life to the festival circuit.

Thank you to the Municipio Roma VIII that, especially at the beginning, supported the event however possible in the difficult task of taking root in the neighborhood.

Thank you to the Istituto Superiore Antincendi (ISA) for welcoming us into their prestigious industrial archeology site for so many years, and the directors of the Museo di Roma in Trastevere and the Centrale Montemartini.

Thank you to the (few) politicians and administrators of the City of Rome and the Regione Lazio who believed our venture – self-financed by a collective – was worth being supported and recognized through resources from small businesses.

And a special thank you to all the visitors who have been with us all these years, encouraging us to strive for better things.

However, notwithstanding all the support and accomplishments we obtained, we have decided to close this experience. After 14 years, the difficulties of the city we live in and its very complex dynamics, has depleted our forces due to the disconnected runaround between bureaucracy, call for bids in limited periods, spaces with little availability and access,  and the ever-changing contact personnel who are never very interested in photography to begin with. Maintaining the high level of the festival is not possible for us anymore in both economic terms and the lack of spaces that meet our needs. We also realize that the general public is changing, and we want to find new avenues to stimulate its curiosity and involve it in new initiatives.

Therefore, FotoLeggendo is closing this year but Officine Fotografiche is not, and it has many events programmed at our headquarters and other spaces.

We will continue in our commitment to promote the art of photography and maintain a community for those who are passionate about it and those who have made a career choice out of it.

We will see you soon, because we are developing new opportunities where to meet.