Bursa International Photography Festival (BursaFotoFest), which was organized for the 11th time this year with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in cooperation with Bursa Metropolitan Municipality, Bursa City Council and Bursa Photography Art Association (BUFSAD), started with a cortege walk.
BursaFotoFest, which showed the success of being Turkey's first virtual photography festival held in digital environment last year due to the pandemic, brought together photography enthusiasts face-to-face in Bursa after a long break. BursaFotoFest, one of the first photography festivals in Turkey and one of the few in the world, and bringing together photography lovers and masters with the theme of 'Eye to Eye' in its 11th year, started with the traditional cortege march on Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Many Azerbaijani photographers took part in the opening of the festival, which was determined by Azerbaijan as the guest country of the festival. Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Mayor Ahmet Yıldız, Bursa City Council President Şevket Orhan, BUFSAD President Serpil Savaş and dozens of photography enthusiasts participated in the march, which was accompanied by the Metropolitan Municipality Marching Band. As the march ended in the square in front of Zafer Plaza, it was also the scene of colorful images.
12 photographers from 262 countries
BursaFotoFest program continued at Merinos Atatürk Congress Culture Center Fairground after the march. In addition to Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Alinur Aktaş, Azerbaijan Ankara Ambassador Reşad Mammedov, Bursa Deputy and AK Party Deputy Chairman Efkan Ala, Bursa Deputy Atilla Ödünç, AK Party participated in the ceremony in the area where more than 12 photographs of 262 photographers from 3000 countries and 200 exhibitions took place. Party Provincial Chairperson Davut Gürkan, Bursa City Council President Şevket Orhan, BUFSAD President Serpil Savaş, FotoFest Curator Kamil Fırat, local and foreign photographers and many photography enthusiasts attended.
“Our excitement will continue to increase”
Bursa Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Alinur Aktaş said that they started BursaPhotoFest with great excitement. President Alinur Aktaş stated that in order for a city to become a brand, it needs to organize organizations that bring together different countries with high quality, and stated that Bursa has demonstrated its determination for the photography festival for 11 years. Reminding that Bursa has a very deep-rooted history, Mayor Aktaş said, “We want to bring this feature of ours to the world. The art of photography is important in this respect. It is one of the most important elements of this in FotoFest. Thank you to everyone who contributed and contributed. Our excitement in this regard will continue to increase every year. This year, friendly and brotherly country Azerbaijan was chosen as the guest country. We will get to know Azerbaijan in more detail with the frames of the photographers,” he said.
Azerbaijan Ankara Ambassador Reşad Mammadov emphasized the importance of photography and artists by stating that photography is one of the most important elements of writing history. Reşad Mammadov, who stated that the Karabakh Victory will be recorded in history with the photographs taken, wished BursaPhotoFest to be held for many years.
Bursa Deputy and AK Party Deputy Chairman Efkan Ala stated that Azerbaijan, which was chosen as the guest country at the festival, is actually the host of the festival, like Turkey. Stating that he is happy to organize the festival in Bursa, Efkan Ala heartily thanked those who contributed. Stating that such activities have positive effects on people, Ala said, “We must all take the necessary steps to institutionalize the festival in order to ensure continuity. A photograph can take us mentally from one place to another. It can take us deep into history with a photograph. The photo of the girl from Afghanistan had more impact on the earth than anything else. A photo may leave indelible notes in history. In such exhibitions, you can travel and feel the recorded time. I would like to thank those who provided this opportunity,” he said.
Bursa City Council President Şevket Orhan said that they are ready to make sacrifices for the photography festival to be held for many more years. Stating that the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality, Alinur Aktaş, provided great support for the festival, Orhan wished the festival to be beneficial.
BUFSAD President Serpil Savaş stated that they have been opening the doors with a photography festival for 11 years. Thanking those who contributed, Savaş invited all photography enthusiasts to visit the exhibitions.
BursaFotoFest Curator Kamil Fırat expressed his happiness for organizing the festival for the 11th time. Explaining that it was a pleasure to meet again after a long time, Fırat wished FotoFest to grow gradually and become one of the most important brands of Bursa. Fırat thanked the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality, Alinur Aktaş, who showed will for the festival to be long-term.
After the speeches, the youngest photographer of the festival, Arda Morçiçek, and the honored guest of the festival, doyen photographer İbrahim Zaman, were presented with plaques by President Alinur Aktaş and Efkan Ala. Expressing that he was happy to start Bursa's most important photography festival, master artist Zaman thanked those who contributed.
After the ribbon cutting by the members of the protocol, the exhibition area with valuable photo frames was opened to the public. Within the scope of BursaPhotoFest, which will continue for 9 days at Atatürk Congress Culture Center, 24 shows and dozens of speech programs will be organized.