Ffotogallery launched the fourth biennial edition of Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography, Wales' largest visual arts festival, this week. Taking place throughout April 2019 this edition will be guided by the theme of Sound+Vision. Featuring a month long programme of exhibitions, interventions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places. The excitement of directly participating in the festival, and the international reach and visibility of the event, is further enhanced through printed and online publications, websites, mobile content and discussion on social media platforms. 

Diffusion explores the relationship between sound - music in particular - and photography and lens-based media. The festival will showcase the latest applications of VR, expanded photography and other digital technologies, and build on collaborative links between Welsh artists, media producers and companies who are working internationally in Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East.

Diffusion Festival Director David Drake explains:

“Our aim is to share with event visitors and online audiences Wales’ strengths in digital creativity, photography, music and film and to demonstrate the vibrancy and global reach of our arts and creative industries”

Some of the highlights inculde: 

  • X-Ray Audio, an installation by The Bureau of Lost Culture telling a story of cold war culture, bootleg technology and music as resistance. In the Soviet Union during the cold war era, a daring underground community of bootleggers found an extraordinary and risky means to defy the censor by copying and distributing the forbidden jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and Russian music they loved – building recording machines and cutting their own records with used x-ray film. 
  • Leading on from their award-winning fulldome film, Liminality, shot in India, Cardiff based creative collaborators Matt Wright and Janire Najera will immerse audiences in the music of the jazz and trip-hop band Slowly Rolling Camera. Commissioned by Ffotogallery to premiere at Diffusion 2019, Juniper explores how sound and moving image merge within live performance. 
  • John Rea’s Atgyfodi introduces the lost voices and recordings from the sound archives of The National Museum of History: St Fagans in the form of an immersive surround sound installation with found and specially filmed images. These are interwoven as a contemporary audiovisual composition, returning them, and what they represent, into our collective memory. 
  • On a humorous note, Finnish film director Jonna Kina has collected objects used by various foley artists and sound designers to create sound effects for movies. Foley Objects presents a curious collection of images as both a photographic archive of sounds, and an ironic twist between documentation and absurd playfulness. 
  • In 2008, photographer Michal Iwanowski came across a small graffiti in his neighbourhood in Cardiff, and it spelt Go home Polish. A decade later, after the divisive Brexit referendum, Iwanowski set off on a 1900km journey, on foot, between his two homes - Wales and Poland - a British passport in one hand, a Polish one in the other. His goal was to ask people about home, in a journey that would take 105 days to complete. With a soundtrack by Gwenno, the resulting exhibition Go Home Polish recounts the tale of that epic journey. 
  • Don’t You Wonder Some Times?, a specially curated exhibition at the Wales Millennium Centre, looks at developments in music recording, production and how it is enjoyed by audiences - from the technology used to record sound for the rst time, to albums, singles and new forms of distribution which have enabled music to become a part of our daily lives. From fanzines to listening booths, tribute bands to virtual reality experiences, audiences are invited to explore our diverse musical heritage.

Diffusion 2019’s International Opening Week is 3-7 April and the festival’s extensive accompanying learning and engagement programme includes an international symposium, bilingual Welsh-English publications and learning resources, artist-led workshops, talks and events, guided tours for school and college groups and various family orientated participatory events.

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