Festival Internacional de Fotografía de Castilla y León. FIFCYL – 26.04.22 – 29.05.22 PALENCIA

Edition 2021

A place of gathering and reflection

Palencia has once again become a land of confluences, both literally and metaphorically. The richness of its history, culture and traditions make this city, whose origins date back to Roman times, the ideal setting to host the first edition of the Castilla y LeónInternational Photography Festival, to be held from the 20th April to the 29th May 2021. The intention of this event is in line with the very meaning of the word “Festival”, whose Latin origin, Festivus, means “celebration”.

This first edition will address its image from this perspective, in its diversity, otherness and plurality. Photography, a vector of knowledge, communication and exchange, is a language that transcends borders, and it is in this idea of convergence that the identity of a Festival was created, being above all a place of gathering and reflection.

Several elements intersect, forming together a structure that will allow the image to settle in the city of Palencia, where it will radiate and spread across all spaces and mediums.

The city’s major museums, urban spaces and their furnishings, squares, streets and parks are part of this great new project, becoming become the stage in which the image is the only protagonist.  This first edition features some of the great names of 20th century and contemporary photography, who come to establish dialogues and connections in this kaleidoscope of multiple aspects that is the city of Palencia.

William Klein’s images rub shoulders with those of Joel Meyerowitz, both being set in the New York of the 1950s and 1960s. Robert Frank’s cinema dialogues with the photographs of Lee Friedlander, both of which speak to us of the image within the image. Valérie Belin and Sandro Miller (a photographer born in Chicago, a city with which Palencia is twinned), confront each other and talk to us about the differences in identity that can unite or divide. Álvaro de Castro Cea, in close collaboration with the Provincial Historical Archive of Palencia, retraces his steps 100 years later and installs his portraits of our ancestors. Andy Warhol, Helmut Newton, Sally Mann, William Wegman or Walker Evans play with time and show us their snapshots which until now they had only kept for themselves. Miguel Vallinas, an internationally renowned photographer from Medina del Campo, located not far from Valladolid, will install his Segundas Pieles (Second Skins) in the Paseo del Salón de Isabel II, and his series Ceci n’est pas (This is not) in the Nexo990 space in Monzón de Campos. The Best of Show, organised in collaboration with the legendary New York institution, the Lucie Awards, will offer a panoramic view of international contemporary creation. In addition, we are establishing a partnership with the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles so that the young generations can show their work, which will be projected on a large screen in the heart of Palencia.

The Festival will also be a place of intellectual convergence, of encounters and conversations with curators, historians, photographers and other emblematic figures of the contemporary international scene, who will ask themselves real questions about the issues inherent in the content of the exhibitions. These conversations will be broadcast live and will be available on the Festival’s website.

The pedagogical aspect is fundamental, as it generates a process of sedimentation of knowledge, which in itself is a primary objective of the Festival. Various activities will be proposed to local communities, such as visits, conferences and meetings, in order to generate large-scale fluctuations and attract visitors to participate and experience the Festival.

Palencia is, therefore, the focal point of an event that offers great discoveries and encounters, so becoming an international benchmark every year.


Curator of the International Photography Festival of Castilla y León


Festival images