Festival Ojos Rojos Xàbia presents great figures such as Isabel Muñoz, National Photography Award Winner

A dozen exhibitions, talks and parallel activities will turn Xàbia and Dénia into the epicenter of contemporary photography

Monday 27th March 2023
Mike Smith

The Spanish and Ibero-American Photography Festival “Ojos Rojos” has presented its fifth edition in Xàbia, which has already started with a dozen exhibitions, talks and parallel activities that will allow the visitor to enjoy legends of contemporary photography and discover emerging voices of this artistic style over the next few weeks.

Its promoters and curators, Mili Sánchez and Mike Steel – from the Asociación Arteria Urbana – have been supported by the collaborators of this event, which include the Museum Consortium of the Comunidad Valenciana and the town halls in Xàbia and Dénia.

The director of the Consortium, Jose Luis Pérez Pont, explained that “Festival Ojos Rojos” has positioned itself as a serious and powerful proposal to bring photography closer to a people “hungry for culture” and has highlighted that it is a project that is born from the professional sector itself, driven by “talented people who have the ability to do things”. This, he continued, encourages both the administration and institutions such as the Consortium to support it “which is committed to cultural stimuli and the current ways of our creators to open doors and bring artistic creation closer to the public”.

Councilor Quico Moragues (Xàbia-Culture) acknowledged the involvement of Arteria Urbana for “not only surprising us every year and betting on very powerful names – like the great Isabel Muñoz – but also for the local people”. Both Moragues and councillor Juan Sapena (Dénia-Youth) encouraged residents to enjoy this great festival that will take over all municipal halls, private galleries and – in the case of Dénia – different urban spaces.

Mili Sánchez broke down part of the content of this fifth edition, which she features a guest from Peru and boasts a large female presence on the bill. Undoubtedly, the name in capital letters for this 2023 edition will be Isabel Muñoz (winner of two World Press Photo – the PhotoEspaña Award, Medal of Merit of Fine Arts in 2009 and National Photography Award of Spain 2016) whose work will occupy two spaces within the programming; the monographic exhibition “Entre Culturas” at the Casa del Cable and a second at Recoleto Creative where she will share a room with the artists Pusha Petrov, Brume and Laura Lis.

In Xábia you can also see the intimate work of Rocío Bueno; Madafaka & The Toxic Kiwis’ R&R night vision; the phantasmagorical Amazon of the Peruvian Leslie Searles; the landscape diptychs by Tony Tirado; the work on the territory of the local artist Juan Carlos Juan and finally, the series on chance by Félix Grande Bagazgoitia.

In Dénia you will be able to see exhibitions on the street of the renowned Peruvian multidisciplinary artist Cecilia Paredes and the work of Aitor Fernández, which delves into the new family nuclei. For the first time, an exhibition is held in the CuidArt room of the Dénia Hospital by the photographer Vicente Albero. And in rooms you can see the project of the Peruvian Mariel Vidal that investigates chance; the documentary work of Neus Solà on the gypsy female condition and the architecture taken to another level by José Conceptes.

As for the workshops, this edition proposes those by photographers such as José Conceptes, Rocío Bueno and Aitor Fernández. And as a novelty, a documentary workshop by the Peruvian documentary filmmaker Javier Corcuera and the screening of the film “Yo Sigo Siendo”, as well as a screening at the Cine Jayan (Saturday 25th March at 5.00pm) of the documentary by Angalía Mzungu (“Mira al Blanco”) that talks about the work of Isabel Muñoz and in which the photographer will be present.

“Festival Ojos Rojos” maintains its classic activities such as viewing portfolios and the photographic market, which this year will have a festive atmosphere and will be enlivened by live music. The books “Océanos de Plástico” by Carlos de Paz and “Los Hijos del Ciervo” by Jose Luís Carrillo will also be presented and as a novelty, the Aula Ojos Rojos (MILIcianXs) will carry out a photographic action-performance in which an exhibition will be pasted live in various streets of the historic centre of Xàbia (walls and shop windows will be part of it) with photographs and stories invented about them by the writer Antonio Magán.