HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

Futures x Melkweg Expo Photography Festival


Tuesday - Sunday, 12:00 - 21:00 / Entrance: Marnixstraat 409

Please note: this event has already taken place

HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative

Futures x Melkweg Expo Photography Festival

Futures and Melkweg Expo proudly announce the photography festival HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative. After a fully digital event in 2020, this edition will take place both offline and online from 10 September to 17 October 2021. The physical programme combines exhibitions, talks, meetings, workshops and curatorial tours. 

Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the festival brings together the work of over 70 artists and the expertise of the 13 European photography institutions that are part of the Futures platform. This year’s programme unfolds the main theme HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative by investigating how our reality is challenged by artistic experimentation and counter-narratives.

10+1 artists will explore the festival's main theme in a hybrid exhibition, showcasing their work at Melkweg Expo and in an online environment. The projects were selected through an open call for all the talents who have joined the platform in the past four years. The show is curated by Marina Paulenka (Co-Founder of Organ Vida and former Artistic Director of Unseen). Here are the selected artists to the show: 

  • Maija Savolainen
  • Hien Hoang
  • Emily Graham
  • Carlos Alba
  • Eva Kreuger
  • Marta Bogdanska
  • Alexey Shlyk
  • Valeria Cherchi
  • Io Sivertsen
  • Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping

The artist Jean-Vincent Simonet will also present a live performance during the show.

More details about the festival programme will be announced soon.


After a year of reckoning come and gone, in 2021 reality is anything but in balance. Waves of counter-narratives continue to bloom and subvert our knowledge base, flooding the frameworks that once navigated our senses of being and belonging. Driven by the fusion of the physical and virtual realms – Europe now watches as a young generation of makers attempt to foster a new cultural literacy; searching, breaking, and reworking their mediums and conceptual moulds. But can we define a direction in all this disorder? Within this climate of hybrid experimentation, we are witnessing the forging of new realities each day. What new forms of making, narrating and reading are here to stay, and what can we just make out on the horizon ahead?

Together with Futures' 13 member institutions, curator Marina Paulenka will also organise a full programme of panels and artist talks, inspired by the festival theme. Speakers include  relevant voices in contemporary photography as well as other significant fields of interest. The talk programme takes place on 16 and 17 September, and will subsequently become  available on Futures' website. The full programme will be announced soon.

The exhibition is made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund.