Derby, England | April 2016 / March 2017

Flâneur Activities


Derby is situated in the Midlands, literally in the middle of the UK, easily accessible by train/plane and car from all around the country. It is only an hour and a half from London by train, and 30mins from East Midlands Airport. It is built upon the banks of the River Derwent, with just quarter of a million people, Derby is an intimate, friendly and attractive, historical city and everything is within easy reach.

Derby has a deep relationship with photography since its invention, it was home to pioneering Victorian photographers Richard Keane and Fox Talbot, it is home to one of the oldest still working photo studios in the world W.W.Winters studio (since 1867) and it had the First College/Uni in the UK to offer Diploma and Masters courses in Creative Photography, which continues through the work of the University of Derby.

Derby is home to the first factory in the world, and is considered the birthplace of Mass Production at the Silk Mill, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a frequent FORMAT Festival venue.
Quoted by the Lonely Planet as being ‘The real ale capital of Britain’, and as ‘one of the world’s top ten easy trips’ it is a city that is visited and loved by people from all over the world. There are many independent shops, bars and restaurants including the famous Derby Pyclet bakers.

Derby is also an internationally renowned centre for advanced transport manufacturing, home to the world’s second largest aero-engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, and Derby Litchurch Lane Works—the UK's only remaining train manufacturer.

FORMAT International Photography Festival was established in 2004.

The festival is one of the UK's leading international contemporary festivals of photography and related media. FORMAT organises a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences, mass participation and collaborations in the UK, online and internationally. The 2015 festival welcomed over 100,000 visitors from all over the world.

The biennale and off year programmes celebrate the wealth of contemporary photographic practice. We are committed to supporting photography and all its expanded fields. We are concerned with sharing and contributing to what is happening right here, right now in the scene and beyond.

FORMAT is the place to engage with an incredible range of new work together alongside some of the best-known practitioners in the world. FORMAT is focused on developing opportunities for practitioners and audiences to see, debate, develop, contribute and participate in the best of what photography is and can be, with comprehensive professional practice programmes and the UK’s largest yearly International Photography Portfolio Review.

FORMAT is Directed by Louise Clements, organised by QUAD and the University of Derby. Supported by Arts Council England , Derby City Council and multiple partners from around the world.

The team

  • Artistic Director/Curator: Louise Clements
  • Co-ordinator: Sebah Chaudhry
  • Assistant Curator: Michael Sargeant
  • Festival Patrons: Brian Griffin, Clifton Cameras 
  • Festival Edition Patrons: Joel Meyerowitz, Martin Parr
  • Founders: Louise Clements, Mike Brown


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