L’edizione 2022

From 24 September to 1 November 2022, Padua will host Photo Open Up, the International Festival of Photography, which now in its fourth edition.

The aim of the festival, promoted by the Municipality of Padua and produced by Arcadia Arte, under the artistic direction of Carlo Sala, is to showcase the best in national and international photography, against the backdrop of the city’s most beautiful locations. The exhibition venues will include the Galleria Cavour, the Altinate San Gaetano Cultural Centre and the Ex-Macello Cathedral (Padua’s former slaughterhouse) – a fascinating example of post-industrial archaeology.


The theme of the Photo Open Up festival 2022 is Rediscovered Wonder. It aims to give visual expression to that feeling of discovery and wonder that people are longing to experience again after the long period of restrictions due to the pandemic, and to overcome the sense of uncertainty brought about by a global scene shaped by new conflicts.

Over the last two years, we’ve travelled less, we’ve had to stay indoors, we’ve limited our relationships with others, and in some cases, our grip on reality has weakened. After a period like this, we’re feeling the need to regain a sense of admiration and astonishment when interacting with places, things and people, so that we can be amazed once again.

Since antiquity, philosophers have debated the idea that a sense of wonder is a trigger for curiosity and knowledge itself. That same desire to explore, which underlies the approach of every photographer when they direct their gaze and capture, interpret or manipulate reality in its various manifestations.

The exhibitions will address these questions through the eyes of artists who, at various times in the history of photography, have aroused amazement through their works in an attempt to ‘write with light’ and capture new futures. The exhibitions, which will be held in various museums and exhibition venues throughout the city, will range from the solo exhibitions of a number of acclaimed artists to the latest international trends, with new projects promoted through a series of site-specific commissions and an international open call.

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