Popular Danish photography competition is going international

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Johanne Troelsgaard Toft, Senior Press Officer
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In 2024, all citizens of Europe will have a unique opportunity to participate in the Capture Your City photo competition by submitting a photo of their city. Behind the popular photo competition is Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen (DAC) in Denmark. This year, DAC is working with municipalities and cultural institutions in the cities of Riga, Turin, Ljubljana, Milan and Amsterdam to bring the competition to European citizens as part of the EU-project Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society.

Capture Your City is a large, open competition in which photo enthusiasts interpret their town or city as it stands today. And, now, citizens throughout Europe are invited to join as well. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to participate. All you need is access to something that almost everyone has: a smartphone or a camera. Photos may be from any small village or big city in Europe.

The Capture Your City competition receives around 5,000 photos every year in Denmark, and there’s no participation fee. An international panel of jury members will select the photos to be included in the physical and digital competition exhibition, which will be on display in several places throughout Europe during the summer of 2024. Each year has a new theme for participants to capture through photography. The theme for 2024 will be revealed in March at www.dac.dk and on DAC’s Instagram profile.

The objective of the photo competition is to engage people even more in developments of their city and it is an excellent example of ways to incorporate user-generated content in exhibitions.

Contributions from all over Europe

Every city has its own unique characteristics, but all cities have a common challenge: how to transition to a new situation that requires us to emit far less CO2. This will influence how our cities look in the future. Europe’s cities are part of Europe’s cultural heritage: from Art Nouveau and Brutalism in Riga, to arcades and Baroque castles in Turin, and canals and tall, narrow buildings in Amsterdam. Or from the fashion hub of Milan to the harbor swimming pools and cycle paths of Copenhagen. But what would people who live in these cities highlight? What do they think makes their city a wonderful place to live? Or, perhaps, a not so wonderful place to live?

Kristina Neel Jacobsen, senior project manager at Danish Architecture Center and in charge of Capture Your City 2024, says:
“We’re extremely pleased with our collaboration with Riga, Turin, Ljubljana, Milan and Amsterdam and the other cooperation partners in the project, and we look forward to receiving a lot of photos from all over Europe in Capture Your City 2024. Architecture affects everyday life across age, geography, ethnicity and gender. Whether we know it or not. Capture Your City is an opportunity to show others a snapshot of our towns and cities. We’re looking forward to seeing if we can spot any cultural differences and similarities across Europe in the contributions.”

The competition runs from 1 March to 1 May 2024.

The photo competition is supported by the philanthropic association Realdania and the New European Bauhaus project, Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. Desire is funded by the EU.
See more at www.dac.dk

Facts about Capture Your City

  • The Capture Your City competition runs from 1 March to 1 May 2024.
  • Participation is free of charge.
  • The photos will be exhibited from 6 June to 1 October 2024 outside the entrance to Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen. The exhibition will also be displayed at physical venues throughout Europe as well as in a digital version.
  • An internationally selected panel of jury members will decide which photos will be included in the exhibition as well as the three winning photos. The winners will be announced at the opening of the exhibition on 6 June 2024 at Danish Architecture Center. The first prize is an Interrail Pass for Europe.
  • This year is the competition’s ninth consecutive year, and it is the first time that it will be held with participants from several countries.
  • In 2024, Capture Your City is being held as part of the EU-funded New European Bauhaus project Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. This project includes the cities of Riga, Milan, Turin, Amsterdam and Ljubljana, and the competition therefore invites citizens in these cities to capture their city through photography.

About Danish Architecture Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

Danish Architecture Center (DAC) is an international cultural attraction that creates engaging experiences and generates debate about architecture and design. At DAC you can experience exhibitions, tours, events, and shop design products. You can also enjoy the spectacular view of the city from the café’s large rooftop terraces. DAC is a public-private partnership between Realdania and the Danish government. The Danish government is represented by the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Housing and Senior Citizens.

About Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society

Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society is a New European Bauhaus lighthouse project. Desire experiments with creating sustainable, attractive, and inclusive urban spaces which respect the limited resources of the planet.
The project is funded by the European Union.

About Arcam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Arcam is the architecture center of Amsterdam. The center hosts exhibitions, talks, guided tours, etc., and is located in a spectacular, sculptural building designed by the architect René van Zuuk. Arcam was founded in 1986, around the same time as DAC, and it is the oldest and one of the largest of 40 architecture centers in the Netherlands.

About MAO, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) was founded in 1972 in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. It is located in an old sixteenth century castle, and it boasts a large collection of works within architecture, urban planning, graphic design and photography. MAO is also the host of BIO – the Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, an international platform for new approaches to design and also Europe’s oldest design biennale.

About Fabbrica del Vapore and the Municipality of Milan, Italy

Fabbrica del Vapore is an intercultural center run by the Municipality of Milan. It is located in an old tram factory in Milan. Fabbrica del Vapore is a meeting place dedicated to contemporary art but also theater, music, dance and film.

About Riga Municipality, Latvia

Capture Your City’s collaboration partner in Riga is Riga Municipality. Riga is more than 800 years old. The city is home to the largest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the world. But 70% of its citizens live in a very different style of building: the typical Soviet era apartment blocks. How can these apartment blocks be refurbished and transformed? Do they contain any hidden beauty waiting to be discovered?

About CAMERA – Italian Centre for Photography, Turin, Italy

CAMERA is located in Turin, and is a hub for communication of photography in Italy. CAMERA was established in 2015 and hosts two to three large, changing exhibitions each year, with works by international and Italian photographers. Through exhibitions, debates, school programs and courses, CAMERA’s mission is to ensure dialogue and enhance public curiosity and understanding of photography.