Diffusion Festival

Cardiff International Festival of Photography



Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography is a biennial month-long international festival of photography taking place in Cardiff, Wales' capital city. The festival is initiated and delivered by Ffotogallery in collaboration with a wide range of local, national and international partners and supporters.

Diffusion is a celebration of photography and the photographic image, in all its forms. Whether created, published, exhibited, collected or distributed in a physical or virtual way, the photograph has the power to inspire and provoke reaction, to reflect our own experience and that of society evolving around us.


Diffusion 2019 features a month long programme of exhibitions, interventions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places. The excitement of directly participating in the festival, and the international reach and visibility of the event, is further enhanced through printed and online publications, websites, mobile content and discussion on social media platforms.

Diffusion 2019’s theme is Sound+Vision. The festival explores the relationship between sound, photography and lens-based media, and how in contemporary visual culture the transmission, presentation and reading of images is influenced by sound, and likewise how music is experienced visually as well as aurally.


Diffusion 2017 looks at ‘revolution’ in its widest context, investigating moments of social change, movements around freedom of expression, the pursuit of utopias, human rights and identity. Through the prism of photography and lens-based media, the festival will examine dramatic and wide-reaching changes over the last hundred years to the way we live – technological, political, social and cultural.


Diffusion 2015’s chosen theme is Looking for America, a cross-disciplinary investigation of the status and meaning of the ‘American Dream’ in relation to experience in Wales, contemporary America and the rest of the world.

Taking place in venues across Cardiff and beyond, the festival sees a month long programme of exhibitions, interventions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places. The festival will use both traditional and new media to create a strong visual presence across existing venues and found spaces.

Festival highlights include And Now It’s Dark, an exhibition of American night photography featuring three important contemporary American photographers – Jeff Brouws, Todd Hido and Will Steacy. Serge Clément’s Dépaysé offers a psycho-geographical tour of his native Montreal drawing on various bodies of work spanning forty years. The powerful exhibition As It was Give(n) to Me by Kentucky born artist Stacy Kranitz’s invites comparisons between the economic struggles of mining communities in Wales and in central Appalachia. Welsh photographer Jack Latham‘s A Pink Flamingo takes us on a journey along the Oregon Trail – a route that has become part of American history and embedded itself in the dreams of those looking for something better on the horizon of somewhere else.


And Where are We Now?

This was the question we asked artists, cultural producers, curators and programmers to address with their contributions to Diffusion 2013, and the one we will be exploring with audiences and participants.

People encounter photographic images daily not only in newspapers, magazines, on TV and in advertising, but also through online channels, mobile phone applications and social networking sites. We live in a time of image glut, and with the boundaries increasingly blurred between artist and audience, amateur and professional, we might ask and where is photography now? The world has never before been so visualised, yet the nature and meaning of photography and its status in art has never been so hotly debated.

Diffusion 2013 examines these cultural shifts and different approaches to artistic production, presentation and distribution. We look at the relationship in photographic art between traditional and new hybrid forms and their place within contemporary visual culture. Diffusion 2013 offers a space for artists, cultural agents and audiences to share experience and creative endeavour, to begin to make sense of a world where almost anyone can and will become a photographer and distribute their images within online communities – a society in which our experience of time and space has dramatically changed.