With pictures full of magic, the city of Zurich turns into a gallery. We are deeply convinced that it is our duty to continuously deal with the future of our existence and to seek concepts for our interaction with nature and the way we all live together.
With the awareness of the importance of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations, the idea of open your eyes was developed by a team with many years of exhibition experience and top-class expertise in photojournalism and photo art. A concept for a festival that invites us to reflect on the world we live in.
The agenda of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals was adopted by all 193 member states of the United Nations in September 2015 and provides a reference framework for peaceful and just coexistence in a global society.
The work on display is researched information, journalistic enlightenment and artistic expression. However, these photographs are not to be understood as illustrations of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, but as comments and annotations in the sense of Cornell Capa’s “Concerned Photographer”. The Hungarian-American photographer and Magnum founder Capa chose this expression to describe works that go beyond documenting events and show them with a humanitarian impulse.
This school of thought is also known as a concept in the context of science: the term “Concerned Scientist” is used to describe the use of rigorous, independent science
to solve our planet’s most urgent problems.
Consequently, world-class science meets world-class photography – in each exhibition.
In collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich), scientific texts and accompanying lectures in the context of the pictorial narratives highlight background knowledge and potential for independent action.
The result is a unique exhibition format in the alleys, gardens and plazas of Zurich, created jointly by art and science. Pleas for peace, tolerance and togetherness borne by a humanist spirit. The aesthetic magic of the visual narratives transforms Zurich into a city of images. The public space becomes a stage set for a Gesamtkunstwerk that affects us all.
Open your eyes also means pointing very clearly to the transformation of our world. In the design and implementation of the goals, the importance of people as the central force of sustainable development is emphasised – in the sense of people, earth and welfare.
Open your eyes promotes harmonious coexistence and a peaceful open attitude towards each other, a mindful lifestyle and a just economic model. In terms of con- tent, this means questioning with a critical eye, but also visualising the successes of our civilisation. We want to celebrate successful life as the matrix of our existence, because: without peace, everything is nothing. To avoid what photographer Nick Brandt fears will happen – ecocide. “This is the murder of our home, of planet Earth – by us humans.”
The themes chosen want to celebrate life, peace and prosperity for people and the planet – today and in the future.
The open your eyes photo festival is dedicated to all people.