It seems that around the world every single day, every single year there is a war, a tragedy to cover. Everyone will remember 2022 for the Ukraine war, with many journalist and photojournalist traveling to cover a nonsense conflict which is not going to end any soon. Jean-François Leroy, director of Visa pour l’image- Perpignan asked himself this question:

what should a festival of photojournalism such as Visa pour l’Image do in response to such an event?

In September last year, pictures were screened at Campo Santo showing Afghans fleeing the return of the Taliban, scrambling over planes on the tarmac at Kabul airport. Who could have thought then that such images would be swept from world headlines?

No one perhaps, but certainly we had not imagined the prospect. This year we will obviously be featuring Ukraine, giving the story the coverage it deserves, but we shall not be restricting the program to one single event, no matter how important it is. What’s more, this latest war has highlighted, yet again, so many of the issues confronting professional photographers, while also uncovering new developments in photography.

Key reports have presented the news in the midst of the confusion of war, with substantial input from members of the visual investigation team of The New York Times, working together with their reporters in the field and presenting incontrovertible evidence to contradict the “fake news” spread by Russia on the Bucha massacre. Andthey have provided evidence of atrocities being committed on both sides, confirming the authenticity of a video showing Ukrainian soldiers executing a Russian soldier.

Such developments should not be seen as yet one more nail in the coffin of “conventional” photojournalism, but rather as an additional tool in the news ecosystem providing even stronger backing for stories reported in still pictures and which, here at Visa pour l’Image, is what we have been acclaiming and encouraging for so many years.

The festival has always been a key meeting point for those interested to discover more of the photojournalism world, but also a place for professionals to meet and share their vision, thoughts, experiences with other colleagues. The festival is also welcoming not just those on the field everyday, but also amateur interested on learning more about photography.

The women at La Yaguara Detention Center have no organized activities and are simply left to their own devices. Caracas, Venezuela, March 2018.
© Ana María Arévalo Gosen Winner of the 2021 Camille Lepage Award

I wish to invite not only the professionals in the world of photography, but also amateurs, and all advocates and supporters of freedom to come and explore the many exhibitions displayed in the city of Perpignan, and to come and marvel at the stunning evening programs on the giant screen in Campo Santo.

Yes, come and applaud the work of photojournalists whose range of interests and commitments also go beyond the horrors of the world to perceive the delicacy and beauty of nature, the environment and the human soul.

Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres President of the Association Visa pour l’Image – Perpignan

All the exhibitions are free to the public and are open starting from the 27th of August till September 11th with the following opening hours: from 10am to 8pm.

The Tara is a schooner and a scientific research vessel, seen here on the Weddell Sea taking water samples at the foot of an iceberg measuring one square kilometer, as part of a study of the impact of melting ice on the marine microbiome. © Maéva Bardy/The Tara Ocean Foundation In exclusive partnership with Le Figaro Magazine
Patients are often very weak and always request assistance. They have no concept of time and are never bored. Mental healthcare center, Avrankou, Benin, 2021.
© Valerio Bispuri
Forces loyal to Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord firing a rocket at Islamic State fighters. Sirte, Libya, August 4, 2016.
© Goran Tomasevic

THE EXHIBITION PROGRAM
Ana María Arévalo GosenDías Eternos: Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala (2017-2022)
Maéva Bardy – The Twelfth Expedition of the Schooner Tara
Valerio Bispuri
Nelle stanze della mente
Mstyslav Chernov & Evgeniy Maloletka – Mariupol, Ukraine
Sabiha Çimen
– Hafiz
Jean-Claude Coutausse – On the Campaign Trail
Alain Ernoult – The 6th Extinction
Françoise Huguier – Discretion
Acacia Johnson – The Pilots Connecting Remote Alaska
Selene Magnolia – “Zor”, Inside Europe’s Largest Roma Ghetto
Siegfried Modola – Inside Myanmar’s Armed Uprising
Andrew Quilty – A Forever War Ends
Eugene Richards – An Outsider
Arnaud Robert et Paolo Woods – Happy Pills
Alexis Rosenfeld – 1 Ocean
Tamara Saade – Tiers of Trauma
George Steinmetz – Global Fisheries Harvesting Marine Wildlife
Goran Tomasevic – Between War and Peace

Perpignan, France
Photo by Maxence Bouniort

Save the date:

Exhibitions: Saturday, August 27th to Sunday, September 11th
Professional Week: Monday August 29 to Saturday September 3rd
Screenings: Monday August 29th to Saturday September 3rd
For schools: from Monday 12th to Friday 16th September and from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd September

For more informations visit the official website of the festival.

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