France's world photojournalism expo leaves no stone unturned

·2-min read
© AFP/Raymond Roig

After two years impacted by Covid, Perpignan's Visa Pour l'Image festival of photojournalism returns to normal on Saturday in the south of France to "show the news of the world". Running until 11 September, the 34th edition offers exhibitions, screenings and debates centred on the work of international press photographers.

The annual event is an opportunity to look back at the key events of the past year: wars, crises, politics, sports, culture, science and the environment.

"Unfortunately the world goes on outside Ukraine [...] There are things happening all over the world that, because of Ukraine, are no longer talked about," said Jean-François Leroy, who founded the festival in 1989.

"We are committed to showing the world's news in its entirety."

Twenty-five exhibitions

There are 25 exhibitions on the programme, from the Afghan war as seen by Andrew Quilty of the VU agency, to the Burmese rebels through the lens of Siegfried Modola. Then there's the environmental apocalypse documented by Alain Ernoult and the impact of industrial fishing shown by George Steinmetz.

With "Tears of Trauma", the Lebanese photographer Tamara Saade uses her images to denounce the "negligence and corruption", the cause of the chemical explosion that ravaged part of Beirut in August 2020, and of the economic depression in which her country is mired.

Françoise Huguier' "Discretion" reveals the intimacy of a fashion show, Korean backrooms or the last communal flats in St Petersburg.

The complexity and fragility of the human condition are at the heart of Valerio Bispuri's "Rooms of the Mind", which focuses on the invisible world of mental illness. Similar themes are explored by American photojournalist Eugene Richards with "An Outsider".

War in Ukraine

Like the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine, which has been making headlines since February, could not be absent from Visa says Leroy.

The festival will include Mstyslav Maloletka and Evgeniy Chernov, the last journalists to cover the blockade of Marioupol for the Associated Press, who were pulled out of the city in March.

Screenings and awards

Six evenings of screenings at the Campo Santo, the emblematic medieval site in Perpignan, will retrace the most significant events of the last 12 months.

The various prizes, which reward the best reports of the past year, will be given out from 31 August onwards, with the Visa d'Or News on the evening of 3 September.

Visa Pour l'Image runs from 27 August to 11 September, 2022. It will also be on display at La Villette in Paris from 16 to 30 September.