Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan

From the end of August until 15 September, Visa pour l’Image is celebrating the 25th festival, which is an achievement outstripping the original hopes of the founders. The festival is an annual, week-long meeting for 3000 photographers, journalists, picture editors, and photo and press agencies. An event that appreciates the photo in its many forms and expressions, its popularity is demonstrated by the vast amount of visitors that take the trip to attend and the 2012 festival set records well above forecasts for the number of visitors.

It was 24 years ago when Perpignan held the very first, very new, very small festival of photo-reporting, Visa pour l’Image. Even then, there were 24 exhibitions and six evening shows. Today the event is a highlight of the cultural calendar internationally attracting an estimated 4 millions visitors. The event also promotes freedom of expression in photojournalism and the aim of the fair is to promote wide-ranging, diversified press coverage that presents different viewpoints. For decades, Visa pour l’Image has been supporting the individuals crafting this freedom of expression. The modern world of the media moves at great speed, but photography, now digital and immediate, has the power to be a major means of expression capable of making a great impact.

At the event, visitors will be able to view the greatest photojournalist work from around the world in exhibitions across the city of Perpignan. There will also be evening screenings in the dramatic open air medieval enclosure of the Campo Santo, besides symposiums and conferences where there will be the opportunity to meet the foremost photo agencies and manufacturers of photographic related equipment. The exhibitions present stories or anthologies of a photographer’s work, reporting on wars, nature, the environment, people, religious issues, and social phenomena, plus the great scourges of our time. The screenings add another layer of interest and program includes a chronological review of the news stories from the previous year, reports and features on social issues, war, stories that have made the news and others that have been kept quiet.

Visa pour l’Image, 31 August – 15 September, Perpignan.

1. Burning Man Festival, end of August, 2012, Eric Bouvet.
2. Sara Lewkowicz / Reportage by Getty Images, Lauréate du Prix de la Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik 2013.
3. Sabra Palestinian camp after massacre by Christian militia, Beirut, Lebanon, 1982, © Don McCullin / Contact Press Images.