This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – part one of the preview of the 33rd edition of Visa pour l’Image which is set to open on 28 August with crowds!
Visa pour l’Image 2021 – Preview: Part One
Visa pour l’Image, the longest running, and most significant, photojournalism festival in the world opens in Perpignan, France on 28 August and runs until 26 September, with the first week dedicated to professionals.
For anyone who has been to Visa, the festival provides an extraordinary opportunity to view the work of photojournalists, both established and emerging, from around the globe. The Professional Week provides a unique opportunity for photojournalist, photo editors, agencies and others involved in the industry to meet up and discuss what’s happening in the sector and where to next.
Last year Perpignan was impacted by Covid-19, as were events everywhere. Usually during the professional week, this picturesque regional town, near the border of France and Spain, is flooded with around 1000 photojournalism folk. In the warm summer evenings, the outdoor venue of Campo Santo would be humming with hundreds crowded in to watch the projections. Exhibition spaces such as the majestic Couvent des Minimes and the Église des Dominicains would have long queues. The import of photojournalism affirmed on walls and screens throughout the city.
In 2021 festival founder and director Jean-François Leroy will once again welcome people back to Perpignan, the program featuring exhibitions as well as screenings of “around one hundred of the best stories produced by photojournalists over the past year. The reports sent in from so many different countries provide clear proof that the world has not ground to a halt,” says Leroy.
“While the pandemic has turned societies upside down, and now stands as the major worldwide event of the early 21st century, there have been other crises, as seen for example in Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Ethiopia and Colombia where Covid-19 has not stopped the relentless course of events and conflicts. As is always the case, photojournalists have been present there, providing invaluable reports on these chapters in history.”
“Their work is of course the result of talent and dedication, but we must not overlook certain outlets in the printed press and agencies which, despite an increasingly difficult financial situation, both in France and other regions, have continued to secure a reliable supply of fact-checked reports by sending their own journalists into the field…In the current climate, with new forces seeking a return to the dark ages, where indignant outrage is so prevalent, and at a time when we are both victims of and participants in the circulation of misinformation together with the anxiety it produces, these reports are an opportunity for us to stop and think, thereby gaining a better understanding of the world we live in. Here we see the purpose of the light at Campo Santo and Visa pour l’Image, for it is through greater understanding that we can allay fear,” Leroy concludes.
ABIR ABDULLAH – Climate Migrants in Bangladesh
“Nature has never made it easy to live in Bangladesh, situated in the Ganges Delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. Most of the country is less than ten meters above sea level, and is swamped by annual floods and battered by cyclones and tornadoes, while the interior can be subject to drought. With nearly 150 million inhabitants, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, and as more warnings on climate change appear, Bangladesh is set to be an increasing source of climate migrants.” Abir Abdullah is a Bangladeshi photojournalist and a former staff photographer with Drik Picture Library. He is currently a photographer for the European Press Agency in Bangladesh.
MYOP for the European Commission – Crisis Upon Crisis: Refugees and the Pandemic
“After more than a year of the Covid-19 crisis, the situation is patently clear: people who were already vulnerable before the pandemic have been hardest hit, with major financial and social consequences. This has been observed, for example, in Italy and France, and is also the case in less developed countries. Five photographers with the MYOP agency – Guillaume Binet Agnès Dherbeys Olivier Laban-Mattei Stéphane Lagoutte Pascal Maitre – have covered the situation in Bangladesh, Lebanon, Ecuador, Haiti and Uganda, reporting on refugees and displaced persons, showing the cumulative impact of two crises.”
GILES CLARKE for UN/OCHA – Yemen: Conflict + Chaos
“As Yemen enters a seventh year of war, a despairing population struggles under dark clouds of conflict, tribal divisions and external political meddling. Yemen: Conflict + Chaos is an ongoing visual record of a crippled country coping with an increasingly uncertain future.” Giles Clarke is an award-winning British photojournalist who is based in New York. Clarke has covered the crisis in Yemen for several years.
DARCY PADILLA / Agence VU’ – American Cycles
“The world’s largest laundromat measures 1,300 square meters, has 300 machines, and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wash cycles spin endlessly in this peaceful haven between work and home in a working-class, largely Hispanic suburb of Chicago where the laundromat is a safe social place.” Darcy Padilla is a multi-award winning American photographer, the co-chair of the FotoEvidence Foundation, and a university lecturer.
FATIMA SHBAIR / Getty Images – A Life under Siege
Fatima Shbair is a 24-year-old Palestinian photographer and the winner of the 2021 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award. Shbair shot “her first report on a conflict in 2021, in her home city of Gaza. Her work shows the damage caused by the recent attacks, and also the living conditions of the two million people living in the Gaza Strip and unable to leave the enclave. Sometimes they have no access to health care, electricity or drinking water, but they take up life’s challenges and maintain hopes for a better future.”
ANONYMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER IN MYANMAR For The New York Times – Myanmar’s “Spring Revolution”