This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – part two of the 2021 Visa pour l’Image preview.
Visa pour l’Image: Preview Part Two
Each year Visa pour l’Image, the world’s leading photojournalism festival, programmes a range of photojournalistic stories including those published in major newspapers and magazines as well as retrospective works and lesser known stories.
In programming such diversity, the festival brings together disparate narratives that create a visual map of the world. Visa pour l’Image reminds us that when the politics of conflict are removed, what remains is our shared humanity. It’s an important message at a time when the world is battling a common foe.
This year there are also exhibitions by renowned wildlife photographers including Vincent Munier and Brian Skerry. The majesty of the natural world is a salve for the heart and a reminder of what is at stake should we not heed the science and work to resolve the climate crisis.
As such, Visa does its job, prompting viewers to contemplate the issues the world grapples with, but also to be grateful. Importantly, Visa reinforces the value of photojournalism, for without the commitment of these photographers much would be left unseen. Ignorance is not bliss, but a passing of our power to others.
Visa pour l’Image: 28 August to 26 September, Perpignan France.
ÉRIC BOUVET – 40 Years of Photography (1981-2021)
“In over 40 years spent crossing the world, the overriding goal has been to report the stories, challenging the idea of showing things, trying to reach the people who view the pictures, getting them involved, having them stop to ask questions, urging them to react, yet without being able to provide ready-made answers, just the facts. There is a constant commitment to respect the dignity of the people being photographed for they are the ones who will remain in the history books and museums. There is the experience of being confronted with the violence and sometimes absurdity of war, and there are times when a human being can lose all powers of reasoning, when the most basic animal instinct takes over in a bid to survive.”
VINCENT MUNIER – Retrospective
“Vincent Munier was only 12 years old when he took his very first picture in the Vosges region of France where he lived. He then went on to become one of the greatest animal photographers of his time, exploring the planet, from the wide-ranging tundra to the peaks of the Himalayas, in his quest for the rarest and finest animals. The retrospective is an outstanding selection, featuring iconic pictures, little-known shots and recent photos.”
BRIAN SKERRY/National Geographic – Secrets of Whales
“Skerry spent over three years documenting four key species: orca, beluga, humpback and sperm whales. The work highlights the activity of these ocean mammals, showing them as sentient beings with cognitive abilities, and also portrays the personalities of individual animals, enabling us to see our world and our connection to nature in a new way.”
AFP – Syria A Decade at War
“Ten years ago, Syria appeared to be on the brink of momentous change, but the country descended into chaos, becoming a defining conflict of the early 21st century and forcing half the population to flee. Throughout the different stages, from the early anti-Assad rebellion, the emergence of jihadist groups, international involvement in the conflict, and the brutal retaking of control by the Assad régime, AFP remained present, providing extensive coverage. The exhibition features work by a range of photographers including seasoned war reporters, international freelancers and Syrian citizen journalists who quickly became accomplished photographers.”
Annually, Visa hosts various awards including the Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award, which in 2021 goes to Mary F. Calvert for her long term project on sexual assault in the US military. The €8,000 award enables Calvert to continue to examine the experiences of male victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) in the United States.
Acacia Johnson is the winner of the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant 2021. The €8,000 award will be used by Johnson to continue her project on bush airplane services in Alaska.