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16.06.2020 Europe

Covid-19, ecology and revolt on the menu for 'Visa pour l'image festival'

By RFI
© Nicole Tung
LISTEN JUN 16, 2020
© Nicole Tung

The 32nd edition of Visa pour l'image photojournalism festival will be held in early September in Perpignan in the south of France, just two months late.

However, the event will be 'reduced' announced the organisers, due to health precautions in place to keep the coronavirus epidemic under control.

The decision to keep the "physical dimension" of the event - the world's first photojournalism festival - was made "at a time when many photojournalists have almost no orders for the past two months," the director of the Visa pour l'image festival, Jean-François Leroy, stressed in a video press conference.

Festival 'reduced' but maintained
This year the festival will be "a little reduced" because deprived of emblematic venues and screening evenings, due to Covid-19 health measures.

The 32nd edition will run from 29 August to 13 September and will show about twenty exhibitions accompanied with an online program.

The exhibitions will take place in only three venues, those that allow easy circulation of the public.

Asked about the second round of the French local election on 28 June which could see the victory of far-right RN (Rassemblement National) party, Leroy said: "There is no reason to deprive the Perpignanese of Visa, it would be a shame for everyone to withdraw us," while promising "to denounce the slightest interference with the freedom of programming".

Crisis
Among the "strong topics" put forward by Jean-François Leroy, a report by Peter Turnley on The Human Face of Covid-19 in New York, alongside a collective exhibition Pandemic(s), the first overview of the coronavirus crisis.

The provisional programme of the 20 planned exhibitions also gives pride of place to ecological and sustainable development issues, notably showing A Planet Drowned in Plastic by James Whitlow Delano.

Photographer Nicole Tung, who won a grant for 'women photojournalists' from the French Ministry of Culture, will report with Les contestataires on the struggle of Hong Kong demonstrators against the Beijing regime, among other urban uprisings.

This edition will be "very feminine" and it is a "coincidence" noted Jean-François Leroy, explaining that the photos were chosen "according to their quality".

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