At the Visa Pour l’Image festival, photojournalism resists

Of course to Visa Pour l’Imagethe photojournalism festival which is holding its 35th edition in Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) until September 17, hard news, which records the terrible upheavals of our planet, is widely represented.

The war in Ukraine told to the world

In this exhibition, it is notably possible to find the harsh images of Tyler Hicks taken for the New York Times in Bakhmout where Ukrainian soldiers in their mud trenches wage a merciless battle.

The New York Times/Tyler Hicks

The work of Paolo Pellegrin highlighted

Afghanistan is not forgotten with the exhibition by Ebrahim Noroozi “The saddest country in the world and the worst country for women” Who shows the confinement of an entire people. But the festival also leaves room for photographers who document over time the weak signals of our Western societies and who announce the big changes to come. With in particular the work honoring the work of Paolo Pellegrin, as here with the photo of civilians searching for survivors after an Israeli air strike, in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2006.

Magnum Photos/Paolo Pellegrin

In Russia, the story of a resilient people

Nanna Heitmann’s work in Russia describes over several years how a people cope with the dramatic events in their country, like this elderly couple from Dagestan, Rasul and Khadizhat, overwhelmed with grief, sitting in a large soulless room, who receive the Order courage for their son who died in combat. Or a gathering of the Russian people in Moscow, to commemorate, on May 9, the victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany in 1945.

MAGNUM PHOTOS/Nanna Heitmann

The resurgence of white supremacists in the United States

These images should be compared with those of Mark Peterson The past is never dead which shows over time the resurgence white supremacists in the United Stateswhere five men in brown shirts, swastikas on their outstretched arms, are immortalized by the photojournalist recently in Arizona during the convention of the National Socialist movement, in a country where 15% of the population considers this type of demonstration acceptable.

Redux Pictures/Mark Peterson

A world facing the climate challenge

Further on, in the convent of the Minimes, where most of the exhibitions are gathered, in an image by Sandra Mehl, another couple, who must have also celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary a long time ago, are tenderly seated, head to head, eyes closed, hand in hand, in his kitchen.

Dencia and Wanceslaus Billiot have promised to end their day together in their house on Isle de Jean-Charles while all their neighbors are gradually being relocated to the continent, to escape the rising waters which are gradually eating away at this strip. of land off the coast of Louisiana. Wencelaus and Dencia will keep their promise. They both died within a year of each other, just before having to move. They won’t be among the first climate refugees of the USA, the most powerful nation in the world.

Sandra Mehl

The struggle of Iranian women

And then there is Iran, where foreign media cannot set foot but from where images reach us, produced by Iranians. Visa Pour l’Image sourced these photos to validate them as journalistic documents and thus be able to present them in the exhibition Revolts in Iran. You don’t die and not give reason to those who want to suppress the facts by depriving those who want to see and know of images.

On the poster for the 35th edition: a young woman, standing on a car rack, turns her back to us. This long black hair is undone. She faces a crowd marching in Iranian Kurdistan to Mahsa Aminidied a few days earlier in a Tehran hospital due to a hair loss.


A story told here in photos like many others at Visa Pour l’Image, at a time when social networks are overflowing with Instagrammable things, where one subject chases the other in the chain of continuous information, photojournalists exhibited in Perpignan, offer a break to better understand a world in perpetual acceleration. At full speed, you can no longer see anything. Jean-François Leroy and his Visa Pour l’Image team suggest slowing down a little, away from all the artificial intelligence software to see the world in real life and for free with the firm conviction that photojournalism, buried many times, is not dead.

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