14 / 09 / 2009
A third week for education
When we see the genuine interest of young people in the work of the photojournalists exhibited in Perpignan, we can wonder: “why do the media continue to drive us mindless with stupid shows and magazines? And why do they continue to give useless news items, instead of interesting and important news events?”
This morning, the couvent des minimes opened up to a public younger than usually, since it was hundreds of students-from 10 to 17-who rushed to see the exhibitions.
Accompanied by their teachers, they gathered in small groups in front of the pictures, looking for answers to the questionnaire they had to fill in.
It was out of the question that the teachers only show the exhibitions of Barack Obama, or the volcanos by Ulla Lohmann. The (sometimes shocking) images of the war in Iraq, by
Eugene Richards, or of Somalia, by Pascal Maitre, aroused a lot of questions, and gave food for thought. The main purpose of this educational week is to inform of course, but also to make students aware of what is going on in the world, and give them a sense of responsibility.
Jean-François Leroy told the oldest students: "Getting informed of what's going on out there is your responsibility as citizens. But you have to go get the news. You have the power to decide which media you are going to use. Go on the New York Times website, or on France 24..."
Some questions are recurrent: "why did you create this festival?", "why choosing the couvent des minimes as an exhibition site?", "how does a photojournalist work in a country devastated by conflicts?", "what kind of training do we need to become a photojournalist?"
The festival may create vocations among those young people, but its main goal is to make them aware of the importance and responsibility of the media. Jean-François Leroy asked: « when did you hear anything about the Darfour? It is the goal of Visa to display subjects we don't hear about in magazines or on TV".
Today, Jean-François Leroy, in couvent des minimes, and Peter Dejong, in Eglise des dominicains, have met young people, who proved to be very interested in what's going on in the world, in the photojournalists' work, and in the festival. Good start for the educational week !