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06 / 05 / 2015
Dinosaurs and Nostalgia
Our recent statements defending ethical practices in photojournalism triggered some lively reactions, and we must have heard every argument possible. The world is on the move, so it's time for photojournalism to move too. We are allegedly the protectors of an old-fashioned, narrow-minded vision of photojournalism. That's quite a charge!
Such scathing criticism neither concerns us nor upsets us. Au contraire! We see these comments as expressions of encouragement, bolstering our belief in a vision of photojournalism which we have been advocating, in no uncertain terms, over the last 27 festivals.
How and why should photojournalism change? Is the goal to take staged pictures in studio conditions? Do we want "still life" images to conjure up scenes of war? "You know, all those pictures of war and famine look the same in the end." What sort of cynical, mindless argument is that? Do we hear that kind of nonsense about sports photos? Well, too bad for us! When you look at the wealth of photography we have for the 2015 festival, when you look at what's coming onto the market (which, as we've said so often in so many debates, is getting smaller every year), when you look at the new names appearing, with new talent and more energy, when you wander around Perpignan in September, then you realize that photojournalism is certainly not going to disappear. And that's good news.
So, long live nostalgia! Long live the dinosaurs! And welcome to the real world.
April 22, 2015