A talented photo-journalist recently said to me, “Who and what are our skills good for? Nobody wants our account of events any more”.

Such disillusion is understandable when one recognises that although there was a happy period when L’Illustration was succeeded by the publication of Life and Paris Match, today the few existing television documentaries are giving way to talk-shows which supposedly represent the contemporary world.

Compared to the considerable amounts of advertising revenue invested in shows like Loft Story (France's equivalent of Big Brother) and various by-products that are but parody of social investigation, what economic weight do photographers have whose work is based on detailed investigation, visual communication, and the quality of human exchange?

Given, moreover, that it is easier today to use the Internet to find a stock picture to illustrate an idea, what kind of record of our world are we putting together for the future? Without wanting to take the place of the professional press, through this major project in which photographers and artists have accepted to take part, the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication wished to lend its support to journalists, agencies, directors of photography, critics, directors of institutions; to all those who contribute in their work to holding high the torch of an endangered profession.

Agnès de Gouvion Saint Cyr

Youth in France in 2000 / French Ministry of Culture

Eric Bouvet: Working on an aircraft carrier

Marie Dorigny: Women serving long sentences in Rennes' prison

Jacques Grison / Rapho: Coal mines in northern France

Guillaume Herbaut / L'Oeil Public: Buddhists and Muslims

Pascal Maitre / Cosmos: Youths photographed in public areas

Yan Morvan: After the accident

Marc Riboud: Living with a disability

Patrick Tourneboeuf / Tendance Floue: Youths in the French Navy

Éric Bouvet

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Marie Dorigny

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Pascal Maitre

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Jacques Grison

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Guillaume Herbaut

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Yan Morvan

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Marc Riboud

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