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Editorial of the Association Visa pour l'Image - Perpignan's President

by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres

On May 6 this year, in the midst of the health crisis, the relevant authorities at their respective levels – the French state, the region, the département and the city of Perpignan – and all the Visa pour l’Image teams pooled their energy and aspirations, and decided, unanimously and enthusiastically, that the 2020 Visa pour l’Image festival would go ahead. That promise is now being carried out.

I am extremely proud that all parties have rallied to the cause, in marked contrast with a widespread defeatist, isolationist spirit. Visa pour l’Image and all the festival partners, both public and private, are more committed than ever to supporting photojournalists who are such dedicated witnesses, reporting news stories of sadly increasing violence and vileness. It is difficult work for professional photojournalists, often without any financial or job security, but it is an essential contribution to democratic debate, highlighting the fundamental values at stake: freedom of expression and information, respect for diversity, and humanistic ideals.

The city of Perpignan, with its own wealth of diversity, is the natural venue for Visa pour l’Image where the work of photojournalists is best appreciated. Some twenty exhibitions will be presented this year in historic sites in the city, as is the case every year.

For 2020, the festival will be extending its reach via original digital facilities. As the evening screenings cannot be held at Campo Santo because of health and safety regulations, the shows will be made available worldwide via online access, and stories will subsequently be relayed on social media according to the interests and keenness of viewers.

In Perpignan, all due measures and precautions will be in place as required for the current health situation, and I trust that we will have a large number of visitors coming to see the exhibitions in the city.

May all those who are involved and committed to photojournalism and who view the 2020 festival program, whether physically present or online, take away a message of peace and fraternity.

Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres