Yet another year where photojournalists have been prominent in tragedy. First there was Afghanistan, then Ukraine, not to mention so many other theaters of war, violence and atrocities standing as clear and often cruel evidence to prove that photojournalism is a leader in advocating human rights, condemning war crimes, and defending freedom of information, i.e. the right to critical information in a context of democratic debate.
Photojournalists, through their physical bravery and their quest for truth, in their investigations constantly pursuing facts and evidence, deserve our gratitude. They are soldiers of peace and deserve our active support so that they can carry out their professional duties under increasingly difficult and adverse circumstances.
Yet another year, and this time we shall be together in Perpignan, celebrating the city known internationally as the capital of photojournalism extending a welcome to photojournalists from across the world, with participation from French national authorities, the region of Occitania, the département des Pyrénées-Orientales, Perpignan Méditerranée Métropole, and the City of Perpignan, together with all the partners from the private sector and the different teams working on the festival to make Visa pour l’Image - Perpignan the major event that it is. All parties concerned are pleased and proud to speak up, to speak out, for the 34th time, stating their admiration for photojournalism and reiterating their support for photography.
My personal ambition is for us to emerge from the crisis of the pandemic and have the festival renew ties and acquaintances with everyone involved in photojournalism around the world, with all the professionals who have chosen to work in photography and are doing so with such spirit across the globe. I wish to invite not only the professionals in the world of photography, but also amateurs, and all advocates and supporters of freedom to come and explore the many exhibitions displayed in the city of Perpignan, and to come and marvel at the stunning evening programs on the giant screen in Campo Santo. Yes, come and applaud the work of photojournalists whose range of interests and commitments also go beyond the horrors of the world to perceive the delicacy and beauty of nature, the environment and the human soul.
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres
President of the Association Visa pour l’Image - Perpignan