The opening week : 5th – 9th of July.
STORYTELLERS by Sam Stourdzé, director of the Rencontres
Photographers lead and guide us through the subjects that drive them. They document, search and investigate. Photographers are investigators. They know their subjects like the backs of their hands. When they go out on the field, they meet, interact and explore. Photographers are explorers. Looking for new territories, they bear witness to the world’s vastness, interrogate history and question the medium. They are neither historians nor sociologists, but artists who construct a visual cosmology out of still or moving images, texts or sounds. They take us along on their stories. Photographers are storytellers. Examples include Laia Abril, who, in the first chapter of her chronicle of misogyny, focuses on abortion; João Pina, who spent over 10 years investigating Operation Condor and the disappearance of 60,000 political prisoners in six South American dictatorships; and Yan Morvan’s imposing encyclopaedia of battlefields.
AFRICA POP !
The festival looks kindly upon youth and new practices but is also receptive to the world and sets its sights on other places. This year, talented photographers and curators showcase an unexpected, surprising, funny, pop Africa at the 47th Rencontres. Aida Muluneh, the artistic director of Addis Foto Fest — the Addis Ababa photo festival — joins the Discovery Award nominating team and defends the work of Sarah Waiswa and Nader Adem. Through works by approximately 10 artists, Azu Nwagbogu, director of the Lagos Photo festival, looks into the Nollywood film studios’ influence on African photography. In Maud Sulter’s photomontages, however, African and European cultures collide. Lastly, Richard Minier, Thomas Mondo and Madé Taounza tell us the amazing story of Las Maravillas. The Malian music group becomes a wonderful pretext to revisit the swinging ambiance of 1960’s Bamako immortalised by the great Malick Sidibé.