Elliott Erwitt's "Personal Best" One Of Perpignan's 30 Exhibits

PERPIGNAN, FRANCE – The 18th edition of Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, this year will feature at least 30 expositions over 15 days beginning on September 2, Guy Peron and Jean-François Leroy announced today. The professional week will be from September 4 through 10.

Peron is president of the Visa pour l’Image Association, and Leroy is Visa’s director.

“Our association has had to contend with difficulties,” Peron wrote in the announcement. “In the past we were lucky enough to enjoy unanimous support, but some of the institutional partners withdrew their financial backing, jeopardizing the Festival over the last few years. I am delighted to see that this support has gradually been built up again and also with to thank the increasing number of private partners for their support too.”

“Visa pour l’Image may not be in line with certain mainstream opinions, but we continue to believe that competent people, able to provide us with reliable visual information, are essential and clearly have a role to play. We shall always be there with them,” Peron said.

One of the most anticipated exhibits may be Elliott Erwitt’s of Magnum Photos with his latest book, Personal Best. Visa notes that this will be the first exhibit in France devoted to Erwitt’s work, and that Erwitt’s sense of humor in his photographs is unique "at a time when we are overwhelmed by current affairs and grim news, Erwitt’s exhibition offers a wonderful breath of fresh air.”

Canon France has joined as a major Visa pour l’Image sponsor this year, joining existing sponsors Paris Match, Elle, National Geographic, Groupe Hachette Filipacchi Photos, and others.

The usual major awards are on the schedule again this year – The Visa d’Or prizes along with the Canon Female Photojournalist Award and the 2006 CARE International Award for Humanitarian Reportage – along with the international festival of photojournalism’s fourth Symposium. This year the moderator will be photojournalist and writer Patrick Bard leading a discussion on, “Photojournalism: When the subject becomes an object.” Panelists scheduled to participate include Regis Durand, director of the Jeu de Paume national art gallery in Paris; Denis Muzet, a sociologist who is president of the Observatoire du Debat Public; and Vincent Rosenblatt, a photojournalist who is the founder of Agence des Favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Other photojournalists schedule to have exhibitions include Eric Baudelaire’s “The Dreadful Details”; Peter de Jong of the Associated Press with “The Best Of ... ”; last year’s Canon Female Photojournalist Award winner Claudia Guadarrama’s “Illegal Migrants Leaving Mexico”; Pulitzer Prize-winning Todd Heisler’s “Final Salute”; “Somewhere Between War And Peace” by James Hill of The New York Times; a retrospective of Henri Huet’s lifetime work; Lynn Johnson’s “Zambia: Conflicts of Culture and Conservation” shot for National Geographic; and Hurricane Katrina as seen by Thomas Dworzak and Paolo Pellegrin of Magnum Photos and Kadir van Lohuizen and Stanley Greene of VU.

The scheduled evening shows from September 4 through 9 at Campo Santo include reports covering Chernobyl, the Middle East, Hurricane Katrina, Tibet, Kashmir, Iraq, Malawi, the Congo, Somalia, The Arctic and Antarctic, China, Nepal, and Iran.

Full details and upcoming announcements about the festival are online here.