Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Far From (the) Objective:
Perpignan's PhotoJournalism Festival

Perpignan's photojournalism festival has been in Le Monde all week long. There was, of course, the article on the reaction of the Visa pour l'image team to the kidnapping of the two French reporters.

There was Michel Guerrin's article on a photographer who, like so many others in Perpignan, understands that all the injustices in this world are due to American-style capitalism (an article which also explains how and why French photographers are far superior to their American counterparts — like French reporters, French leaders, French intellectuals, French citizens, etc…)

There is the American photographer who rails against America under Bush-43, calling "the ugly nation" fear-inspiring, full of hate and ignorance, and fascist. Even Le Monde can not pretend Chris Morris's photo display is somewhat objective, Michel Guerrin calling it "not an exhibit, [but] a blistering attack against Bush". (That does not prevent the independent newspaper from quoting Morris's entire blistering attack (something it does for noone else); from, as an aside, criticizing Time (!) as "not one of your most progressive periodicals"; and from ending with a piece of praise: "Chris Morris has managed to keep his distance".)

The wording on Visa's own website, incidentally, is far less strong in English than it is in French, where it is clear that "democracy" is in quotation marks because the concept of America as democracy should only be ridiculed.

The New Republic: one Nation under God
For years, Chris Morris has been following George W. Bush for Time Magazine. In his work, he shows us all the detail, the spectators, what happens on the sidelines.
It is a different way of looking at politics, which can appear quite alarming, even when we are talking about the "biggest democracy in the world".
There is also an article about the festival's homage to Cartier-Bresson, another about the recently-deceased Carl Mydans, and Guerrin's interview with Raymond Depardon.

Finally, there is an interview with the festival's founder, Jean-François Leroy: to Guerrin's questioning his pro-Palestinian image and his invitation to José Bové to hold a speech (well, Guerrin is not exactly questioning Leroy's viewpoints, rather he's helpfully prompting Leroy to refute the charges with some high-falutin' speechifying), Leroy crows that "the photographers' festival" has a particular "commitment" and "a militant image". The interview ends with Jean-François Leroy stating his pride of having "a reputation as a leftist":

Yes, I am of the left, and I am proud of it.
You know what that means: Bush-bashing, castigating of the "false democracy", along with belittling of all the crimes committed in the name of the left while all the world's problems are blamed on the greed and the lack of vision of the criminal capitalist class.

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