Porn is not erotic, back from Visa Pour L’image 2011

Last monday, and just like every year since 2008, my girlfriend and I went up to Perpignan to attend the Visa Pour L’image photojournalism festival.

And just like I said in my last post, this is one of the most important (if not THE most important) photography festivals and it’s worth visiting if you are interested in photography, true photography.

What you see here is lots of exhibitions from different photographers and media. You also get to see the World Press Photo exhibition (with their huge prints) and it’s all free. You don’t pay a thing to enter in all the exhibitions that are scattered all over Perpignan.

Fernando Moleres images of kids in african prisons were really impressive. It was the first exhibition we visited. There were a lot of images from Africa this year.

We love to visit this festival. That’s why we go every year since we discovered it. But this year, I don’t know… Maybe I was a little tired (we walked around the city for more than 6 hours too see ALL the pictures exhibited) or maybe I had the feeling that some of the images I saw… I had already seen them before.

And I don’t mean the same pictures, but the same ideas, the same way to photograph the same themes.

As usual, my girlfriend took a film camera (the new Lomo Sardina) and also a digital Canon EOS 500D. I took the 5D Mark II and an old Yashica Electro 35 CC to shoot some film.

I have seen images of latin gangs from South America like Mara 18 or Salvatrucha way too many times. I get the feeling that every year some photographer goes to some country in South America and does a story about violence between these bands. I’m not saying that is a bad thing. Photographers and journalists want to explain and show what is going on on that side of the world, but I just can’t watch more pictures of people beheaded, people massacred and dead people (due to violence) in general. My girlfriend didn’t even bother to look at these violent images anymore. She said she didn’t want to see that and that she had not interest at all in knowing anything about it. She had seen that before and she had enough of it.

At the Couvent des Minimes you get to see lots of exhibitions from different photographers and agencies.

What I’m trying to say is that not everything is bad in the world. There are so many good things taking place everywhere but photojournalism festivals like Visa Pour L’image seem to avoid that. I will repeat it: I love, absolutely love, the Visa Pour L’Image photojournalism festival, but since the first time we went there, my girlfriend says that she would love to see some images of happy people with their heads, arms and legs still attached to their bodies.

Every time she tells me that I reply to her that maybe next year we get lucky and we get to see some “nice” photos.

Me in front of the World Press Photo of the year, by Jodi Bieber.

Have you ever thought about the difference between erotic photography and porn photography? Well, this year, at some of the exhibitions at the Visa Pour L’image I wasn’t really sure whether I was looking at “erotic” photography or straight “porn”.

I’m no expert in photojournalism festivals or photojournalism at all. But I know a little about visual arts and how to tell a story and I’m sure that in some cases, there were better ways to tell a story.

Just like every year, the exhibition I loved the most (and the best of all in my humble opinion) was the World Press Photo one. But they did show some “porn” images also…

I really don’t know why, but we always take pictures of this Perpignan street. Here we were heading to the last exhibition and getting ready to leave the town until next year.

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2 comments
  1. shoutandrew said:

    Thanks for posting, CD. I live in a beachy country town, so I forget there are exhibitions like the World press photo, etc. And I remember the last one I saw a few years back was pretty hard to deal with for the heavy stuff, so it’s good to be reminded that there’s also good stuff there.

    • Hey Andrew,

      I agree, some of the images and exhibitions shown at the Visa Pour L’Image and World Press Photo are pretty hard to deal with… It’s good to know what is going on in the world, but I’m pretty sure that besides war and death, some good things are happening in some place… there must be something good going on somewhere that is worth capturing with a camera.

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