No matter how hard you try, sometimes Arles can be just like Glastonbury (sans mud) – lots of things going on and you get sidetracked, and don’t get to see the one thing you wanted to. However I did manage to get round a diverse group of exhibits this year, one of my favourites actually being the Alice Neel painting show at the Fondation Van Gogh. Here is my round-up of what I saw of note this edition. The House of the Ballenesque, Roger Ballen This was very talked about in Arles – an old ramshackle house that Ballen has taken over, to express somewhat of what goes on in his mind and informs his photography. Like a giant walk-in sketchbook, it’s part fun-house and part mental asylum, with lots of creepy figures and dolls heads stuck on mismatching bodies. It’s worth seeing because it’s a bit different, though it doesn’t quite feel like the main event – it’s more of a fun sideshow to his practice, but interesting nonetheless. Try to go on a …
“On s’engage, on va le faire” – that is, “We’re in, we’ll do it”. The New York-based, French-Venezuelan photographer Mathieu Asselin goes back and forth from Spanish to English to French as he recalls how Sam Stourdzé, the director of the Rencontres d’Arles, enthusiastically agreed to exhibit his five-year long, research-intensive project about the US chemical corporation Monsanto. It happened a week before last year’s festival, and Asselin was then showing the dummy of his photobook, Monsanto®. A Photographic Investigation. This year the project is being shown at the Magasin Électrique at Arles, and the book has been published in French by Actes Sud, and in English by the Dortmund-based Verlag Kettler. Asselin’s project is conceived as a cautionary tale putting the spotlight on the consequences of corporate impunity, both for people and the environment. Designed by fellow countryman Ricardo Báez, a designer, curator and photobook collector who has notably worked with the Venezuelan master Paolo Gasparini, Monsanto® submerges the reader into an exposé of the corporation’s practices, whether by showing contaminated sites and the health and …
The Visa Pour l’Image festival returns for the 29th time – to “turbulent time”, in which “photojournalists are obviously needed, and play an essential role which is now more important than ever” as the co-founder and director general Jean-François Leroy puts it
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has waged one of the most vicious counter-narcotics campaigns in the world, with even police estimates putting the number of people killed by law-enforcement officers and vigilantes in the past 12 months at more than 6000. Manila-based photographer Carlo Gabuco has been out on the streets since Duterte came to power, recording the fall-out from the violence
How can art contribute to our understanding of justice in a time of global conflict? Award-winning photographer Edmund Clark considered the question with former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg and human rights lawyer Cori Crider at the IWM London – home to his ongoing show, War of Terror
“I enjoy an incredible freedom in how I work, in what I photograph or when I do it,” the 20-year Magnum member tells BJP. “By signing that contract I had the feeling I would lose so much more than what I would gain.”
After eight months of fighting, Iraqi forces are close to retaking the city of Mosul. Photographer Tommy Trenchard has spent much of the last three months documenting the conflict in his project The Battle for Mosul. His photographs cover the bitter street-fighting in the western half of Mosul, as well as the war’s effect on the city’s residents – over half a million of whom have been displaced since the rise of ISIS in 2014.
Magnum Photos is taking outside investment for the first time in its 70-year history, to allow it “to take advantage of new editorial and commercial opportunities afforded by digital technology”.
One month after French photographer Mathias Depardon was first detained by the Turkish police, he has finally been released. It took pressure from the French government and Reporters Sans Frontiers, and a hunger strike by Depardon, but this evening he was on his way to Paris. And yesterday, after a month of only being allowed meetings with his lawyer, Emine Şeker, the 37-year-old was allowed to meet his mother, Daniele Van de Lanotte. “It was very emotional for both sides,” she told AFP. “I saw my son crying because he was so moved. I am relieved to see him, it is quite a gift.”
“There’s no bigger reward than to capture a meaningful photograph from a seemingly ordinary moment,” says Isreali documentary photographer Tomer Ifrah, who has shot a Hindu pilgrimage, an Israeli prison and the Moscow metro