Festivals: Visa Pour l'Image returns for the 29th time

“Dear Photographers, let’s stop and think,” writes Jean-François Leroy, director general of Visa Pour l’Image in his introduction to the international festival of photojournalism. He goes on to urge photographers to properly edit their work, and their writing – ending: “In these turbulent times, photojournalists are obviously needed, and play an essential role which is now more important than ever. Yes, we need you, so please do not let us down.”
Leroy co-founded the festival in 1989, another turbulent time, along with Jean Lelièvre and supported by Paris Match‘s Roger Thérond; incredibly, he’s now heading up the festival as it returns to Perpignan for the 29th time from 02 – 17 September. The exhibitions include work by Lu Guang on pollution in China, by Isadora Kosofsky on American juveniles in prison, by Alvaro Canovas on the retaking of Mosul, and the last showing of the 2017 World Press Photo show.
The Pro Week is from 04 – 09 September, and includes evening projections, a portfolio review and several talks and round tables. It also includes the presentation of several awards – including the Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2017, the prize for which is €8000 to create a new project to be shown at the next Visa.

02 November 2016, Gogjali, eastern Mosul. While men from the first battalion of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF-1) led by Colonel Mohaned were securing the streets, a little girl emerged from her house carrying a white flag. From the series Regaining Mosul, A Bitter Struggle © Alvaro Canovas / Paris Match
Oceti Sakowin Camp, Standing Rock, North Dakota. September 2016. From the series Standing Rock © Larry Towell / Magnum Photos
At Narayana Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India. January, 2016. From the series CKDU – In The Hot Zone © Ed Kashi / VII
Vinny (13) during a visit with his mother, Eve. “Mom, just get me out! Just get me out, Mom!” Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2012. From the series Juveniles in Prison, And After © Isadora Kosofsky
Children playing in the rubble of a building used as an ISIS base and destroyed by a coalition airstrike. Hammam al-Alil, Iraq, December 2016. From the series The Collapse of the Caliphate
© Lorenzo Meloni / Magnum Photos
The main industries in and around the city of Holingol are coal, power and chemicals, causing pollution rendering nearby grassland unfit for grazing. Local authorities have replaced the livestock with sculptures. Inner Mongolia, 2012. From the series Development and Pollution © Lu Guang
Peia Kararaua (16) in a flooded part of the village of Aberao, Kiribati, one of the countries most affected by rising sea levels. From the series Warm Waters: Kiribati © Vlad Sokhin / Cosmos / Panos Pictures / laif
Gogjali, Mosul, Iraq, 02 November 2016. A brother and sister watching as Iraqi forces crossed the courtyard of their home. Soldiers with the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Force (ICTF), known as the Golden Division, had been targeted by snipers, and were doing the rounds of the streets, checking houses one after the other, and questioning men and boys. Local residents felt insecure. The soldiers were exposed to the risk of sniper fire and suicide car bomb attacks. From the series The Battle of Mosul © Laurent Van der Stockt for Le Monde / Getty Images Reportage
Pow-wow dancers at the celebration for the Anniversary of the Wounded Knee Occupation in 1973, a protest against the federal government’s failure to honour its treaties with Natives Americans. From the series Dreamers © Darcy Padilla / Agence VU’. Winner of the Canon Female Photojournalist Award 2016 supported by ELLE Magazine
Clash between students and police during a mass demonstration. Campuses in South Africa had closed during protests over tuition fees, with violent clashes erupting between students, police and private security guards. University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 04 October 2016. From the series Crowds and Solitude in Africa © Marco Longari / AFP
Aicha preparing tea in the home she shares with her daughter. A neighbour had dropped in to say hello. Timetda, near Amejgag, 2016. From the series Berbers in Morocco, Resisting and Defending their Culture © Ferhat Bouda / Agence VU’. Winner of the Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award 2016 sponsored by LaScam
Mevlut Mert Altintas shouts after shooting Andrei Karlov, right, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, 19 December 2016. At first, AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici thought it was a theatrical stunt when a man in a dark suit and tie pulled out a gun during the photography exhibition. The man then opened fire, killing Karlov. This shot was the World Press Photo of the Year in 2017. Image © Burhan Ozbilici/Associated Press Photo
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is the editor of BJP, returning for a second stint on staff in 2023 - after 15 years on the team until 2019. As a freelancer, she has written for The Guardian, FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, Aperture, FOAM, Aesthetica and Apollo. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy