Arles Photography Encounters
The Rencontres d'Arles, an annual photography festival, was founded in 1970 by Arles photographer Lucien Clergue, writer Michel Tournier and historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette. Originally a simple rendezvous between lovers of photography, they have become over the years a major cultural event.
For more than 50 years, the big names in photography have taken part in the Rencontres d'Arles, a genuine breeding ground for new talent. Anticipating shifts in the photographic medium and the evolution of new technologies, questioning the state of the world with artists, offering all audiences the opportunity to experience the image: these are the ambitions of the Rencontres. The program draws its richness from the multiplicity of points of view of photographers and exhibition curators from different backgrounds. Year after year, the festival wants to be the decipherer of a changing world.
ART IN THE CITY
From the beginning of July to the end of September, the public is invited to discover around forty exhibitions. They are presented in different places in the city, heritage – chapels, cloister of the 12th century, industrial buildings of the 19th century – or contemporary, even unexpected. During the opening week of the festival, at the beginning of July, all of Arles vibrates for photography. A place of exchange with creators, the festival invites artists and program curators to meet the public during exhibition visits, debates, conferences, book signings and portfolio readings. On the sidelines of the exhibitions, the evenings are punctuated by screenings, concerts and other performances.
A TERRITORIAL AND INTERNATIONAL REACH
The Rencontres d'Arles are part of an active approach all year round around photographic practice, education of the gaze and initiation to the reading of images.
Since 2016, the Grand Arles Express has testified, with its 15 exhibitions on the program, to the vitality and diversity of photographic projects in the Deep South.
The Rencontres d’Arles is also exported through initiatives carried out abroad, notably in Xiamen, China, where since 2015 the Jimei × Arles International Photo Festival has been held in November.