Rencontres d’Arles Highlights

by Audrey Bardou

(our sweet French Photo Junkie)


“and yes, I’m a little  photographers groupie type,  and I collect signed postcards!”

Our French photo junkie princess Audrey spent 2 days at Arles (2012)  and try to guess which photographer gave her one more postcard…

Arles (France), July 2012

From 2nd-8th July in Arles there were:

– 11,406 visitors from all around the world including 3,228 photography professionals and 600 journalists from 30 different countries!
It’s huge, I don’t know if there is the equivalent of this festival in another country …
– 350 people registered for photography workshops in the Spring and in July / August
– Photo portfolio reviews with 104 experts (galleries, publishers, festivals …) and 239 enrolled in photo portfolio reviews
– about 1450 people present during the four evenings (the place is absolutely amazing and magical, an old historic theatre)
– There are also awards of € 25,000 and other prizes such as €8,000 for the best book author …

During the week they organised meetings with photographers, photography seminars, one night of the year,  several projections are organised in areas around  the city, like last year, it was in the arena, which was absolutely incredible, and this year’s was on the docks.

It has a budget of €6 million including 46% from public funding, 37% self-funded (ticket sales, derivatives etc.) and 17% from private partnerships.

All this tells you it’s a really huge festival, and I know it well, because I’ve been going there every year for more than 10 years. I love the city and the festival, and hope someday you can come and visit …

I tell you what, my two days in Arles … were just too short!

The meeting organised with Antoine d’Agata at the Hotel Du Musee (I rediscovered by Anton) was in a private courtyard of an old hotel in town, very intimate, very few people … I love this place, this is one of my favorite places at Rencontres… good for cons. The interview conducted by a woman whose name I forget was not really that great, yet I love Antoine d’Agata, but I think 10:30 am is really too early for him! He is a man of the night, and the questions were not very interesting, a little disappointing but I got my autograph in in the end (and yes, I’m a little  photographers groupie type, and I collect signed postcards!)



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