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Visa Pour l’Image’s Jean-François Leroy discusses photojournalism past and present

Olivier Laurent in the BJP interviews Jean-Francois Leroy about the past and future of phot-journalism

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Athens, October 20, 2011. A demonstrator fleeing tear gas. Image © Aris Messinis / AFP.

Visa Pour l’Image, the world’s largest photojournalism festival, is coming back to Perpignan for its 24th edition. Its director, Jean-François Leroy, speaks with Olivier Laurent about this year’s programme and the state of the market……..

In less than two months, thousands of photojournalists will converge on Perpignan for the 24th edition of Visa Pour l’Image. Olivier Laurent speaks with festival director Jean-François Leroy about the future of photojournalism, photojournalists past and present, and drawing inspiration from photography.

Olivier Laurent: Let’s start with the exhibitions. What’s the overall theme of this year’s festival?

Jean-François Leroy: As always, there’s no actual theme. For this edition, we’re following this year’s news agenda, which wasn’t as heavy as last year’s. But even without Fukushima and the start of the Arab Spring, we still had the withdrawal of US troops in Iraq, Gaddafi’s fall and Syria, which started as an uprising and is now a mass grave for journalists and civilians. And let’s not forget the Sudan, Nigeria and Mexico. There’s a lot happening, unfortunately. On the other hand, and to add something a bit more amusing, we have the French elections.