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Don McCullin guest <br class="br_visual" />of honour at 25th <br class="br_visual" />Visa pour l’Image

Don McCullin guest
of honour at 25th
Visa pour l’Image

© Jeff Ascough

May 2013

Legendary photographer Don McCullin CBE (pictured above) - the subject of a special CPN film made last year tracing his journey into digital with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR - will headline the professional week of the 25th Visa pour l’Image international festival of photojournalism in Perpignan, France, from 2 to 8 September 2013.

McCullin will present a retrospective of his work from Cyprus, Vietnam, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Lebanon and – most recently – Syria, as well as some of his landscape work from his home in Somerset, England. For the first time ever, he will be showing some never-before-seen images from the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence, which he has printed specially for Visa pour l’Image.

Such is the magnitude of his exhibition, the festival's director Jean-François Leroy has given over the entire space of the ancient church the Eglise des Dominicains in Perpignan for Don McCullin’s retrospective – a venue that normally hosts three different exhibitions.

Speaking of McCullin’s attendance at this year’s event, Jean-François Leroy said: “For the past 25 years, I've dreamt of bringing McCullin's work to Perpignan. We've shown all of the big names in photojournalism, but I've always felt that McCullin was the missing one. This year, he'll be there, he'll be coming, and he will have an enormous exhibition.”

© Cécile Mella

Visa pour l’Image founder and director, Jean-François Leroy, is delighted to welcome Don McCullin to the 25th festival this year, which will be held in Perpignan, France, from 31 August to 15 September.

Don McCullin is equally pleased to be a part of Visa pour l’Image this year, and told CPN: “I am very, very excited and deeply honoured to have been given this incredible space in such a lovely old church to exhibit my work. I am at the moment here in my darkroom printing up some images that have never been seen before, including some from the 1971 Bangladesh War. I don’t think I’ve ever been busier – I just wish I was 40 years younger and not touching 80.”

Speaking on his continuing journey with the EOS 5D Mark III, Don McCullin explained: “The camera continues to amaze me. I photographed an Indian gentleman recently who had the bushiest eyebrows I had ever seen. They were like huge white trees over his eyes, the detail was incredible. The image was honestly so sharp, I could count every single hair. It’s fantastic technology and I’m still learning of course. It’s given me a final fling in a career that has been very good to me. So I really can’t wait to go to Perpignan this year and be a part of what is going to be a very special event.”

A festival to remember...

Celebrating its 25th anniversary with an impressive programme of events, this year’s Visa pour l’Image will also feature the work of John G. Morris, former LIFE magazine picture editor, who will present unseen images he shot in 1944 in Normandy, alongside legendary war photographer Robert Capa.

Also on show during the festival will be work from 23 other photographers including Abir Abdullah (EPA) with his work from Dacca, Bangladesh; Canon Explorer Sarah Caron, who received the 2012 Canon AFJ Female Photojournalist Award; Rafael Fabrés (Getty Images), with his work on how Rio de Janeiro is cleaning up the favelas ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games; Phil Moore (Agence France-Presse) with his work documenting the evolution of the M23 rebellion in eastern Congo and Muhammed Muheisen (The Associated Press) with a selection of 10 years of images documenting the effects of war on local populations across the world.

Darcy Padilla (Redux Pictures) has been invited to present the follow-up to the award-winning Julie Project, while Goran Tomasevic (Reuters) and Jerome Sessini (Magnum Photos) will show two years’ worth of images from Syria.

Photojournalist João Silva, who lost both legs in a landmine accident in Afghanistan, 2010, will also get a retrospective of his work while web documentaries and multimedia productions will be on show at the Institut Jean Vigo.

© Cécile Mella

One of the many highlights of Visa pour l’Image are the nightly screenings held in the Campo Santo venue in Perpignan, France. This year promises to be truly exceptional as the event celebrates its 25th year.

Among the many events organised during the festival's professional week (from 2 to 8 September), four journalists, photographers and picture editors will join professor Anthony Feinstein from the University of Toronto, Canada, to discuss the psychological effects of photographers working in conflict zones. Participants include French journalist Edith Bouvier, Jérôme Delay and Santiago Lyon (The Associated Press) and French author and journalist Jean-Paul Mari.

Finally, Visa pour l'Image this year also brings back three photographers who are no strangers to the festival: Canon Ambassador Michael Nichols (National Geographic) will show, for the first time, his images of lions in Africa’s Serengeti; Andrea Star Reese will unveil a series of photographs taken in Indonesia; and Pascal Maitre (National Geographic), will show a selection of images from Kinshasa, Africa – part of a continuing 30-year odyssey.

CPN will be reporting directly from Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, from 2 to 8 September. For more information on the event, please visit the festival’s website here.