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News

September 2011

The culmination of the annual Visa pour l’Image international festival of photojournalism came on the evening of 3 September when photographer Yuri Kozyrev (Noor, above right) received the prestigious Visa d’or News award from the festival’s Director Jean-François Leroy (above, left) and Paris Match's Régis Le Sommier (centre) on stage at the Campo Santo in central Perpignan, France.

Kozyrev’s work for Time magazine ‘The Arab Spring – On Revolution Road’ documented the uprisings against those in power in four North African and Middle East countries, and brought to end several days of prize-giving that saw major funding going to the world’s most talented photojournalists for completed projects as well as future work. The other major award presented on the last evening of the Professional Week of the festival was the Canon AFJ Award for female photojournalists that went to Dutch photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien for her proposed report on Afrikaner adolescents in South Africa.  

© Cécile Mella

Ilvy Njiokiktjien, winner of the 2011 Canon AFJ Award, receives her prize in the Campo Santo from Pascal Briard, Marcom Manager at Canon France. Also on stage is Visa pour l’Image Director Jean-François Leroy (left) and the AFJ’s Isabelle Fougère (second left).

The last of the screenings – which saw the major news stories of 2011 covered in great depth – also saw festival director Jean-François Leroy pay a poignant tribute to the photojournalists who had been killed or wounded whilst working during the past year, including Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros (Getty Images). On stage Leroy also revealed that World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch had set up a joint initiative to honour former World Press Photo of the Year winner Hetherington with the inaugural Tim Hetherington Grant that will be awarded on 5 November 2011.
           
Earlier in the week the other Visa d’Or awards saw Shiho Fukada (International Herald Tribune) win the Visa d’or Daily Press award for her coverage of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, whilst Olivier Jobard (Sipa Press for Paris Match) won the Visa d’or feature award for ‘From Zarzis to Lampedusa, an odyssey of hope’. Catalina Martin-Chico (Cosmos) took the 2011 Humanitarian Visa d’or of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for her images of Change Square in Sana’a, Yemen, that highlighted the protest movement calling for the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.   

The other key awards and grants given to photojournalists saw Ed Ou (Reportage by Getty Images) receive the City of Perpignan Young Reporter’s Award for his report on child soldiers in Somalia. Ou told the audience in Campo Santo: “It’s an absolute honour to have this award – it feels like I’m amongst family.” Three FNAC grants went to photographers Anastasia Taylor-Lind (VII Mentor programme), Jan Banning, and Cédric Gerbehaye (Agence VU), whilst the seventh annual Getty Images Grants went to Stanley Greene (Noor), Walter Estrada (Reportage by Getty Images), Liz Hingley, Joan Bardeletti (Picturetank) and Alvaro Ybarra Zavala (Reportage by Getty Images).

© Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

The devastation of Kesennuma city in Miyagi, Japan, 15 March 2011. This was one of a series of images that won the 2011 Visa d’or Daily Press award for photographer Shiho Fukada.

The final two awards to mention were the ANI-PixPalace award that went to the young Spanish photographer Lurdes R. Basoli for her project ‘Caracas: The city of lost bullets’, whilst this year’s FRANCE24-RFI Web Documentary award was won by Guillaume Herbaut for the documentary ‘La Zone’ that focused on the effect of the nuclear fallout at Chernobyl 25 years after the event.  

Canon sponsorship and support
The aforementioned Canon AFJ Female Photojournalist Award marked the 10th year of the award whilst this year’s festival also marked 22 years (out of 23) that Canon has sponsored the Visa pour l’Image festival. Canon France’s Marcom Manager, Pascal Briard explained: “Canon and Visa pour l’Image have a long friendship. We’ve been working together for 22 years and, to us, Visa pour l’Image and Canon go hand-in-hand. By supporting Visa pour l’Image we are showing our support for photojournalism. We love photography and we love photojournalism – it’s very important for Canon.” 

That commitment to photojournalism from Canon was also underlined during Visa pour l’Image with a delegation of senior management from Canon Inc. in Japan and Canon Europe flying into Perpignan to listen to feedback from photographers during a round table session. Photographers attending the session included three of the Canon Ambassadors – Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos), Gary Knight (VII) and Ziv Koren (Polaris Images).

As well as the close links with the Visa pour l’Image festival this year the Canon Space at the Palais des Congrès saw many products being showcased including the EOS system of DSLRs, lenses and accessories, Canon’s desktop and large format printers and the input to output capabilities of Canon HD video products, whilst many photographers took the opportunity to benefit from the free cleans and checks and equipment loans offered by Canon Professional Services (CPS). Also in the Canon Space Anthony Holland Parkin, Senior Art Director at Getty Images and manager of the agency's Global Assignment roster of 650 photographers, gave free portfolio reviews to a steady stream of photojournalists on 1 and 2 September.  

© Cécile Mella

VII’s Christopher Morris, the celebrated war photographer, discusses his work during the CPN Live interviews as part of Canon’s largest ever programme of activities at Visa pour l’Image.

Over four days of the festival there was also a special schedule of Canon presentations that saw world famous photographers, videographers and industry experts present in front of packed live audiences at the Palais des Congrès. The presentation programme also included the first ever series of CPN Live interviews that saw CPN editor-in-chief Mike Stanton talking to Christopher Morris (VII), Paolo Pellegrin (Magnum Photos), Professor Ken Kobré (head of the photojournalism program at San Francisco State University), and filmmaker Pierre Deschamps who shot the new documentary ‘Rugby: The lifeblood of New Zealand’ on the EOS 5D Mark II.  

The many thousands of festival visitors who thronged to the city of Perpignan took time and care to make sure that they viewed the 26 exhibitions that showcased the diverse talents of many of the world’s greatest photographers and raised many debates and discussions about the stunning imagery on display. The Visa pour l’Image exhibitions remain on display in Perpignan until 16 September 2011.