Arles from a distance

I’ve mentioned before l’Oeil de la photographie, or as I should probably call it now that it seems to have fully sorted out its English version The Eye of Photography, and for those of us not in Arles, its perhaps one of the best ways to follow the festival.
Today’s editorial (July 8, 2016) by Jean-Jacques Naudet, Photography is dead, long live the image! is an interesting introduction, with its second paragraph announcing the end of much that made me reluctant as a photographic outsider to attend:

‘All of a sudden, we, the dinosaurs, the old hands, feel a bit lost. Gone are the eternal meetings, incestuous and mortifying, which one had to attend annually since the beginning of the century: such-and-such lunch, a BMW events, a wink from Madame So-and-So, tips from Olympus over tea, dinners with Pictet and after-hour drinks with Picto!’

I’m not sure I believe it, those dinosaurs have a remarkable resilience, but then I’m sitting a long way away, living through ‘interesting times’ in London. Given our Brexit vote, perhaps I should give it all up and move to the south of France while I still can and hope I’ll be allowed to stay after our break becomes final.

Lower down the page on ‘l’Oeil‘ (I’m afraid the English short-form ‘Eye‘ is long taken by a magazine of a rather different nature, where you can often read the truth behind British politics that the establishment would prefer was kept private but lacks much appreciation of photography) you can follow links to some of the exhibitions and events you are missing. I’m not worried about missing Don McCullin‘s show as I doubt it has anything to add to what I’m already familiar with, powerful though some of his images are, but there are other shows that I’d love to be able to stroll into, and I’ve just wasted some minutes on walking around the city on Google Streetview – which makes me wish I was there rather than in front of my computer on a dull morning on the edge of London. Perhaps a little later I’ll sit in the garden and treat myself to a glass of wine, close my eyes and dream.

But then I’ll have to wake up, rejoin the real world and pick up my camera bag to cover a rally opposite Downing St against the continuing siege of Gaza and an end to the UK’s arms trade with Israel.

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