Monday, September 05, 2005
Crisis of photojournalism: Seeking ways out
Does the future of photojournalism lie in galleries and museums? Professional photographers discussed this question last week in a debate at the International Photojournalism Festival Visa pour l'image in Perpignan, France, reports Swiss newspaper 24heures (in French). Starting point for the debate: Luc Delahaye successfully exhibited a series of photos he took in Afghanistan, selling them in New York for US $15,000. He thinks of himself more as an artist than a photojournalist.
But the artistic side of photojournalism also raises moral questions. Photographer Stanley Greene is worried about seeing people drinking champagne while watching photos of dead bodies in a gallery. Alain Frilet, editorial director of photo agency Magnum, said that the principal task of photojournalism - to witness and to inform - is disappearing. On the contrary, photographer Jonas Bendiksen thinks of the gallery as a new place to show works of photography that do not receive much exposure.
Evidently not every photojournalist can switch and become a successful artist. The discussion about such alternative sources of revenue is, however, an indicator of the crisis photojournalism is facing.
The Festival Visa pour l'image awards six prizes for photography. The Visa d'Or for news went to Philip Blenkinsop for his work on the tsunami. Informations about the award winner should soon be on the festival's home page.
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