Rencontres d'Arles

Coordinates: 43°40′42″N 4°37′33″E / 43.67833°N 4.62583°E / 43.67833; 4.62583
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A photography exhibition, Rencontres d'Arles, 2010

The Rencontres d'Arles (formerly called Rencontres internationales de la photographie d'Arles) is an annual summer photography festival founded in 1970 by the Arles photographer Lucien Clergue, the writer Michel Tournier and the historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette.[1]

The Rencontres d'Arles has an international reputation for showing material that has never been seen by the public before. In 2015, the festival welcomed 93,000 visitors; in 2016, the 100,000 visitor mark was reached.[2]

Specially designed exhibitions, often organised in collaboration with French and foreign museums and institutions, take place in various historic sites. Some venues, such as 12th-century chapels or 19th-century industrial buildings, are open to the public throughout the festival.[3]

The Rencontres d'Arles has launched the careers of numerous photographers, confirming its significance as a springboard for photography and contemporary creativity. In recent years the Rencontres d'Arles has invited many guest curators and entrusted some of its programming to prominent figures in the world of art and photography, such as Martin Parr in 2004, Raymond Depardon in 2006, the Arles-born fashion designer Christian Lacroix in 2008 and Nan Goldin in 2009.[3]

The 51st edition of the festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the winners of the 2020 awards were nevertheless announced.[4]

Art directors[edit]

A photographer, Jean-Pierre Sudre, discussing his work, Rencontres d'Arles, 1975

The festival[edit]

A photography exhibition, Rencontres d'Arles, 2010


Opening week at the Rencontres d'Arles features photography-focused events (projections at night, exhibition tours, panel discussions, symposia, parties, book signings, etc.) in the town's historic venues, some of which are only open to the public during the festival. Memorable events in recent years include Europe Night (2008), an overview of European photography; Christian Lacroix's fashion show for the festival's closing (2008); and Patti Smith's concert for the Agence Vu's 20th anniversary (2006).

Nights at the Roman Theatre[edit]

At night, work by a photographer or a photography expert is projected in the town's open-air Roman Theatre of Arles accompanied by concerts and performances. Each event is a one-off creation. In 2009, 8,500 people attended evenings at the Roman theatre, an average of 2,000 a night, and 2,500 were there on closing night, when the Tiger Lilies played during a projection of Nan Goldin's "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency". In 2013 over 6,000 people attended the nighttime photography projections, an average of approximately 1,000 each night.

The Night of the Year[edit]

The Night of the Year, which was created in 2006, allows visitors to walk around and see the festival's favourite works by artists and photographers as well as carte blanche exhibitions by institutions.

Cosmos-Arles Books[edit]

Cosmos-Arles Books is a Rencontres d'Arles satellite event dedicated to new publishing practices.

Over the past 15 years large-scale photographic publications, self-published books, and ebooks have become essential media for experimentation by photographers and artists. They allow photography to be rediscovered as a means of expression and distribution, providing a rich terrain of expression for the art's fundamentally hybrid forms.

Symposia and panel discussions[edit]

Photographers and professionals participating in symposia and panel discussions during opening week discuss their work or issues raised by the images on display.

In recent years the themes included whether a black-and-white aesthetic is still conceivable in photography (2013); the impact of social networks on creativity and information (2011); breaking with past, a key idea for photography today (2009); photography commissions: freedom or constraint (2008); challenges and changes in the photography market (2007).

The Rencontres d'Arles awards[edit]

Since 2002 the Rencontres d'Arles awards have been an opportunity to discover new talents. In 2007 the number of annual awards was reduced to three, presented at the closing ceremony of the festival's professional week: the Discovery Award (€25,000), Author's Book Award (€8,000) and History Book Award (€8,000).

Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award[edit]

In 2015 the Rencontres d'Arles and the LUMA Foundation offered an award to assist with the publication of a dummy book. Endowed with a €25,000 production budget, this new prize is open to all photographers and artists using photography who submit a dummy book that has never been published.

The winner's book will be produced in autumn 2015 and be presented at the 2016 Rencontres d'Arles.

Photo Folio Review & Gallery[edit]

Since 2006 aspiring photographers have been able to submit their portfolios to international photography experts in various fields, including publishers, exhibition curators, heads of institutions, agency directors, gallery owners, collectors, critics and photo editors, for appraisal during the festival's opening week. Photo Folio Review & Gallery offers them an opportunity to show their work throughout the festival.

Photography classes[edit]

The Rencontres d'Arles has always been a place where professional photographers and practitioners on every level have been able to meet each other and exchange ideas. Each year, photography class participants undertake a personal journey of creation through photography's aesthetic, ethical and technological issues. Leading photographers such as Guy le Querrec, Antoine d'Agata, Martin Parr, René Burri and Joan Fontcuberta regularly teach at the Rencontres d'Arles.

Rentrée en Images[edit]

"Rentrée en Images" has been a key part of the festival's educational activities since 2004. During the first two weeks in September, special mediators take students from the primary to graduate school level on guided tours of the exhibitions. Based on the festival's programming, the event aims to introduce young people to the visual arts and fits in with a wider policy of cultural democratisation. "Rentrée en Images" reaches thousands of students, and for many of them it is their first exposure to contemporary art.

Women in Motion Photography Award[edit]

In 2019, the Women in Motion Photography Award was launched in cooperation with Kering to honour photographs raising awareness on gender imbalance in photography.[5]


Public funding accounted for 40% of the 2015 festival's €6.3-million budget, sales (mainly of tickets and derivative products), 40% and private partnerships, 20%.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Executive committee[edit]

The Rencontres d'Arles award winners[edit]


  • Jury: Denis Curti, Alberto Anault, Alice Rose George, Manfred Heiting, Erik Kessels, Claudine Maugendre, Val Williams
  • Discovery Award: Peter Granser
  • No Limit award: Jacqueline Hassink
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Tom Wood
  • Photographer of the year award: Roger Ballen
  • Help to the project: Pascal Aimar, Chris Shaw
  • Author's Book Award: Sibusiso Mbhele and His Fish Helicopter by Koto Bolofo (powerHouse Books, 2002)
  • Help to publishing: Une histoire sans nom by Anne-Lise Broyer


  • Jury: Giovanna Calvenzi, Hou Hanru, Christine Macel, Anna Lisa Milella, Urs Stahel
  • Discovery Award: Zijah Gafic
  • No Limit award: Thomas Demand
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Fazal Sheikh
  • Photographer of the year award: Anders Petersen
  • Help to the project: Jitka Hanzlová
  • Author's Book Award: Hide That Can by Deirdre O'Callaghan (Trolley Books, 2002)
  • Help to publishing: A Personal Diary of Chinese Avant-Garde in the 1990s, China (1993–1998) by Xing Danwen



  • Jury: Ute Eskildsen, Jean-Louis Froment, Michel Mallard, Kathy Ryan, Marta Gili
  • Discovery Award: Miroslav Tichý[6]
  • No Limit award: Mathieu Bernard-Reymond
  • Dialogue of the humanity award: Simon Norfolk
  • Help to the project: Anna Malagrida
  • Author's Book Award: Temporary Discomfort (Chapter I-V) by Jules Spinatsch (Lars Müller Publishers, 2005)




  • Jury: Bice Curiger, Alain Fleischer, Johan Sjöström, Thomas Weski, Anne Wilkes Tucker
  • Discovery Award: Laura Henno
  • Author's Book Award: Empty Bottles by WassinkLundgren (Thijs groot Wassink and Ruben Lundgren) (Veenman Publishers, 2007)
  • Historical Book Award: László Moholy-Nagy: Color in Transparency: Photographic Experiments in Color, 1934–1946 by Jeannine Fiedler (Steidl & Bauhaus-Archiv, 2006)



  • Jury: Elisabeth Biondi, Luis Venegas, Nathalie Ours, Caroline Issa and Massoud Golsorkhi, Carla Sozzani
  • Discovery Award: Pieter Hugo
  • Author's Book Award: Strange and Singular by Michael Abrams (Loosestrife, 2007)
  • Historical Book Award: Nein, Onkel: Snapshots from Another Front 1938–1945 by Ed Jones and Timothy Prus (Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007)



  • Jury: Lucien Clergue, Bernard Perrine, Alain Desvergnes, Claude Hudelot, Agnès de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Louis Mesplé, Bernard Millet, Michel Nuridsany, Joan Fontcuberta, Christian Caujolle, Giovanna Calvenzi, Martin Parr, Christian Lacroix, Arnaud Claass, Christian Milovanoff
  • Discovery Award: Rimaldas Viksraitis
  • Author's Book Award: From Back Home by Anders Petersen and JH Engström (Bokförlaget Max Ström, 2009)
  • Historical Book Award: In History by Susan Meiselas (Steidl and International Center of Photography, 2008)



  • Discovery Award: Taryn Simon
  • LUMA award: Trisha Donnelly
  • Author's Book Award: Photography 1965–74 by Yutaka Takanashi (Only Photograph, 2010)
  • Historical Book Award: Les livres de photographies japonais des années 1960 et 1970 by Ryuichi Kaneko and Ivan Vartanian (Seuil, 2009)





  • Discovery Award: Jonathan Torgovnik
  • Author's Book Award: Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson (Mack, 2011)
  • Historical Book Award: Les livres de photographie d'Amérique latine by Horacio Fernández (Images en Manœuvres Éditions, 2011)


  • Discovery Award: Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré
  • Author's Book Award: Anticorps by Antoine d'Agata (Xavier Barral & Le Bal, 2013)[18]
  • Historical Book Award: AOI [COD.] – A27 [S | COD.23 by Rosângela Rennó (Self-published, 2013)



  • Discovery Award: Pauline Fargue
  • Author's Book Award: H. said he loved us by Tommaso Tanini (Discipula Editions, 2014)
  • Historical Book Award: Monograph Vitas Luckus. Works & Biography by Margarita Matulytė and Tatjana Luckiene-Aldag (Kaunas Photography Gallery and Lithuanian Art Museum, 2014)
  • Dummy Book Award: The Jungle Book by Yann Gross
  • Photo Folio Review: Piero Martinelo (winner); Charlotte Abramow, Martin Essi, Elin Høyland, Laurent Kronenthal (special mentions)



  • Discovery Award: Sarah Waiswa
  • Author's Book Award: Taking Off. Henry My Neighbor by Mariken Wessels (Art Paper Editions, 2015)
  • Historical Book Award: (in matters of) Karl by Annette Behrens (Fw: Books, 2015)
  • Photo-Text Award: Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition by Edmund Clark and Crofton Black (Aperture, 2015)
  • Dummy Book Award: You and Me: A project between Bosnia, Germany and the US by Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber
  • Photo Folio Review: David Fathi (winner); Sonja Hamad, Eric Leleu, Karolina Paatos, Maija Tammi (special mentions)
  • Laureate Award: A History of Misogyny Chapter One: Abortion by Laia Abril


  • Discovery Award: Carlos Ayesta and Guillaume Bression
  • Author's Book Award: Ville de Calais by Henk Wildschut (self-published, 2017)
    • Special Mention for Author's Book Award: Gaza Works by Kent Klich (Koenig, 2017)
  • Historical Book Award: Latif Al Ani by Latif Al Ani (Hannibal Publishing, 2017)
  • Photo-Text Award: The Movement of Clouds around Mount Fuji by Masanao Abe and Helmut Völter (Spector Books, 2016)
  • Dummy Book Award: Grozny: Nine Cities by Olga Kravets, Maria Morina, and Oksana Yushko
  • Photo Folio Review: Aurore Valade (winner); Haley Morris Cafiero, Alexandra Lethbridge, Charlotte Abramow, Catherine Leutenegger (special mentions)[21]



  • Discovery Award: Paulien Oltheten
  • Author's Book Award: Photographic Treatment by Laurence Aëgerter (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2017)
    • Special Mention for Author's Book Award: The Iceberg by Giorgio di Noto (Edition Patrick Frey, 2017)
  • Historical Book Award: The Pigeon Photographer by Julius Neubronner (Rorhof, 2017)
  • Photo-Text Award: War Primer 2 by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (Mack Books, 2018)
  • Dummy Book Award: Phénomènes by Marina Gadonneix
    • Special Mention for Dummy Book Award: State of Shame by Indrė Urbonaitė
  • Photo Folio Review: Kurt Tong (winner)


  • Discovery Award: Máté Bartha and Laure Tiberghien
  • Author's Book Award: The Pillar by Stephen Gill (Nobody, 2019)[25]
  • Historical Book Award: Enghelab Street, a Revolution through Books: Iran 1979–1983 by Hannah Darabi (Spector Books and Le Bal, 2019)
  • Photo-Text Book Award: Dandaka by Vasantha Yogananthan (Chose Commune, 2018)
  • Dummy Book Award: The Poverty Line by Chow and Lin
  • Photo Folio Review: Anna Lim (winner)



  • Discovery Award - Louis Roederer Foundation: Isadora Romero
    • Public Award: Soumya Sankar Bose
  • Author's Book Award: Witch Hunt Vol. I: the Banished of Balsapuerto by Christo Geoghegan (Editorialrm)
  • Historical Book Award: Laboratorio de Teatro Campesino e Indígena. Medio Siglo de Historia by Lourdes Grobet (Editorialrm / Inbal / Secretaría De Cultura)
  • Photo-Text Book Award: 22 Days in Between by Salih Basheer (Disko Bay)
  • Dummy Book Award: Apolis by Arash Fayez[28]
  • Photo Folio Review: Beirutopia by Randa Mirza[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Češka Jarcovjáková je objevem festivalu v Arles". Týden. 4 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  2. ^ "Closing Press Release 2016". 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2021-08-06.
  3. ^ a b "About Rencontres D' Arles". LensCulture. Retrieved 2021-08-06.
  4. ^ "Les Rencontres d'Arles - Awards 2020". Retrieved 2021-08-06.
  5. ^ Dana Thomas, Women in the spotlight, but few behind the lens, The New York Times, 2 July 2019
  6. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (10 July 2005). "Put me off at the strawberry". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  8. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  9. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  10. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  11. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  12. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  13. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  14. ^ a b c O'Hagan, Sean (11 July 2011). "Tower blocks and tomes dominate the Rencontres d'Arles". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  15. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  16. ^ "Accueil – Les Rencontres d'Arles". Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  17. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (9 July 2012). "Torgovnik's powerful portraits from Rwanda take top prize at Arles". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  18. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (8 July 2013). "Lost and found: Discovery award winners at Recontres d'Arles 2013". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Arles 2014: Nicolo Degiorgis lifts the veil on Italy's Islamophobia". The Guardian. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  20. ^ "Les Rencontres d'Arles 2016 review – twin towers and sub-Saharan slums". The Guardian. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  21. ^ "2017 Book Awards". Rencontres d'Arles. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  22. ^ "2018 Book Awards". Rencontres d'Arles. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  23. ^ "2018 New Discovery Award". Rencontres d'Arles. 8 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  24. ^ "LUMA Rencontres Dummy Book Award Arles 2018". Rencontres d'Arles. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  25. ^ "The Pillar by Stephen Gill". British Journal of Photography. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  26. ^ "THE BOOK AWARDS 2023". Retrieved 2023-10-10.
  27. ^ "2023 Discovery award - Louis Roederer Foundation". Retrieved 2023-10-10.
  28. ^ "LUMA RENCONTRESDUMMY BOOK AWARD ARLES 2023". Retrieved 2023-10-10.
  29. ^ "Winner 2023 : Randa Mirza". Retrieved 2023-10-10.

External links[edit]

43°40′42″N 4°37′33″E / 43.67833°N 4.62583°E / 43.67833; 4.62583