Jean-Francois Leroy and Visa Pour L’Image

Posted on August 28, 2009 by Alexandra Avakian

Portrait of Jean Francois Leroy

Jean-Francois Leroy, Director and Founder of Visa Pour L'Image on the staircase of Hotel Pams, Perpignan, France

Hello from lovely Perpignan in the south of France, where I am honored to have an exhibition at the renowned international photojournalism festival Visa Pour L'image. This is my third exhibit at Visa Pour L'Image; the first was 21 years ago in 1988, the first year of the festival.

Walking along sun-blasted cobblestone streets, taking shelter in cool shadows along the way, I smell dust, fresh bread and the tang of stewing tomatoes and hot spices; behind tall windows shuttered against the sun, lunch is cooking. A silver-green olive tree stands alone in the center of a tiny square. Fresh laundry moves slightly on lines strung across ancient alleys; a boy dashes through a sharp streak of light.

On Rue Emile Zola I come to Hotel Pams, the base of the festival, where I visited with Visa Pour L'Image founder and Director Jean-Francois Leroy in his office.

Jean-Francois has long given much of his time and heart to photojournalism; he is one of the most important curators and editors in the world, and an enduring, passionate defender of photojournalists. He's in constant motion so soon before the opening of the festival this Saturday, Aug. 29.

Every year there is a theme for the festival, and 2009 has a dramatic one. So, please click here to read an interview with Jean-Francois Leroy, by Caroline Laurent and Lucas Menget on this year's theme at Visa and the future of photojournalism:

» Interview with JF Leroy (PDF Format)

Filed Under: PhotographyTravel

Buy the Book

'Windows of the Soul' Book Cover

Named one of Oprah's best gift books and selected among American Photo's year-end best

Buy the Book

Become a Fan on Facebook

Become a fan and follow the latest news about Alexandra and Windows of the Soul on Facebook

Become a Fan

Buy the DVD

'National Geographic LIVE!—The Photographers' DVD cover

Featuring presentations and interviews by veteran National Geographic photographers Alexandra Avakian and Sam Abell

Buy the DVD