News & events > Les Rencontres d'Arles | photography festival
02 Jul 2012 - 23 Sep 2012

Les Rencontres d'Arles | photography festival


The Rencontres d'Arles is a summer photography festival founded in 1970. Its policy of programming almost exclusively new work has earned it a world-wide reputation.

Les Rencontres d'Arles 2012 runs 2 July - 23 September in Arles, France.

The exhibitions, often co-produced with both French and foreign museums and institutions, are presented in various heritage sites, suitably stage-designed for the purpose. Some sites (for example, 12th century chapels or 19th century industrial buildings) are open to the public only for the duration of the festival.

Many photographers have been discovered as a result of the Rencontres; a sure sign of the festival’s importance as a springboard for photographic and contemporary creative talent.

In 2012, the festival looks at the legacy and influence of the École Nationale Supérieure de Photographie (ENSP). The 'French school' was founded in Arles in 1982 and was the brainchild of Lucien Clergue, Jean-Maurice Rouquette, the founders of the Rencontres, and Alain Desvergnes.

A French school must inevitably drink at the well of other cultures. We have therefore invited heads of photography schools from four continents to the feast, along with their photographer guests from all over the world – this is in the context of the Prix Découverte. In 2010, there were 73,000 visitors to the festival. Symposium programme includes 'Photography, the internet and social networks' on July 6-8