Forged in war, revolution and turmoil, works head for Les Rencontres d’Arles

The annual photography festival assembles works that open up doors closed by political turbulence

Oscar Muñoz, Juego de las Probabilidades (2007) (Courtesy of the artist and Mor Charpentier Gallery, Paris)

Political strife is the focus of this year’s Les Rencontres d’Arles, the annual photography festival in the southern French town of Arles (3 July-24 September). For its 48th show, the programme includes 250 artists and over 30 curators working in more than 25 sites.

The event includes exhibitions on photography from Iran and Colombia, which have each faced bouts of political turmoil. Sixty-two photographers will exhibit pictures of Iran from the 1979 Islamic Revolution until the present day. Meanwhile, the Colombia shows reflect on the country’s 50-year civil war.

“The more we think a country is closed, stuck in political and economic crises, the more we find photographers there,” says the event’s director, Sam Stourdzé. He says the festival will also hold a few surprises, including an exhibition that will reveal how Jean Dubuffet appropriated photographic conventions for his work. Another highlight, which is tied to the Centre Pompidou’s 40th anniversary celebrations, will be a show of Surrealist photography from the museum’s collection.

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