Les Rencontres d’Arles
Every year Les Rencontres d’Arles takes over a charming corner of the south of France and offers up an impressive, mind-bending curation of works in unexpected contexts. Over the past 50 years, the festival has played a pivotal role in photography’s coming of age.
Chosen for: Innovation.
Les Rencontres d’Arles is renowned as the premier photography festival, bringing together the most exciting images of our era. Director Christop Wiesner writes, “Every summer, the Rencontres d’Arles seizes a condition, demands, criticises, rebels against established standards and categories and shakes up the way we look at things from one continent to another, reminding us of our absolute need to exist.”
The festival reinforces the importance of photography in contemporary culture as a means to communicate and challenge the world around us. Back when the first Rencontres d’Arles photo festival was held in 1970, photography didn’t have the same recognition as an art form that it now does. Fast forward to today, and the annual festival hosts around 145,000 visitors with 60 exhibitions, having played a major role in communicating the power of photography and spingboarding contemporary creative talents. As well as showing an impressive roster of prestigious photographers over the decades, the list of those who were discovered there is equally as impressive. The 54th edition of the festival will see it return to the sunbaked streets of Arles, dotted around the public spaces the town has to offer.
Les Rencontres d’Arles runs from 3 July to 24 September 2023 in Arles, France.