© Erik Johansson
2021 editorial by Jacques Rocher
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING PRESENT
We are convinced that culture breeds a sense of community, along with an understanding of others and ourselves. As a result, the municipal team in La Gacilly and I are deeply committed to the area’s cultural life, and we actively support the initiatives of local associations and their volunteers.
Every year for the past 17 years, over 300,000 visitors have come to the La Gacilly Photo Festival to contemplate the different photographers’ views of our world, our societies and our environment.
Photography is an art that is dear to me, and sharing a new programme in our streets, public gardens and homes with the public each year confirms just how important this event is for us all.
2020 and the impact of Covid-19 on our lives came with a set of challenges, adjustments and doubts. But it also marked a time for rebirth, solidarity and collective effort. In these unprecedented times, the La Gacilly Photo Festival association hosted a revised version of its event. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our public, private and technical partners along with the municipal staff and active members of the La Gacilly Photo Festival association for their help in rolling out last year’s event.
2021 promises to be a year of hope and achievement. Let us give photographers this opportunity to exhibit and share their works, their artistic approaches and their questions about the world, so that together we can forge our understanding of it all.
This 18th edition of the festival will also boost the region’s tourist appeal and economy, both of which are of paramount importance in the current context.
So, let us continue our efforts to ensure that the La Gacilly Photo
Festival and the cultural structures of Brittany remain active as
they aspire to an exciting future ahead.
Founder of the La Gacilly Photo Festival and Mayor of La Gacilly
© Sanna Kannisto
2021 editorial by Auguste Coudray
FINDING MEANING, FINDING COMMUNITY
The La Gacilly Photo Festival is a landmark event, a kind of territorial creation that reveals emotions and generates meaning, hand-crafted by qualified, committed, inquiring and warm people who are driven by passion. High standards, truth, generosity and accessibility are its guiding principles. But it is also about plurality, mixed viewpoints, and the diversity of the approaches and visions of our guest photographers.
Moving, informing and mobilising as many people as possible around environmental and societal issues is our mission. Each year, true to our ‘People & Nature’ rationale, we tackle new themes that reflect the latest societal trends. Over time, we have built up an editorial database. This is our intangible cultural heritage, which we have chosen to share with you.
A world that wants to get better is a world that takes action with its eyes wide open. Of that, we are convinced. And it is for this
very essential reason that we endeavour to exhibit the best in La Gacilly every year. Some images are tragic, others are simply
wonderful, but they all encourage us to change our perspectives and question our value systems.
© Pascal Maitre / MYOP for the Yves Rocher Foundation
2021 editorial by Stéphanie Retière-Secret
The La Gacilly Photo Festival is a sort of space-time continuum where distances are overcome by the photographers, visitors and everyone else involved in the event. Where borders are forgotten as visions from all around the world are shared, unique views that move us and take us beyond the scope of our own thoughts.
Our exhibitions, accessible to all, are theatres of intimate dialogue and venues for encounters, inspired by the opportunity to discover photographs and debate the ideas that they generate in the forum provided by the public space. Public space: two words that say it all. A place for sharing and for dialogue; a place that belongs to each individual, but which is rooted in collective understanding.
When everything grinds to a halt and distance governs our reality, a large void appears and we attempt to come to terms with this turn of events. What are we to do, alone, in this huge, hyperconnected system? This is a question that we have been asking ourselves for some time now. But when a global pandemic forces each and every one of us to address it, time suddenly stands still, caught between yesterday’s world and the worlds of tomorrow that are yet to be invented. So we create a horizon and we move forwards.
© Sune Jonsson / Västerbottens Museum
2021 editorial by Cyril Drouhet
RE-ENCHANTING OUR LIVES
"The future is not what will happen, but what we will do.", Henri Bergson
Could we have imagined, even for an instant, that our lives would suddenly be put on hold, that our societies would be brought
to a dramatic halt in their rush towards an often unchecked modernity? The Covid-19 pandemic has turned everything upside
down. Nothing has gone to plan since the beginning of 2020. Millions of lives have been lost, the global economy is experiencing its worst recession since the Great Crash of 1929, cultural events have been sidelined and every one of us has been stripped of our most fundamental freedoms to move and meet up as we please, to hug our loved ones, to enjoy the great outdoors… quite simply, to live a normal life. Our social lives have slowly been whittled down to our inner family circles.
Yet the lockdown measures introduced to combat the spread of the virus have, paradoxically, hinted at the possibility of a brighter future. The sudden suspension of economic activity in the name of public health has also revealed the strength of utopias: the disaster currently underway highlights the fragility of a system formed by interconnected social structures, our productive system and the biosphere. A desire for solidarity has emerged, and we now know that we can orchestrate change at any time and forge awareness from a catastrophe. This is true of our relationship with nature, and it is the message that we have always aimed to convey since the very first La Gacilly Photo Festival: using images to showcase the precarious beauty of our Earth through the visions of artists.
© Jonathan Näckstrand / AFP