Edition 2023

50 years through the eyes of Libération  

Libération turns 50 in 2023. For fifty years, the newspaper has been following and challenging the times. From the events in Larzac and the election of Mitterrand to the March of the Arabs, the war in Chechnya, Metaleurop, the Gilets Jaunes and Ukraine, through Libération, the world is recounted in images.

Photography shown here was commissioned or published by Libération starting from the newspaper’s founding in 1973. Selected from within an extensive collection, these images were unearthed from digital and film archives, letting us live, or relive, half a century of recent history, from French passion to conflicts and political conquests, like a film of our private and collective memory. It’s a journey through history seen through the eyes of Libération, from one decade to another, plunging into each period, the 1970s to the present day, from Sartre to Macron, from the Lip company to feminist street collage.

Libération ’s aesthetic was founded under the auspices of Christian Caujolle starting in the 1980s with a single watchword: break with convention; use photography against the grain, show a different point of view, a singular voice, even if it means exiting the frame or cutting heads. Since the beginning, the newspaper has been a veritable ground for experimentation, “a vast domain in perpetual extension” according to Serge July. Throughout the years, hundreds of photographers have collaborated with Libération, from photography’s biggest names, like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Raymond Depardon, Françoise Huguier and William Klein, to more recent collectives, and along with the newspaper’s fellow travelers, shaped a concept of press photography, a photography by artists in service of current events.

Lionel Charrier

Curator: Lionel Charrier.

Exhibition coproduced by Libération and the Rencontres d’Arles.

Publication: 50 ans dans l'œil de Libé, Éditions du Seuil, 2023.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture