Arles is a theatre, a stage that fills an entire city. An invitation to Les Rencontres de la Photographie is a brilliant spotlight. The artists prepare their presence with an extraordinary energy. Opening week we host photographers, exhibition curators, and professionals from all over the world for a three-ring circus of discussions, shows, and signings, along with many ‘fringe’ events. Throughout the summer, nearly 100,000 visitors and interns flock to Arles. Back to School in Images welcomes 320 classes, 10,000 students, and 700 teachers from all regions of France for a day devoted to photography. The current format of the Rencontres d’Arles, created in 1969 and reformatted in 2002, is the only one of its kind in the world. After fifteen editions, produced with the support, successively, of Lucien Clergue (founder), Jean-Maurice Rouquette, François Barré, and Jean-Noël Jeanneney (successive presidents), I have decided to make my exit from Les Rencontres with a parade. It is made up of photographers and collections that have never been seen here before, and artists who, with the Rencontres team, have contributed to the festival’s recent success and produce projects specially for the Rencontres.