Mano a mano VII / Tendance Floue
4 July - 18 September
10H00 - 19H30
François Hébel, Director, Rencontres d'Arles
The last fifteen years have seen a real upheaval in photojournalism as a profession.The digitisation of both photography and the circulation of images has ensured the supremacy of three big agencies—Reuters, Agence France Presse and Associated Press—working with a network of some hundred correspondents around the world.This process of relocation, combined with dumping at below-market prices, triggered the decline of the agencies, notably those founded in France in the late 1960s—the most iconic being Gamma, Sygma and Sipa. Quickly followed by drastic cuts to editorial budgets, the market shift was devastating for photographers and for the agencies as subcontractors. Then came the Internet phenomenon, with amateur photographers only too delighted to step in as reporters for a day.In this atmosphere of the end of a golden age we thought it might be interesting to set up a dialogue between two agencies which, paradoxically, started in the 2000s: VII (pronounced ‘seven’) based in Brooklyn / New York and Tendance Floue from Montreuil in the Paris suburbs. Both have been set up and self-managed by photographers and have chosen two very different approaches to their métier.