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Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King Jr. (with Flag), Selma March, 1965 © Steve Schapiro & Fahey/Klein Gallery
Steve Schapiro, Martin Luther King Jr. (with Flag), Selma March, 1965 © Steve Schapiro & Fahey/Klein Gallery

In November 2014, the French Institute in Fez invited me to take charge of the art  programm  of the 9th Fez International Photography Encounters, part of the 2015 France-Morocco Cultural Season. I wanted the festival to focus on changes in photography as it is practised on the African continent.

Through the research work I’ve been doing for the last ten years and through the Afrique in visu platform, I’ve been able to see how a young generation of artists is using all the potential of the digital medium to take the photographic process forward, from the production stage to publication, making it possible to increase fluidity in the images.

These changes are evident when viewed alongside the transformations occurring in photography through the advent of digital technology and more widespread sharing of images via the web and especially social media. Mobile phones, tablets, webcams and digital processing have revolutionised practices. Flickr, selfies and Instagram are just some of the forms and tools emerging, reflecting a globalised, connected world where visibility is ever more immediate.

With the title “Mutations, l’image et ses possibles” (Transformation, the image and its possibilities), at the 2015 Fez International Photography Encounters I wanted to showcase the various photographic forms and offerings currently coming out of Africa. All the artists have one thing in common in that they seek to decompartmentalize the  image-making and focus both  on the creative processes  and  the exhibited end result . From  public display to projection, from exhibitions to  books, we will see that the photographs embrace yet diverge from aesthetic codes. Through each artist’s personal approach, we query the challenges and uses of contemporary photography, the notion of representation, our relation with the image – which now overlaps with our identity – and with a constantly changing world.

In a world where images circulate continually, how do you inspire emotion? How do you depict a continent?

Putting forward several responses – none of which is the “right” one – these exhibitions match each other  like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The photographers assert the ambiguity of the work and the multitude of interpretations it prompts.

9th Fez International Photography Festival
Mutations, l’image et ses possibles
From November 14 to December 15 2015
Curator : Jeanne Mercier

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Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie de Fès

Dans le cadre de la Saison culturelle France –Maroc 2015, l’Institut Français du Maroc organise les 9èmes Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie de Fès, du 14 novembre au 15 décembre 2015, sur le thème "Mutations, l'image et ses possibles".