Photography festivals have grown immensely. Over the last decades have become important players in the cultural life, having also a significant impact on social and educational development.
Back in the summer of 1970, on the initiative of Lucien Clergue, a small group of photography lovers gathered together in Arles of Southern France to exchange knowledge, ideas and images, resulting the first “Rencontres d’ Arles” or better say the first and longest running festival of photography in the world.
The 80’s BoomingIn 1980, an event, both for the wider audience and for the experts, was held for the first time in Paris. It was Jean Luc Monteroso delegate General of Paris Audiovisuel that created Le Mois de la Photo a Paris. That was the spark, that gave to photography festivals their current form, and a number of other pioneer events followed immediately after. These were Primavera Fotografica in Barcelona (1982), Amsterdam Photo and Internationale Photoszene Köln (1984), Houston PhotoFest International and
Israeli Photography Biennalle in Ein-Harod (1986), Athens Photo Festival, Braga Encontros Imagen, Tampere Backlight Photo Festival and Torino Fotografia (1987), Fotografie Biënnale Rotterdam, Photosynkyria in Thessaloniki (1988), Encuentros abiertos festival de la luz in Buenos Aires, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal and Visa pour l’ Image in Perpignan (1989) et. al.