Two questions for Stéphane Roussel, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SFR.
Why do you sponsor the Arles festival?
SFR has been a partner of the Rencontres d’Arles for the last nine years. When we committed to sponsoring the festival in 2005, we wanted to show our support for young artistic talent and explore the new photographic methods made possible by mobile technology. After a couple of years we strengthened this partnership through SFR Young Talents. This programme, part of SFR’s citizenship commitment, aims to provide young artists with the support they need to take a crucial step forward towards completion of their projects.
We therefore decided to link up with the Rencontres d’Arles in order to help young artists gain a platform at one of the most prestigious photography events around. Each year we hold a competition in order to give the most talented among them the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Rencontres.
This is our way of contributing to promoting thirty or so photographers on an annual basis, amongst which feature names such as Marin Hock and Marc Montméat.
Giving visibility to our young talents is an opportunity for us to reaffirm our support for artistic creativity.
What is photography sponsorship for you?
The digital world is transforming our way of life. Photography has become available to all thanks to smartphones and digital cameras and the phenomenon has gone up another notch with the growth of social networks. From being an art form for a few enthusiasts or experts, photography has become widely accessible thanks to new technologies.
SFR has been part of the connected lives of the people of France for more than twenty-five years. As a major digital player, our role is to develop and promote all the possible opportunities offered by new technologies to our customers. Like music, photography is therefore a vital area for us.
Moreover, this year, we are making a free mobile application available to festival goers that will allow them to discover what’s going on at Arles along with new usages that are transpiring for digital technology. Highlighting innovation at the same time as bringing creativity to the fore through the SFR Young Talents programme is a way of extending our longstanding citizenship commitment.