François Cheval, director of the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Sâone shared with us his letter of resignation from the jury of the Prix Carmignac.
To Edouard Carmignac,
From Chalon sur Saône, October 9th, 2014
Typically, a letter of resignation is brief. One could even say that brevity is one of its main characteristics. However, it seemed like there was a point in commenting on my withdrawal from the jury of the 2014 Carmignac prize. How can I describe this strange situation, with a photographer who accepts a prize, rejects it, then accepts it again? Members of the jury are swearing that they will remain forever vigilant. But it was above all a faltering and enlightening message dictated by the pathetic desire to save face.
I am not resigning out of spite or disappointment, nor over the principles of freedom of expression, censorship, independence and so on. No, in this story, a squabble in the small town that is the photo world, what surprises and amazes is the cynicism displayed by the company. Ivan Moneme, director of communications, presented the following argument: “Newsha Tavakolian was selected for a specific project that was not carried out. In fact, as a result of threats directed at Tavakolian and her family, she was forced to tone down her subject matter to something less disturbing. When it was submitted, we decided that the quality was not as expected, and we postponed the exhibition. The only mistake we made was not consulting the jury before taking this decision.”
Here the photographer is being treated like a child who needs to be protected from herself. Edouard Carmignac, you are more than a patron of the arts. You are the patriarch punishing the daughter who dared defy him.
Read the full letter on the French version of The Eye