Sportfolio 2013: The 1st Sports Photojournalism Festival
Only sport is able to bring together so much of the world, across borders and ages. It’s electric and emotional.
PIctures of sports are a particulary dramatic form of documentary. Some of them, capturing moments and athletes at the height of their powers, become works of art independent of the sporting event where they were taken. They are astonishing, upsetting, staggering and transportative.
By bringing together the best is sports photography, the Festival Sportfolio, the first of its kind, aims to pay tribute to the neglected talent of sports photographers.
Gilbert Benedicto, Bénédicted’Audigier
Sportfolio, the spirit
1. A world first
The Sportfolio Festival, which features exhibitions across Narbonne, brings together for the first time the world’s best sports photographers and recognises their work in an astonishing major city-wide showcase. The event also celebrates how these unsung heroes behind a lens have brought together two aspects of life many consider to be polar opposites: sport and culture.
2. A worldwide sporting showcase
Sport touches people the world over, from the very young to the very old, and generates powerful emotions. The best sport images, which capture those crucial sporting moments, are works of art, and take on a life above and beyond the event they depict – opening a door to a world far removed from the movies, with pictures that can surprise, move, amaze, bewilder and transport us.
3. Emotion: a universal language
Sport generates images that cross the world in a flash, and dominate the headlines in every country. They can be surprising, unusual, astonishing and, sometimes, take us for a few remarkable moments far and away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. From its earliest days, photography has been intimately connected with sport. By catching a fleeting moment to be frozen in time, by seizing the dynamic of a gesture, the pinnacle of human effort and ability, it offers a glimpse of an instant captured for eternity. From a worried, tension-filled glance before a competition, to tears of joy after victory, sport photos bring a vivid intensity to the everyday lives of sportsmen and women.
While moving images can sometimes trivialise such a moment, sports photography captures it, and transforms it into an iconic instant in time that lasts forever. As French author Philippe Bouin said: “It’s a wonderful digression, a happy interlude within the worrying world we live in – a bubble which floats over our daily travails and keeps us for a moment in the paradise of its lightness.”
4. The Sportfolio Festival’s aims and ambitions
As well as offering a cultural and educational boost for the city of Narbonne, the purpose of this event is to bring together the best in sports photography, and to pay tribute to the talent of those photographers (who often remain unknown – even when the public adores their pictures). The Sportfolio Festival offers a chance for professional sport photographers to meet and exchange stories, tips and ideas, and there is also a chance to celebrate again some of the greatest moments in sport, captured forever in iconic and emotional images.
5. A top-class international competition
Professional photographers who enter their images into the Sportfolio Festival can also vie for gold, silver and bronze medals in the following categories: action, news, reportage, ‘unusual’ and new talent, in a competition voted for by a jury, and chaired by a sporting and media personality.
6. A rigorous selection
A selection committee will choose the images and photographs for the Sportfolio Festival, while at the same time inviting contributors whose work has already featured in existing photography exhibitions, including World Press Photo, Sélection du journal l’Equipe, Getty Images’ Year in Focus and DPPI, to take part.
7. A Festival for all
Sport – and the images it generates – can spark feelings and reactions that can be surprising and unexpected. Emotion is universal and in keeping with that philosophy, the Sportfolio Festival is open to the public.
8. Great quality pictures in a superb location
The city of Narbonne, the historic and beautiful birthplace of French singer Charles Trenet, forms the stunning backdrop for the Sportfolio Festival. The spectacular event offers a unique and extraordinary chance to explore Narbonne and its diverse and fascinating landmarks, soak up the city’s unique Mediterranean atmosphere and immerse yourself in the ‘art de vivre’.
9. A picture-perfect location
The sun-drenched city of Narbonne, in the south of France, is proud to host the inaugural Sportfolio Festival. The city’s heritage is astonishing. Narbonne was the first Roman colony founded outside Italy, and in 2016, a new museum of Roman finds, designed by controversial architect Norman Foster, will open.
Narbonne is also the birthplace of French singer Charles Trenet, whose life is celebrated every summer with the Festival Trenet, a series of events which draw to a close at the magnificent Tempos d’été in August. Bordered by lakes and the Mediterranean, this astonishing ancient city lies within the protected Natural Park de la Narbonnaise, and offers visitors a wonderful landscape to explore.
Narbonne likes its traditions, its way of life, its food and drink and offers a wide choice of delicacies to visitors, who are invited to taste items at the charming local covered market Les Halles de Baltard which dates back to 1901, as well as soak up the city’s famous southern hospitality. Narbonne is easily accessible by TGV and by plane (there are airports in Carcassonne and Toulouse). It is a 30-minute drive from Perpignan, Béziers, Sète and from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Carcassonne, and and hour from Toulouse and Montpellier.
10. A Mediterranean hub with a passion for photography
Nestled in its Mediterranean haven, the Sportfolio Festival in Narbonne joins the ranks of other major photography events in southern France, sitting alongside Sanary-sur-mer with Photomed, Arles with Les Rencontres d’Arles created by Lucien Clergue, Sète – hometown of Georges Brassens and Pierre Soulages – with Images Singulières, Montpellier with les Boutographies, Toulouse with MAP, and Perpignan with Visa pour l’Image.
June 1st – June 18th, 2013