Perpignan, the southern French city that hosts the world’s leading photojournalism festival Visa pour l’Image, has opened a permanent center for photojournalism. The Centre International du Photojournalisme (CIP), operational year-round, is located in the historical landmark Couvent des Minimes.
The CIP aims to defend, encourage and promote photojournalism inspired by the strong belief that this profession is an indispensable tool in preserving our collective memory, writing our history and defending freedom of expression throughout the world.
Managed by the “Visa Pour l’Image-Perpignan” association, the CPI’s purposes are manifold.
First, it will maintain an archive of photographic material and documents acquired by means of donations, loans or purchases. The archive would include a selection of prints and digital files of work that has been showcased by past editions of the Visa pour l’Image Festival. Photographers who wish to participate in the project are welcome to offer original prints from their exhibition or provide a digital file for the making of a fresh print. The archive also aims at including work shown during the evening projections, all of which have been in digital format since 2003. Books and international news magazines will also be included.
The archive will be digitized, indexed, restored if needed, with both private and public financial support.
The CIP’s goal is to become a unique research center on photojournalism, complete with books, international news magazines and computer terminals where videos and documentary films can be viewed.
The center will organize and host conferences and workshops for professional photographers and journalists as well as for the larger public. With the support of the Ministry of Education, it will implement an educational program for shoolchildren.
Finally, as its archive grows in size and depth, the CIP will set out to enhance and circulate its collections by producing exhibitions, books and films. The exhibitions will take place within the CIP as well as travel to different locations around the city including schools, hospitals, prisons and cultural spaces. The CIP will also produce and sell certified prints and other by-products, all in due respect of the authors and beneficiaries’ rights.