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Phot’Aubrac 2022


The latest edition of Phot’Aubrac has just ended.

The so special atmosphere, of this festival attracts thousands of aficionados who come to drown there. Almost everything is still there! President Jean Pierre Montiel addressed a good word to everyone, he wriggled like a fish in water. Nathalie Jurot forgot to turn off her switch since last year, she is everywhere at once, she managed her team of super volunteers masterfully, she animated the slightest gathering with her hands in the air, her eyes on the lookout for the slightest problem. The Phot’Aubrac atmosphere: let it be, they take care of everything, for the moment it is firmly anchored in the genes of this real festival with real encounters. What all the festivals, meetings and other gatherings have lost remains anchored among the rocks of Aubrac. For this twentieth anniversary, the shadow of Maurice Subervie passed elegantly, it is certain that many of us regretted his absence which certainly did not go unnoticed.

If the beautiful shell is almost intact as pointed out to me by a photographer, he specified that the content did not follow the same permanence, nor the same relevance. The photographic quality was much lower than last year. The selections retained, the photographic choices of the images, the impressions of the works, the scenographies implemented were not up to the task of this superb event. Of course, the traditional tenors had responded with their perfect images, with two or three emerging photographers (latest fashionable term!) who happily accompanied them. But for the rest, the confusion was great. Was there a theme? Were there categories? Were there any criteria? Was there a selection? For all these questions, the answer seems to be a “yes”; curiously, this is not seen in all the attractive settings that housed exhibitions. The important work done by the owners of exhibition venues deserves better than the majority of the works offered to the many audiences.

The twenty candles were blown out in a good mood full of hope. Without money, or almost, my friends continued on this momentum with always real volunteering for the organizers, which must also apply to the photographers. Your festival (this real encounter) is unique. On the “Aubrac” side, I’m not worried. On the “Phot’” side, the changes observed certainly require some serious adaptations.

Thierry Maindrault

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