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18th Photo festival La Gacilly

From July 1st until October 31, 2021.

Due North, Scandinavian Photography is in the spotlight of this year’s festival in Brittany.

4 Juin 2021 - 00:00

Poster of Photo Festival La Gacilly, 2021©photo festival La Gacilly, creation atelier Michel Bouvet
Poster of Photo Festival La Gacilly, 2021©photo festival La Gacilly, creation atelier Michel Bouvet

History of La Gacilly Photo Festival

Founded in 2004, the La Gacilly Photo Festival invites visitors to an immersive photographic experience while strolling around more than 20 open-air galleries to enjoy the best in contemporary photographic creation. Free of charge for some 300,000 visitors each year over the 17 summers to date, the festival is an event in its own right exposing themes around ‘People and Nature’, especially in 2021 health precautions will still apply to the visitors despite taking place in the open air around the village of La Gacilly.

Each summer over 20 international photographers are on show with large format prints and 350 secondary school pupils are involved the in the School Photo Festival. Since 2004, over 4 million visitors have seen the work of 370 photographers in this village in Brittany. Jacques Rocher, the founder of La Gacilly Photo Festival and mayor of La Gacilly thanked the members of the La Gacilly Photo Festival association for their help in staging last year’s reduced festival during the pandemic, while looking forward to this year’s renewed effort.

Rocher’s hopes and wishes are strongly backed by Auguste Coudray, the president of the La Gacilly Photo Festival in supporting this year’s theme of Due North featuring Scandinavian photography. Stéphanie Retière-Secret, the director of the festival, also emphasizes that in 2021 they will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Morbihan School Photo Festival encompassing an artistic and cultural educational programme involving environmental and societal commitments.

Here in the Distance.Solovski.White Sea, Russia 1992©Penti Sammallahti, courtesy Galerie Camera Obscura
Here in the Distance.Solovski.White Sea, Russia 1992©Penti Sammallahti, courtesy Galerie Camera Obscura

Due North: Spotlight on Scandinavian Photography

For the people of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, solitude and wild environment form an integral part of their relationship with the world. Little is known of the creative power of artists from Northern Europe who do not blindly exploit the fruits of nature, but also strive to understand how it all works, including flora and fauna, respecting the natural world.

Sune Jonnson who hails from a remote rural village in Sweden has fondly immortalized the bygone society where the inhabitants follow the rhythm of the season, in a world of solitude and small daily pleasures. Meanwhile Finnish photographic maestro Pentti Sammallahti is one of the world’s great contemporary masters of black and white who undertakes melancholic journeys into the silence of great expanses and landscapes. Tiina Itkonen travels the frozen coasts of Greenland, where she shares the lives of the Inghuit people, an Inuit people struggling to preserve their ancestral lifestyle, meanwhile Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson uses his black and white imagery to capture people constantly on the move across the polar ice cap with their sleigh dogs.

Tine Poppe who hails from Oslo, showcases wildflowers and other vegetation where she composes an ode to nature, while Sanna Kannisto from Finland photographs birds in all their splendor all over the world where she brings her portable studio to produce ornithological images of plumage and anatomy in the precise manner of Buffon or Darwin. Swedish Erik Johannson makes skillful use of digital tools to create optical illusions about the absurdity of the human world. Another Swedish photographer, Helena Blomqvist introduces us to the heart of a strange world, peopled by terrifying fairy tales, peopled with creatures dreamt up in childhood or popular legends from her homeland. Famous photojournalist and member of Magnum agency, Norwegian Jonas Bendiksen, documents the dramatic consequences of global warming and rising water levels onto the populations living directly beneath the Roof of the World. Finally Swedish artist Jonathan Näckstrand also portrays the ecological awareness of countries at the forefront of the climate crisis and French photographer Olivier Morin who spent many years based in Stockholm offers a panorama of the most extreme sports practiced in the coldest frozen conditions.

This Empty World.Bus Station with Elephant in Dust©Nick Brandt
This Empty World.Bus Station with Elephant in Dust©Nick Brandt

Spotlight on the World of Tomorrow

Nick Brandt who chose to defend wild life in Africa is frequently shown in La Gacilly where this year his latest opus ‘Empty World’ involving large mammals threatened by rapid urbanization of their habitats, will be on show. Alongside the latest winner of the Yves Rocher Foundation award, Mathias Depardon, visitors will be able to journey along the Tigris River and witness its slow decline from Turkey to the borders of Iraq. Pascal Maitre covers the incredible odyssey of the monarch butterflies in Mexico, while Catalina Martin-Chico visits Ecuador to meet the Kichwa people concerned about the preservation of the forest land. German Ulla Lohman documents the daily life of the Sakalava community in Madagascar, where the near-extinct lemurs are considered sacred and deforestation is severely punished.

Florence Goupil, winner of the New Writing Award for Environmental Photography in 2021©Florence Goupil
Florence Goupil, winner of the New Writing Award for Environmental Photography in 2021©Florence Goupil

Supporting Photographic Creation

Florence Joubert was supported by the Morbihan Departemental Council to investigate the plight of the Morbihan people in the midst of the health crisis. She focused on their efforts for sustainability in all fields of their lives. The Ruralités residency was granted to Aglaé Bory who worked around La Gacilly to create a visual fresco of their lives called  ‘Horizons: Mapping Possibilities’. In addition three winners of the New Takes on Environmental Photography award, have their work displayed: Imane Djamil from Morocco shows her polyptech work on the sunken city of Tarfaya, Franco-Peruvian artist Florence Goupil investigated the fate of an Amazonian Community plagued by the Covid-19 epidemic and French photographer Brieuc Weulersee entered experimental laboratories to document positive responses in research to counter the collapse of the health system.
The above selection of photographs was curated by Cyril Drouhet, Exhibition Curator at La Gacilly Photo Festival who was in charge of the final choice of photographic displays.

In Trompe l'oeil©Erik Johannson
In Trompe l'oeil©Erik Johannson

How to attend the photo festival La Gacilly

Consult the website of the festival at La Place de la Ferronerie, La Gacilly, 56200, Brittany
Telephone +33(2) 99086800
Vistors to the outside venues do not pay anything, but if you wish to attend a guided tour, contact the above website or telephone number for more details
For more information for tourists please contact the following website : for details of where exactly La Gacilly is situated in north-western France in the Morbihan, department of Brittany and for details of where to stay and other information about access the site.

18th Photo festival La Gacilly from July 1st until October 31, 2021.


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Mots-clés de l'article : festival, la gacilly, paris news post, photo

Kunang Helmi-Picard
Fatma Kunang Helmi was born in Yogjakarta, Indonesia. Education in Switzerland, Australia and... En savoir plus sur cet auteur

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