The 2021 Festival took place from 18 June to 17 October.
The Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo is entering its fourth year. It appeals strongly to visitors by presenting themes of a clearly humanist orientation. In 2021 its 27 exhibitions deal with a variety of aspects in the relations between humans and their environment.
The festival extends over a length of 7 kilometres – divided into a “garden route” and a “town route”, starting from the visitor center on Brusattiplatz. Integrated into the public space are about 1,500 photographs, some as large as 280m².
It is the largest outdoor photography festival in Europe, visited by 306,024 visitors in 2020. Entry is free.
VIVA LATINA! is the theme of the 2021 Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo. It will present photographs from Latin America that reflect the complexity of the continent’s history, full of revolutions and hopes, its jumble of traditions, in which dreams of the West mingle with shamanistic world views; as well as the fervour of its society, shaped by violence and a powerful joy of life. Whether they come from Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico or Argentina, all photographers of our Festival are firmly rooted in everyday life. They capture the diversity of the people on this continent, explore the urban chaos and lament the damage done to nature – and they do this poetically, creatively and humorously. But above all, they stand for photographic art full of energy and inventiveness.
The Festival will also celebrate the biodiversity of our planet. The World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was to be held in Marseille in mid-June 2020, to be followed by the COP15 of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China, in October. But the ongoing pandemic shredded the schedule and these two events, so essential for the protection of our ecosystems, were postponed to 2021. We have adapted to this change and will present exhibitions in 2021 that were created by some of the best photographers in the world to document the essence and importance of biodiversity on our planet. They want to help connecting people more deeply with the realm of nature.
To visualize these two highly complex narrative strands, 22 photographers, six photographer collectives and 16 Lower Austrian schools are taking part, in a humanist frame of mind, appealing to peace, tolerance and togetherness: Emmanuel Honorato Vázquez, Sebastião Salgado, Marcos López, Luisa Dörr, Cássio Vasconcellos, Carolina Arantes, Pablo Corral Vega, Tomás Munita, Carl de Souza, Pedro Pardo, Martin Bernetti, Greg Lecoeur, Nadia Shira Cohen, Emmanuel Berthier, David Bart, Coline Jourdan, Sébastien Leban, Ulla Lohmann, Catalina Martin-Chico, Pascal Maitre, Éric Valli and Lois Lammerhuber.
Festival impressions from Baden bei Wien in Austria
The 2018 Festival was the start of an exclusive cooperation of La Gacilly and Baden. The photo festival will now be held every summer, first in La Gacilly and in the following year in Baden. What you see in Baden in 2021 was shown in France in 2020 and will continue in this sequence. This opens up an opportunity to admire the world’s best photographers, first in the west of our continent and then in the heart of Europe.
Once upon a time a capable young man in Brittany began to build up a small, exquisite cosmetics business. Yves Rocher succeeded in creating a global brand with his organic products and his intelligent distribution system. The company is still based near the village of La Gacilly. Jacques Rocher, one of Yves’ sons and long-term mayor of his birthplace, had a wonderful idea. In 2004 Jacques initiated a photo festival in La Gacilly dedicated to the theme of Man and the Environment. Without false fanaticism, but from a firm conviction that it boosts understanding if you break down global problems to the level of the village and the family. He began by providing an opportunity for people to engage with the future of the Earth and of humanity in a comprehensible manner. To this end he harnessed the possibilities of photography, the most powerful, topical, contemporary and expressive art form of the last one hundred years. And he caught the spirit of our times.
Contacts between Baden and La Gacilly evolved from a friendship between Jacques Rocher and Lois Lammerhuber, a major contemporary Austrian photographer. Lammerhuber has created well over 1000 photo reports, about 250 of them for GEO magazine. Add to that 79 books and hundreds of magazine covers. In 2009, jointly with his wife Silvia Lammerhuber, he founded publishing house Edition Lammerhuber, which has since received more than 200 awards and was voted best European photo book publisher in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Lammerhuber has been a member of the Art Directors Club New York since 1994. In 2014 he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class, followed in 2017 by the Golden Medal of Honour for Services to the City of Vienna and the Grand Medal of Honour for Services to the Province of Lower Austria.
Festival impressions from La Gacilly in France