The Festival

30 exhibitions are dedicated to various aspects of the relationship between people and their environment. Starting from the visitor centre on Brusattiplatz, the festival, divided into a garden route and a city route, stretches over 7 kilometres. Embedded in the public space, around 1,500 large-format photographs by the world’s best photographers are on display. Admission is free. Admission is free. 

NATURAL HERITAGE – „Humanity has opened the gates to hell,“ Secretary-General António Guterres warned politicians, business leaders and activists in an impassioned speech on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2023 about the dire consequences of increasingly extreme weather events. „Our concern is that all climate action will be dwarfed by the scale of the challenge“ as humanity heads towards a 2.8°C temperature rise.

An appeal to the world that has long been inscribed in the heart of our festival. It is our duty to preserve the poetry of creation for our children. On the fundamental issues of urbanisation, biodiversity, natural resources, environmental pollution and global warming, we will try to use images to provide, if not solutions, then at least food for thought. Therefore, in our seventh festival year, we will be showing the work of the great masters of environmental photography: Nazli Abbaspour, Evgenia Arbugaeva, Yasuhoshi Chiba, Joana Choumali, David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes, Hans Hass, Nadia Ferroukhi, Sacha Goldberger, Richard Ladkani, Lucas Lenci, Luca Locatelli, Pascal Maitre, Beth Moon, Maxime Riché, Sebastião Salgado, Alain Schroeder, Vee Speers, Brent Stirton, Lorraine Turci, David Turnley, Peter Turnley and Cássio Vasconcellos.

„We all need Eden as a horizon,“ writes Cyril Drouhet in his essay in the festival catalogue. „There was a time when we had a rainbow in our heads: We believed in the future, in progress, our dreams were full of utopias. In the third millennium, this colour has turned grey. But life needs radiant colours like in photography to enchant the world again. That is the challenge of the coming years and the challenge of our festival.“

This year, the bilateral photography project between the schools of Morbihan in Brittany and Lower Austria is also dedicated to the theme of „Nature as heritage“. We are giving young people the opportunity to express their ideas on the challenges of today and, above all, of tomorrow: How can we shape social models to preserve our unique world for our children?

„We have the choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place,“ Jane Goodall is convinced. Martin Parr, whom the festival will honour with the first Lifetime Achievement Award, is certainly in this spirit of preserving rays of hope for humanity. And Luigi Caputo’s pictures tell of an enchanted world, a world of magical transformations full of graceful beauty and fairytale elegance. Fascinating glimpses of the mysterious places backstage and a tribute to the artists of the Salzburg Festival. Norbert Span shows us in his pictures why snow crystals are the „jewels in the sky“.

The exhibition of photographs by professional photographers from Lower Austria and the „Director’s Cut“ exhibition by jury president Michel Comte from CEWE’s „Our World is Beautiful“, the world’s largest photo competition with over 500,000 images from 170 countries, will round off the festival, as will a look back at 2023 in the images of artist in residence Ina Künne, whose pictures will be accompanied by texts by 2022 Thomas Jorda Award winner Raphaela Edelbauer. A very special visual highlight is the exhibition „The Human Footprint“, images from orbit, prepared by Gerald Mansberger and Markus Eisl.

Under the guiding principle of Culture of Solidarity, the cooperation with the festival partners Garden Tulln and Month of Photography Bratislava will continue in 2024.

The La Gacilly-Baden Photo Festival will take place from 13 June to 13 October 2024.

Festival impressions from Baden bei Wien in Austria

The Future
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 2024 was shown in France in 2023 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.

JACQUES ROCHER, ©Patrick Wallet

The Beginning
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. With 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 harnesses 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.

Lois Lammerhuber © Francis Giacobetti

The Connection
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

Visitor Center

Tourist Information Baden
Brusattiplatz 3, 2500 Baden bei Wien

MON – WED, FRI 10.00 – 16.00 hrs
THU, SAT 10.00 – 18.00 hrs
SUN, Holidays 10.00 – 16.00 hrs
Tel: +43 (0) 2252 86800 600

Festivalbüro La Gacilly-Baden Photo
Tel: +43 (0) 2252 42269