LOOKING AT THE WORLD, EYES WIDE OPEN
“Photographers are fortunate to be able toYasuyoshi Chiba
discover new places, meet new people and learn
new things. Even today, every experience
I have opens up new horizons for me.“
In these tumultuous times, when information is broadcast in real time from the four corners of the globe by billions of human beings who have become broadcasters thanks to smartphones and the internet, the photojournalists of Agence France-Press, a loyal partner of our Festival, are like beacons in the storm. Without them, we would be like one of the photographs from this exhibit – the one of the swarm of locusts in East Africa – blinded and assaulted by billions of fragments of information flying at us from every direction.
Japanese photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba, head photographer for East Africa and the Indian Ocean at the AFP, is an archetypical example of this rigorous perspective, full of humanity, on our ever-changing world. After launching his career at the Asahi Shimbun, one of the two largest daily papers in Japan, he moved to Kenya in 2007 to document post-electoral violence in the country, and quickly became known for his journalistic rigour and his talent as a photographer, earning himself a Bayeux Calvados-Normandy Prize for War Correspondents.
Based in Nairobi, he boldly captures for the agency all the trials of an African continent besieged year after year by painful challenges such as endemic drought, inter-community violence, rural exodus and threatened nature. Each of his shots – a herd of elephants searching for water, a suffering elderly woman – is a story in and of itself, an ode to the fragility of our times.
Travelling the world, from Brazil to war-torn Ukraine, he bears witness to the turbulence of current events and draws clear moments, frozen in time, out of the chaos of the world. Like this photograph which won the World Press Photo prize in 2020: a young student, face lit up by mobile phones, reciting a poem to a crowd at a protest in Khartoum, Sudan.
Agence France-Presse is a vital link in the internati nal news chain and a beacon of quality journalism. For the fourth year running, our Festival is joining forces with AFP to present the work of press photographers.