Rencontres ArlesRencontres Arles
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The Rencontres d'Arles

Lovers of art and culture come together every year in Arles. The Rencontres de la Photographie take over the ancient city from July to September.

The history of Rencontres d’Arles

The festival was founded in 1970 by photographer Lucien Clergue, writer Michel Tournier and art historian Jean-Maurice Rouquette. Their aim? To promote photography as an art form, by presenting it in a wider cultural context. Les Rencontres d’Arles takes place every year in Arles, a town between Provence and the Camargue known for its exceptional ancient heritage.

Since its inception, the festival has gone from strength to strength. Today it attracts artists, critics, photography enthusiasts and the simply curious from all over the world. Over the years, it has become one of the most important and prestigious international photography events.

Les Rencontres d’Arles has made a direct contribution to the recognition of photography as an art form in its own right, and has helped to disseminate new trends and promote emerging artists. They have also helped to put the spotlight on renowned artists: Robert Frank, William Klein, Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman and many others have been presented to the public.

Exhibition venues at the Rencontres d’Arles

Numerous spaces are showcased throughout the city. Various museums regularly host exhibitions: the Musée de la Camargue, the Musée départemental Arles Antique, the Musée Estrine and the Musée Réattu… Former industrial buildings, such as the Parc des Ateliers and the Forges, have been transformed into cultural venues and also host exhibitions. Religious buildings such as the Abbey of Montmajour, the Cloister of Saint-Trophime, the Convent of Saint-Césaire and the Church of the Friars Preachers also exhibit the work of photographers and artists. Arles’ ancient past has not been forgotten. Some of the works are displayed in the cryptoporticos, ancient galleries built by the Romans to support the forum, the city’s ancient public square.

The exhibition spaces provide an opportunity to reinvent the way photographic works are presented, with innovative approaches such as immersive installations, slide projections and multimedia presentations.

Les Rencontres d’Arles is exported thanks to initiatives carried out abroad: Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Belgium, Argentina and even China host exhibitions and cultural events around photography and the image, in which teams from Les Rencontres d’Arles participate.

A retrospective of previous years is available on the official website. You can discover the programme of all the previous editions since the first Rencontres de la Photographie in 1970.

Taking part in Rencontres d’Arles as a professional

Les Rencontres d’Arles caters for a wide range of audiences with a variety of programmes, events and workshops aimed at artists, students, photography professionals and amateurs.

Are you an emerging artist or photographer? You can submit your work and be selected for an exhibition at the Rencontres. Submissions are judged by a panel of photography experts, who select the most interesting and relevant work.

Are you a photography student? Workshops and conferences are organised by the Rencontres d’Arles. These events are run by photography professionals and are designed to help students develop their technical skills and understanding of the art of photography.

Photography professionals can develop their network with their peers or other players in this market.

Discover the photography exhibitions

Of course, Les Rencontres d’Arles is also open to the general public, whether amateurs or the simply curious. The wide range of themes addressed by the photographers means that you can easily find several exhibitions to suit your interests or desires.

The official website lets you discover the programme for the next edition. You can buy your ticket online and benefit from a preferential rate, by choosing one of the packages on offer:

the all-exhibitions pass is valid for the entire duration of the Festival

the one-day pass is valid for one day only, with one entry per exhibition venue

Reduced rates are available for certain sections of the public: students, large families, jobseekers, ADAGP members, etc. Disabled people are entitled to free admission. You must show proof of identity and proof of identity less than three months old when collecting your ticket.

Selection of events in Provence :