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Photo Hanoi 2021

Photo Hanoi ‘21 is a month-long program initiated by The French Institute in Hanoi - L’Espace that aims to boost public engagement with different aspects of photography. Throughout the summer month of May, a series of exhibitions, talks and workshops will take place across several cultural centers, bringing diverse practices in making and displaying photographs from Vietnam, France, and beyond.

This augural open theme edition presents works created with analog and digital tools and looked at from a wide range of perspectives. Educational activities welcome participants across age, gender, and level of expertise, stemming from the belief that photography is best enjoyed by all. Developed during a time of prolonged travel restric- tions, the program reflects the desire to connect through a shared visual language that proves to be stronger than ever.

Nowadays, everyone has become a photographer. The proliferation of smartphones equipped with increasingly amazing capabilities, coupled with the possibility of broadcasting immediately for formidable audiences on social networks, have democratized an artistic practice reserved half a century ago for a privileged minority.

Why then organize a program that celebrates photography and photographers, when this practice is available for all? For Audrey Bazin, artistic director of the Camera Clara Photo Prize, “at a time when a dizzying flood of images is offered to everyone via the Internet (...), it has developed a very fashionable ‘anything goes’ attitude in photography, that has created confusion between medium, performance and artistic qualification.”

“It is precisely because knowing how to write does not make everyone a poet, that art and technique cannot be completely replaced by machines, how- ever sophisticated they may be. The gatherings, exhibitions, and workshops offered to the public aim to reveal the talent, virtuosity, and originality that transforms a simple recording into a work that supports a story, which is the culmination of a thoughtful process. Photo Hanoi reminds us that behind an image, there is always an author, and that, as photographer Willy Ronis said, ‘the camera looks, the eye sees’ ”. Thierry Vernon, Director of the French Institute in Hanoi

until 12. June 2021

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