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Salut la France

The Exhibition Vis-à-vis will open on October 16, 2019 in Lothringer13 Hall in Munich and will be followed by four festival days with panel discussions, artist talks and films.

© Carolina Arantes
© Carolina Arantes

Carolina Arantes (F/BR) / Mathieu Asselin (F) / Daniel Chatard (D) / Lisa Domin (D) / David Fathi (F) / Samuel Gratacap (F) / Sonja Hamad (D) / Stephanie Kiwitt (D) / Markus Krottendorfer (A) / Nicola Lo Calzo (F/IT) / Paula Markert (D) / Laurence Rasti (CH) / Gilles Raynaldy (F) / Rebecca Sampson (D) / Yana Wernicke (D)

"There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we do not live single-issue lives" wrote the American author and activist Audre Lorde and outlined the intellectual framework of this year's Festival. In our globalised, networked and thoroughly complex world, we are involved with diverse clashes and struggles on which our social interactions as well as our individual values and life-plans are founded.
In the face of political struggles, national tendencies towards boundaries and exclusion, social injustice and divergent or conflicting world views, the demand for justice, equality and the right to have a say becomes louder. Movements like #blacklivesmatter, #metoo or Fridays for Future propagate social and geopolitical change, illuminate power structures and question outdated norms and privileges. Interpretations will be re-negotiated and attention to marginal themes and groups will be demanded. At the same time the question of personal responsibility and positioning is arises. We are all required to look carefully, to take a stand and to test one´s own perspective, habits and behaviour.

The curator team presents a concentrated selection of photographic positions which shed light on economic, social and socio-political power structures and questions supposed „truths“. The works of the 15 invited photographers from France and the D-A-CH region, research intrigues of major corporations and follow traces which depict postcolonial, imperialistic and capitalistic structures. They describe politics and tradition, social values and gender roles. Contemporary documentary photography, following its tradition, expresses the diversity in thought and actions as well as individual strategies of empowerment in Europe and far beyond. The works irritate our viewing habits and question how one could possibly see and understand things differently.

**Partner country France**
Since FOTODOKS 2017 with the guest country USA had a non-European focus, the seventh Munich edition of the FOTODOKS Festival concentrates on a close neighbour. In 2019, the Festival looks to France and with the theme Vis-à-Vis opens the dialogue with the most long-standing and diverse culture in documentary photography.

France is Germany’s closest and most important partner in Europe. With almost no other country is there such a close collaboration and lively exchange in the area of culture and media. This solidarity combined with different impressions in dealing with socio-political situations promises to be an exciting encounter for the festival and the exhibition.

Vis-à-vis describes in its theme a seemingly simple and yet so complex situation in the encounter. This can be seen as a chance or as a burden, it can express rigid or flexible positions and perhaps can also be understood as a stimulus to devote oneself openly and responsibly to one’s counterpart.