Since 2016, the festival Documentary Fiction of Carcassonne takes up questions of society through a singular artistic approach: that of the documentary fiction. This social photography festival returns from November 15 to December 17 2022 with a rich and varied program.
Between social photography and contemporary art
Documentary fiction is a genre of photography that captures a question or a reflection on society and documents it through contemporary art. This genre uses the staging, symbolism carried by the subjects and objects captured to deal with social, environmental, migratory, economic or even political phenomena that cross society.
Documentary fiction differs from photojournalism and more traditional documentary photography because it develops a partial approach to reality and realism. She sets out to analyze a societal, collective, even universal problem, through the eyes of an artist who reveals only a part of it, often in an allusive or symbolic way. The suggestion allows give free rein to the imagination of someone who observes fiction.
This artistic approach thus embodies both a singular gaze and a collective thought. It is a support for individual interpretations, but also a instrument for common reflection and debate.
Located in Carcassonne, the GRAPh (Research and Photographic Animation Group – Mediterranean Image Center) has been developing since 1987 cultural, educational and social actions starting from the photography as a medium and like artistic approach. The group promotes open and inclusive access to culture and to the various artistic practices of the image.
With the organization and programming of the festival Documentary Fiction every year for 6 years, the GRAPh wishes to put the genre of documentary fiction at the forefront, and present works that are as much part of social photography as they are of contemporary art.
For its sixth edition, the programming of Fictions Documentaires is predominantly female. It thus translates a abundant artistic gaze of women on societal issues, but also the importance of current reflections around gender.
The artists’ proposals combine photography, editing, plastic art, cinema and performative installation.
Among the topics covered this year, environmental issues is addressed by the Estonian artist Annika Haas with The Greenhouse Effector by Tiphaine People of La Forge with Solastalgia. The latter skilfully mixes images of a house in ruins with views of the European Space Agency, and leads us into deep questions about our relationship with the environment.
Geopolitics is also the subject of surprising interventions, such as that of the Lebanese artist couple Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige who give us their vision of crises and wars suffered by Lebanonthrough the medium and the film practice. The bet is daring, but the works of the couple have the merit of plunging us into the confusion of the Lebanese people as to the future of their country, and of its capital Beirut.
We also explore more intimate issues through the videos ofYamane Fhakir in his job The Lion’s Sharewhich opens the doors toa space for feminine reflection.
We then head to Senegal where the artist Stephanie Nelson presents an artistic point of view on the youth of this country and its social constructionin a proposal titled No one lights up the night. The particular aesthetics of the photographs on display may be surprising, but the subjects and the staging have a narrative force that carries us away.
Other artists and interventions are to be discovered during the festival whose program provides many moments of exchanges and meetings.
A program in 4 sections of action and events
If exhibitions and installations are at the heart of the festival Documentary Fictionthe program is also spread over 4 complementary sections, in order to invest social photography from all angles.
We will first be able to attend critical encounters. Initiated by the art critic and artistic advisor of the festival, Christian Gattinoni, these public meetings will allow artists and specialists in contemporary photography to dialogue. Their discussions will be an opportunity to better understand the universe of the artists exhibited, and to question them about their practices.
The festival will also give rise to screenings during various events: film-concerts, carte blanche at the festival, Autumn Cinema, International Political Film Festival. These different moments will be an opportunity to approach social themes in a transversal way and to link documentary fiction to film practice.
Throughout the festival, a cultural mediation activity for different audiences (schoolchildren, adults, visually impaired, etc.) will be offered. and organized by GRAPh volunteers and photography students. This component of action makes it possible to embody the inclusive approach of the festival.
The fourth and last part consists of moments of portfolio readings, which will be open to all professional or amateur photographers. These readings will make it possible to meet image professionals (agency directors, photoreporters, artistic directors, art critics, etc.) and to learn about their vision of documentary fiction and social photography in a broad way.
The festival will thus make us survey the city, from the departmental archives of Aude to the Galerie Acti Citi, passing by the House of memories, the House of the region or the Chapel of the Dominicans. Places all having a role and a symbolism for the city of Carcassonne, and which will be for this occasion real scenic spaces of representation of the contemporary.
Useful information :
Documentary Fiction Festival 2022
From November 15 to December 17, 2022
Opening hours vary by location.
Information on the GRAPh-CMi website