I have just returned from my first visit to the photography festival in Arles. I was there with Adam O'Meara who has filmed many of the videos Source has made recently. So while we were there we conducted some short interviews with many of the people we met (those who could be coaxed into talking to me on camera) and filmed some of the venues. This wasn't planned, so who we spoke to was decided by chance. We also didn't know what the venues would be like or have an idea what to expect based on previous years' shows. As has been widely reported the Festival is in a transitional moment following the resignation of its Director. The consensus among seasoned visitors seems to be that this Les Rencontres d’Arles doesn't match previous editions. But from my point of view it was still the largest photography event I have attended and well worth the trip.
Happily, it wasn't as hot as I had expected. I did experience the standard frustrations of being in a hotel some distance from the main events, which I have heard described many times before. I assume these are rooms reserved primarily for first-time visitors. I also provided some nourishment for the local insect population which I would try to avoid in future. But these are minor quibbles, Arles was good fun and I hope this film (and the films of the second and third days which I will post up shortly) gives some impression what it is like to go there.