RECONTRES D'Arles photo-festival

My first post should rightly start with a visit to Les Recontres, Arles - France's leading photo-festival. If the setting (South of France, balmy weather, delicious alfresco dining) isn't enough to tempt, then the incredible amount of photography shows and photo related talks and activities throughout opening week is enough to make me brave a 4am alarm call to catch an early morning flight to Marseille.

Highlights of the trip included Paul Fusco's splendid, seminal work, The Train - a journey that saw Fusco turn the camera on the spectators and mourners waiting for Robert Kennedy's funeral train to pass by. Clever re-interpretations by contemporary photographers made this an unmissable show that left me feeling both troubled and inspired. It was also great to re-visit some of the other great masters of Photography. Seeing Robert Frank's marked-up original contact sheets close up gave me a glance into a wildly creative mind way ahead of its time. African-American artist and cinematographer Arthur Jafa's  large-scale series of moving still images - more often from the African diaspora - with a few occasional surprises, was one of the few major works by a Black artist. Woman photographers seemed largely absent. Women of Colour photographers even more so. A shame.