MLPw Weekly #55 : Reza in Castelfranc

2023-07-24 19:39:04

I have been a volunteer in the Rencontres Photo de Castelfranc association since 2015. This year, I led a project that was important to my heart: offering the public an exhibition by the photographer Reza in Castelfranc, and, let’s be crazy, making come the artist to my village.

In summer 2022, I went to Lauzerte where Reza was exhibiting his work and offered a guided walk of the exhibition. I immediately saw the same thing in Castelfranc. Without a second thought, I went to talk to him about it: he received the proposal with great attention and gave me the contact details of his wife Rachel Deghati who manages their agency and contracts.

Of course, it was not that easy: inviting such a big name has a cost, that’s normal, and a slightly heavier organization than usual.

With the Covid-19 pandemic , the association has experienced a few difficult years. Ultra small team, organizational difficulty, less budget… But I believed in it. I spoke about it to people around me who also believed in the project and agreed to be part of it.

And there we are, we did it! 28 photos exhibited on the walls of the village, a series created especially for Castelfranc, to not repeat the same one than in Lauzerte. Reza and Rachel honored us with their kind presence for the opening on July 14, and for a guided walk on July 15. The public was there every day, in large numbers, with laudatory comments. During the walk, a hundred people was very interested by Reza’s words, passionate, full of emotion, in a silence and concentration that moved the artist.

A second exhibition was proposed, photos produced by residents of the retirement home in Prayssac, the Balcons du Lot, during workshops that I gave last spring. Exhibiting their photos at the same time as Reza’s “One Land, One Family” exhibition made perfect sense. Residents even came to the opening, then to visit. What emotions!

Today we took down the photos. While the sun shone throughout the Rencontres Photos de Castelfranc (except during the commented walk, fortunately it was a little hidden), it rained, as if the weather was in tune.

A big thank you to the team of volunteers who participated in the organization of this wonderful event, to the municipality, to the partners and sponsors, to the residents of the retirement home and to the people who made this collaboration possible, and especially to Reza and Rachel Deghati. A very beautiful encounter, rich and simple at the same time.