Les Rencontres d’Arles Appoints a New Director

Sam Stourdzé, new director of the annual French photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles. Photo: LUTZ/VU, via Le Figaro.

Sam Stourdzé has been appointed director at the world’s biggest photography festival, Les Rencontres d’Arles in the South of France. He succeeds François Hébel, who is stepping down after 12 years at the helm. This is a crucial moment for Arles. Hébel was known to be in disagreement with über patron Maja Hoffmann, whose Luma Foundation and its ambitious regeneration of the Parc des Ateliers is about to radically transform the city.

Although only 41, Stourdzé is a photography veteran, with more than exhibitions under his belt. From 2005 to 2010, he was director of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson and then moved on to the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.

This summer’s edition will be Hébel’s final one. It will gather some of those who have been particularly close to Les Rencontres d’Arles during Hébel’s tenure, including Martin Parr, Lucien Clergue, and David Bailey. The French press is already describing the event as a “big family album.”

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