Mexico, 2002 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
England, Skegness, 1992 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Turkey, Kalkan, 1994 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Japan, Miyazaki, the Artificial beach inside the Ocean Dome, 1996 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
Egypt, Giza, the Sphinx, 1992 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos
100 Photos de Martin Parr pour la liberté de la Presse, Reporters sans Frontières, n°39, 2012
May 3, 2012 World Press Freedom Day © Emanuele Scorcelletti / RSF
For 20 years, Reporters Without Borders has been fighting for freedom of the press. They regularly publish fundraising photo albums devoted to selected photographers, with sales profits going to financing their actions. Martin Parr’s work is being featured in the latest album to be released. If this choice could at first seem surprising, it is no less justified. Indeed, this Magnum photographer has a unique style. Tourists are his main subjects.
Not without humor, Martin Parr seeks out the tourist “cliché”. Relaxation, Hawaiian shirts, hats and shorts, for many years, the photographer has been hunting for the slightest detail, throughout the world. His pictures play as much with the tourists’ attitudes as with the locations they visit. As such one can recognize an American with his “Yankee” cap or see a McDonald’s sign creeping out of nowhere on a street in Bali.
As he explains,
“Tourism is the biggest industry in the world, only oil comes anywhere close and lot of that is used in the tourist industry anyway. This folio of images shows the tourist (ie you and me) doing what we do when we arrive at the beach or another global honeypot. We queue up, we sun ourselves and spend cash on often useless souvenirs. We then take photos of ourselves in front of the visiting sight. This proves we have been there and are part of the world as we know it.”
This search for kitsch and of the unseemly is far from meaningless. Individual characteristics emerge among the multitude of tourists photographed. While some tan in the sun, others protect themselves with long sleeves and large-brimmed hats. Parr questions the future of these tourist locations that are progressively suffering from the affluence of tourists. For this new edition, he presents 20 previously unreleased pictures.
The book’s release is accompanied by an exhibition at the Galerie Fnac in the Forum des Halles, Paris.
Exposition Reporters sans frontières / Martin Parr
May 3 through August 15, 2012
Galerie Photo Fnac Forum des Halles
1/7 rue Pierre Lescot 75001 Paris
100 Photos de Martin Parr pour la liberté de la Presse, Reporters sans Frontières, n°39, Printemps / été 2012,