Aesthetes listen up. Lille’s Transphotographiques Festival has some of the biggest and most diverse exhibitions in Europe and is well worth making time for on your trip.
Annually (or occasionally biennially), in the months of May and June, Lille hosts one of the most exciting events in the photography calendar. The festival runs exhibitions, workshops, conferences, educational programs and more across the city and in the surrounding area – much to the delight of locals and visitors with a passion for art.
Each year has its own theme that runs through all the events and ties things together, such as ‘Second Nature’ in 2010. And there’s always new and intriguing spaces that are used to host the programme. Previous locations have included the beautiful Palais Rameau, the Maison de la Photographie, the Vielle Bourse, the stunning Lille Cathedral and the Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse, amongst many others.
And it’s not just the hottest photographers in the industry that are featured. Anyone can send their photographs for the selection process. There is a very popular ‘best budding photographer’ competition held that encourages new photographers to take part in the competition and gain recognition for their passion.
For each festival, the work of a special guest (an invité d'honneur), marraine (godmother) or parrain (godfather) is exhibited, and also defines the year’s theme. It is chaired by Bertrand de Talhouët, managed by Olivier Spillebout and organised in partnership with the magazine ‘Photo’ – which is clearly a recipe for success if you look at the festival’s growing supporter base.
With its atmospheric old town of cobbled streets and quaint shops, its long and textured history as well as a host of stunning architecture – Lille makes for the perfect place to take a relaxing city break. And visiting in May/June means you’ll get pleasant weather without the crowds, alongside a plethora of beautiful and compelling photography.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!