French newspaper publishes edition without photographs

For the first time in its 44-year history, La Libération, the French daily founded by Sartre, published a full edition without photographs this week in support of the photographic industry.

A series of blank frames punctuated the newspaper’s usual layout, highlighting the power of the professional image.

The paper explained on its front page: “we give photography the homage it deserves. Yet, no one can ignore the calamitous situation press photographers now find themselves in, especially war photographers who risk their lives while barely making a living. And for those whose work went on show today in the Grand Palais thanks to shrewd gallery owners, we might think that the odds are in their favour, but it’s all smoke and mirrors: the art photography market is currently confused.”

As previously reported by Works Post, the shareability of the image via the internet often leaves the copyright uprooted from its owners – with serious financial repercussions for the professional photographer. Added to the inexorable rise of smartphone photography, indeed 10% of all photographs snapped across history were taken in the last month, the sense of the photograph as the intellectual property of its creator is increasingly diminished.