The Curator's Conundrum

Joachim Ladefoged for TIME

Leroy, a former photojournalist, started the Visa Pour l'Image festival in Perpignan in 1989.

On Aug. 31, Visa Pour l'Image, the world's most influential photojournalism festival, will celebrate its 25th birthday. It's grown hugely over 21/2 decades; last year more than 3,000 people — including 1,200 photographers from 68 countries — were accredited to the festival. Only 123 people were accredited to the first one. But Jean-François Leroy, founder of the almost three-week-long event, is planning only a muted celebration. "There will be no fireworks, no birthday cakes," he says. "Especially during this time when the profession is in such bad shape."

Leroy's restraint comes...

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