The Sténopé association
The Sténopé association was officially founded in March 2000, on the initiative of a group of photography enthusiasts, professional photographers, journalists or simple amateurs, driven by their desire to initiate, promote or help create photography-related events for a public audience that was not necessarily accustomed to such work. To offer them also the opportunity to get a better idea of photographic art in the multiplicity of its approaches and expressions.
The festival: Hence, in autumn of that same year 2000, the Nicéphore + festival began.
An ambitious event for the newly created association behind it, whose deliberate goal was to provide the opportunity to discover major exhibitions and meet renowned photographers within the region, developing multiple aspects of a pre-defined theme that would evolve with each edition of the festival. This resulted in Clermont-Ferrand hosting some of the leading names from all fields of all photography: traditional, resolutely contemporary, plastic arts, social or journalism.
Creating or recreating the event: Extending beyond this flagship event, whose objective was to have international reach and that became a biennale in 2008, Sténopé’s ambition was also to take photographic images wherever places and materials to express them could be found.
This led to the association partnering several events such as the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, Women’s week events, theatrical productions and musical concerts such as the Jazz en Tête festival or the Treignac (Corrèze) jazz festival.
It has also helped to mark important dates with photographs, such as the thirtieth anniversary of the Revolution of the Carnations working with the Braga Photographic Museum; that of May 68, with the Magnum agency or as in 2009, when we proposed a retrospective on the exile of the Spanish republicans, “La Retirada” in partnership with the Auvergne Regional Centre for Pedagogical Resources, the Hispanic Cinema week, the publisher Michel Husson, the city of Perpignan and the Valls d’Aneu Eco-Museum.
The association also initiated an artists’ residency programme, that has been taken over and carried on by the City of Clermont-Ferrand, aimed at forming an original photographic memory of the city, through the photos of its neighbourhoods and inhabitants.
Lastly, every two years, alternating with the biennale, the association proposes "Les Sténopédies" a photographic event reserved for both professional and amateur photographers from the region and further afield, as well the partnerships we have formed with many local and regional institutions that we use to regularly exhibit the work of many other photographers.