Photo credit (banner): David Paquin / SNCF Gares & Connexions

This summer, France’s biggest photo show is in our stations

We’ve partnered with festivals and museums across France to create stunning exhibits in select stations all summer long—in Paris, Avignon, Nantes, Rennes, Vichy, Sète and more. Here’s a preview.

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5-minute read

For more than a decade, SNCF Gares & Connexions—the SNCF Réseau subsidiary that manages and operates our 3,000 stations throughout France—has supported summer photography festivals of all sizes.

Though many cultural events have been cancelled amid the Covid-19 crisis, we’ve given our partners a place in the spotlight, with oversized photo displays created especially for our stations.

Here’s some of what you might see when you travel with us this summer.

Over 100 free exhibitions are held in our stations every year.

Hexagon, with Rencontres d’Arles

From 25 June through 1 September, our Avignon-TGV and Paris-Lyon stations will host Hexagon from Les Rencontres d’Arles, a prestigious photography festival that was cancelled this year. This will be the event’s only exhibition in 2020.

The show spotlights the work of Éric Bouvet and Yan Morvan, who spent two years meeting and photographing men and women all across France. Their odyssey documents French life from the political upheaval of the 2017 presidential campaign through the trauma of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about Rencontres d’Arles

We worked together to choose this striking project, which is especially resonant in these unprecedented times. The virus has hit our country hard, and I’m proud to honour the people who fought on the front lines by bringing their portraits into the public eye.

Marlène Dolveck, CEO, SNCF Gares & Connexions

La Gacilly Photography Festival

Visit our Nantes, Vannes, Rennes and Paris Montparnasse stations to see breath-taking images of Planet Earth created by leading photographers.

And this year the programme for the La Gacilly Photography Festival—set in the charming Breton village of the same name—includes works by Latin American artists as well as environmentalist photography. The outdoor event runs from 1 July through 31 October.

Learn more about La Gacilly

Portrait(s) Festival, Vichy

This photo festival celebrates portraits of every kind, inviting us to look the world in the eye as we engage with the human face in all its diversity. The eighth edition of Portrait(s) runs from 17 July to 25 October, and this year’s festival features no fewer than 12 exhibitions, on view simultaneously in a city-centre gallery and two outdoor locations.

Selections from Portrait(s) 2020 are on view in our Paris-Bercy and Vichy stations, showcasing an eclectic mix of works by well-known photographers and young newcomers.

Learn more about Portrait(s)

ImageSingulières, Sète

ImageSingulières is a flagship event for documentary photography, and SNCF has been a partner to the festival since its creation in 2009. Though it was cancelled due to the pandemic, all of its exhibitions have been rescheduled to appear throughout the year.

In cooperation with the non-profit CéTàVOIR, our Sète station will display a selection of photographs by Gaston Paris, Alain Adler, Ute Mahler, Robin Friend, Homer Sykes and Clémentine Schneidermann, the city’s 2020 photographer in residence.

Learn more about ImageSingulières

Promenades Photographiques, Vendôme

Since 2005, this festival has combined photography with the cultural riches of its home city. Its 16th edition, running from 4 July to 20 September, features intimist and documentary photographs by 22 artists from Asia and other regions of the world.

Browse the works on view in our Vendôme-Villiers-sur-Loire station to visit the slums of Bangkok, stroll the island of Sumatra, and view the snowy slopes of Hokkaido.

Learn more about Promenades Photographiques

Beyond photography

Our support for the arts doesn’t stop with photography. We’ve forged partnerships with many cultural institutions, and our 2020 calendar includes a wide range of in-station exhibitions:

  • Space: Invitation to a voyage, hosted by Paris Austerlitz station in partnership with CNES, the French space agency
  • New day, new colour, presented by our Rouen, Le Havre, Deauville, Caen, Cherbourg and Paris Saint-Lazare stations in cooperation with the Normandy Impressionist Festival
  • the cast of an Allosaurus from the collection of the Musée des Confluences, on display in Lyon Saint-Exupéry station
  • in our Bordeaux Saint-Jean station, an installation based on Playground, an exhibition exploring sneaker design from the city’s Museum of Decorative Arts and Design