Visa pour l'Image Preview: Festival of the Best Photojournalism Around the World

Local people help unload a helicopter, the first aid to reach the remote community after Typhoon Haiyan, Mahagnau village, Leyte, Philippines.© Sean Sutton / MAG / Panos Pictures
Christians looting a Muslim shop in the “Combattants” district of Bangui, Central African Republic.© Pierre Terdjman
A grieving relative of Sept-Abel Sangomalet, a 20-year-old Christian killed by Muslims who entered the family home and stabbed him in his sleep, Central African Republic.© William Daniels / Panos Pictures
Sergeant Jennifer Norris was 21 when she joined the US Air Force, and was drugged and raped by her recruiter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Nancy Parrish, President of the association “Protect Our Defenders,” is seen comforting her after she testified at the hearing of the US House Committee on Armed Services on Capitol Hill.© Mary F. Calvert / Zuma Press
A religious procession in Tolosa, island of Leyte, eastern Philippines, 10 days after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the area. According to United Nations estimates, 13 million people were affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, and 1.9 million lost their homes.© Philippe Lopez / Agence France-Presse
Baidoa, Somalia, 1992. The shadow cast by US Marines entering the town of Baidoa, hit by famine and held by bandits.© Yunghi Kim
After the clashes on February 19, 2014, riot police remained on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Kiev, Ukaine.© Maxim Dondyuk
Standoff between pro-European activists and police on Hrushevskoho Street, Kiev, Ukraine, January 22, 2014.© Guillaume Herbaut / Institute
A soldier loyal to the government shouting a battle cry after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key frontline bridge, Monrovia, Liberia, July 23, 2003. Clashes continued in Monrovia, despite a call for a cease-fire by the leaders of the LURD rebel group.© Chris Hondros / Getty Images
March 30, 2012, the day before the National Championships of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps in Louisville, Kentucky. Cadet William Wiedenbaum, commander of the Patriot Guard, shooting a toy gun at his hotel roommates.© Adrian Fussell
In one of the main city dumps in Ulan Bator, Mongolia people are searching for scraps of plastic to sell to Chinese recycling firms. Waste management is a critical health problem for the local community, but to date nothing has been done to improve conditions in the city.© Olivier Laban-Mattei / The Mongolian Project / MYOP
Vista Hermosa (Beautiful View) prison, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, March 2013. A routine check by members of the Carro, an armed group of inmates who guard the prison. Wilmer Brizuela (Wilmito, the Pran) is the unchallenged leader and maintains that his management of the prison, with nearly 2000 inmates, is more humane than the official system of the Venezuelan prison authorities, who have been widely criticized by human rights groups. The security tower in the background, keeping watch for any escapees, is manned by a member of the military.© Sebastián Liste / NOOR for TIME
A celebration inside the prison while family members are visiting. Wilmito and his gang took control of the prison by force, and the inmates are now allowed two family visits a week. In September 2008, family overnights were instituted as part of a prison humanization plan.© Sebastián Liste / NOOR for TIME
A wounded man in the community hospital, Central African Republic.© Pierre Terdjman
After the Paris Peace Accords signed on January 27, 1973, the greatest exchange of prisoners in the Vietnam War took place in the Spring of 1973, near Thach Han River (Quang Tri province). Here the North Vietnamese prisoners released by the South Vietnamese are running towards their comrades in arms. South Vietnamese flags can be seen flying in the background.© Chu Chi Thành

Centrafrique

Men claiming to be anti-Balaka fighters, opposed to the Seleka, are seen posing with their weapons in the main street of Njoh, Central African Republic, September 24, 2013.© Michaël Zumstein / Agence VU for Le Monde
Boys studying in a makeshift school in the village of Budyali. Nengarhar Province, Afghanistan, March 19, 2013.© Anja Niedringhaus / AP
A Libyan rebel urging people to leave as shells fired by Gadhafi's forces landed on the front outside Bin Jawaad, 150 km east of Sirte. Central Libya, March 29, 2011.© Anja Niedringhaus / AP

AP I IRQ DETAINEE ABUSE

Abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, Baghdad, Iraq, November 4, 2003. Many of the photos were taken by Jeremy Sivits, a member of the U.S. military at the time.© AP

In a few days, thousands of photographers, editors and enthusiasts will descend on the picturesque city of Perpignan in the south of France for the 26th annual Visa pour l'Image, one of the world's largest and longest running festivals dedicated to showcasing outstanding international photojournalism.

For two weeks, over 25 exhibitions will be open to the public featuring the work of photographers William Daniels, winner of the ICRC Humanitarian Visa d'or Award 2014, Mary F. Calvert, winner of the CANON Female Photojournalist Award 2013, Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed on the job in Afghanistan this year, Chu Chi Thành and other Vietnamese soldier/photographers embedded in the communist north during the Vietnam War, and many more. After daily conferences, meetings and symposia, the first week of the festival will also feature nightly outdoor projections of work covering the biggest news stories of the year from the Philippines and Central African Republic to Syria and Ukraine.

"Firstly, we want to show emerging talent," Jean-François Leroy, founder and curator of the event, a former photojournalist himself, told TIME on the occasion of the festival's quarter-century anniversary. "Many great photographers, such as Lise Sarfati, Paolo Pellegrin, Laurent Van der Stockt, Robin Hammond, Sebastian Liste… had their very first shows in Perpignan. Secondly, we aim to confirm well-known photographers, such a Nick Nichols or Pascale Maitre. And thirdly, we want to 'rediscover' the greats."

© Mazen Saggar

Of the nearly 4000 project submissions Leroy reviews in the process of organizing the event, only a handful make the cut, bearing an ineffable lapel-grabbing quality, like the images in the gallery above.

“When you have a diamond in front of you,” he says, “you can see it from the first photograph. It’s a feeling. I don’t know how to express it.”