The Conviviality Connection by Olivier Culmann

Pernod Ricard's 12th Carte Blanche is an artistic journey that shows hospitality as a form of resistance. 

This photographic campaign is a tribute to cafes, to people, to local communities and to hospitality. 

Olivier Culmann’s response to Pernod Ricard’s photography Carte Blanche was to spend four weeks travelling through France “to capture moments of chemistry between light, landscape, location and local people who breathe life into cafés every day”.

The resulting pictures pay tribute to the stories of ten people who have all been courageous enough to create an authentic spirit of warmth and hospitality in the heart of their local communities despite the pandemic. Olivier Culmann took over a thousand photographs and captured a hundred different faces for this project.

Portrait of photographer Olivier Culmann with grey background

Olivier Culmann

Olivier Culmann has been working as a photographer since 1992, and has been a member of the Tendance Floue collective since 1996. Recurrent questions of freedom and conditioning run through his work.

Standing at the intersection between the absurd and the derisive, his photographs painstakingly analyse daily life and the way we relate to images. Relentlessly returning to his obsessions—and our own—, he blows us away with his humour and narrative skill.

Ten people in matching pink tops stand apart in a lined formation along stairs

The Conviviality Connection, Carte Blanche 2021, Rennes, France

Building Ties

"Like a team, I wanted to bring together all the people who participated in the conversion or creation of these places of conviviality: managers, customers, employees, wholesalers, Pernod Ricard staff and even the mayor in some cases. Together, they portray the ecosystem and cohesion of those who have defied the pandemic,” 

These snapshots provide a perfect illustration of the ‘Conviviality Connection.’ They showcase the collective energy displayed by each of the stakeholders and their ability to stay together despite the circumstances and continue to make their establishment a place of conviviality that is essential for maintaining social ties

Large building with outdoor terrasse and awning

The Dubliners, Strasbourg, France

Large stone building on quiet street corner in a French village

La Calmagne, Baigneux-les-Juifs, France

O'bout du Pont, Fercé-sur-Sarthe, France

Les Bricoles, Rennes, France

Le Comptoir d'Endoume, Marseille, France

La Belle Quille, Paris, France

Le Montgesty, Montgesty, France

Le Trail Café, Seninghem, France

Les Quatre Petits Cochons, Toulouse, France

Comme a la Maison, Lyon, France

Promoting solidarity

“You would often see photographs hanging on the walls of the cafés, showing the owner standing proudly in front of the façade. They stand as a testament to the past.”

Behind these establishments that remained empty for many long months, there is always a human face. We have and continue to mobilise our resources to support this sector hit hard by the crisis and these café managers who have long gone without income. This campaign is a tribute to these people. 

A montage of people photographed in different coloured photobooths

Individuals brought together

“As a popular item rooted in our daily lives, the photo booth evokes fond memories for everyone. In this series, the featured individuals mingle together in a mosaic to create a lively and joyful scene.”

Representatives of conviviality, these are the faces that have participated in all these projects to reintroduce conviviality during the pandemic. This multifaceted form of conviviality serves to breathe a new vitality into our small villages. Seen together, they symbolise the strong bond and lasting relationship that unites us with our stakeholders. 

Four postcards of French city landscapes

Protecting Terroir

“My Carte Blanche honours people, as well as places. To reflect the café environment, I chose the postcard aesthetic, since this is a common item that we have all sent or received at least once in our lives.”

Whether rural or urban, these different landscapes remind us that conviviality is always present and in all places throughout our regions and cities. Whether at a café restaurant overlooking the sea at noon, or surrounded by meadows at sunset, the joy of being together can be found everywhere.

Supporting places of conviviality throughout France

The 1000 Cafés programme aims to help revitalise municipalities with fewer than 3,500 inhabitants by reopening local shops in the form of full-service cafes where there are longer any in operation, or by giving a boost to the few remaining businesses. Creating social ties and reviving rural communities are at the heart of the initiative.

Find out more about 1000 Cafés

Pernod Ricard and Art 

What began 45 years ago as an artistic commission for the front cover of the annual report, is now a yearly celebration of contemporary art told through the power and diversity of Pernod Ricard’s people.

Since 2010, Pernod Ricard has chosen contemporary photography for its annual artistic Carte Blanche programme. The extensive Carte Blanche collection now includes the work of twelve major international photographers. 

Discover the FY21 Annual Report 
Find out more about Our Artistic Legacy