The International Federation of Photographic Art develops its activity world-wide since over 50 years
The Congresses of FIAP take place since the foundation of FIAP at a regular biennial rhythm (except for one occasion due to the withdrawal at the last minute re the 15th Congress), as we can observe in the account of the Congresses, which also mentions the three extraordinary Congresses that have been inserted and that have taken place in 1967 in Toronto (Canada), in 1975 in Padova (Italy) and in 1979 in Canberra (Australia). If it is necessary to recall that the extraordinary Congress of Padova was that of the 25th anniversary of FIAP, it must be specified that the 24th ordinary Congress of FIAP that took place in 1997 in Shenzhen (China), is the first to be held outside of Europe, which gives it a very significant value. To return in 1999 to Switzerland, the country that has hosted the constitutive Congress and that has assumed during 26 years the General Secretariat is so very normal. If one comes to speak about service accomplishments, it is necessary indeed to add that Belgium has during 39 years presented either the president or the secretary general of FIAP and that it was Germany that since 1952 provides, without interruption, the treasurer of FIAP. With three organizations of Congresses, Germany, Spain and Switzerland hold the record.

Girl in spring - Lee Wellington (USA) 1950

Nu - Jean-Daniel Lemoine (France) 1994
Each decade has known vain attempts to modify the official denomination of the International Federation of Photographic Art; it is necessary to congratulate for it those responsible persons and the congressists, because this is not an essential preoccupation of FIAP. Other problems are indeed of greater significance; many national federations having chosen recently for a change of denomination have had to discover that this change of name alone did not automatically provide new vitality.

The annual contribution for the ordinary members has sometimes been adjusted to the cost of living. I will not quote all increases, but I will mention some changes. It was 10 US dollars in 1950 which went to 20 dollars in 1958 and to 30 dollars in 1966. Two successive rises in 1973 and 1974, partly due to fluctuations of the dollar, have obliged us to increase the annual contribution to 100 dollars; at that time this increase was also motivated by a contribution towards the expenses of the 25th anniversary Congress (extraordinary Congress) that took place in Padova (Italy) in 1975. A little later, we went over from the dollar to the DM to introduce in 1978 an annual contribution of 300 DM that was increased to 400 DM in 1984. Today the base contribution is still 400 DM, but it is not uniform. To avoid a general increase of the contribution, the Congress of 1995 in Andorra approved a scale of contribution of four levels: 800 DM, 600 DM, 400 DM and 200 DM. This four-level classification was well received and has been applied since 1996; it proves to be more equitable with regard to developing countries and small countries. Over many years, countries in difficulties with payments have been sustained generously by sponsorships and by a fund of endorsement operative from 1993 to 1997. Still today, some well-off countries agree to sponsor societies which have difficulties with payments, a very estimable initiative. From 1999 onwards there will be a new currency: the EURO; FIAP will adapt accordingly.

The increase of the contribution is going together with the growth of the number of ordinary members. At the time of the constitutive Congress in 1950, we have quoted 17 affiliated nations; five years later, this number was already doubled. Midway through its existence, FIAP counts some sixty members. A boom of affiliations, due especially to political changes in East Europe, produced in 1993 eleven new affiliations. The years 1995 with four affiliations and 1997 with seven affiliations bring the number of ordinary members to 80 and prove that the interest in FIAP is still growing. It is for neutrality purposes that the Directory Board has decided in 1996 to refer solely to the statutes of FIAP concerning new applications for ordinary members.

As the statutes of FIAP evoke absolute political neutrality of FIAP, it is not necessary to require the recognition by U.N.O. or some other international organization to proceed with the affiliation of a new ordinary member. As the statutes state, on the other hand that "FIAP is composed of the national federations of various countries" and that "only these national organizations are the ordinary members of FIAP", FIAP can not admit as an ordinary member an organization like F.A.P.A. (Federation of Asian Photographic Art), but it likes to maintain relationships with such organizations, as proved by the good contact with F.A.P.A. At the moment, the Nature Commission of FIAP is for example in contact with P.S.A. (Photographic Society of America) to agree on a common definition of Nature Photography. Note by the way that FIAP accepts clubs as "individual members" in countries where no federation or affiliated national association exists as an ordinary member of FIAP. These individual members pay the half of the base contribution; they are not admitted to participate in FIAP Biennials and are not allowed to vote at the Congress.

Como la musica - Daniel Acita (Argentina) 1992