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3 years ago

Visa pour l'Image – Perpignan

Visa pour l'Image – Perpignan

20 th International

20 th International Festival of PhotojournalismVisa pour l’Image – PerpignanAre finances easier these days?My salary is published: I earn 4 200 euros a month, which is not a huge amount; but I’mthe happiest person in the world because I’m free and am doing what I want to do. Thatsort of freedom is invaluable. And there’s another thing which is very important for me:the photographers know what I earn and can’t suspect me of exploiting them, which is areal guarantee of independence, as I see it.Is there anything in your background (family or environment) that explainsyour love of photography, and the commitment and enthusiasm seen withVisa Pour l’Image ?My father was in finance and worked at the stock exchange. My mother’s elder sister wasthe only journalist in the family. I recently found an old exercise book I had when I was atschool, aged about five or six, with my answer to the question of what I wanted to do when Igrew up: “Surgeon or journalist”. I wasn’t interested in photography then; that came later.When I was about 11 or 12, my aunt, who was editor of La Vie Catholique, helped mediscover the joys of a photo lab. Every Thursday afternoon, I would go off with thephotographer whose name was – wait for it! – Lucien Scoupe [pronounced “scoop”]! Hetaught me everything. One day he took me on a job to cover an event for disabled childrenat the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium. He gave me a huge Nikon F with a motor drive thatweighed 12 kilos, and said “Now, take some photos for me.” That’s how I had my first shotpublished with the photo credit “© Jean-François Leroy”. I was over the moon. I was 12years old and thought it was just fantastic.Were you also interested in the printed press, radio and TV, or was it justphotography?Photography has always held pride of place. As a kid I was bowled over by the photos ofLarry Burrows and David Douglas Duncan. Duncan’s book on the Korean war made a realimpression on me. You can tear out a photo, stick it on the wall or in your wallet, and it hasits own life. Twenty years ago, people said that video would kill off photography, but I don’tknow any parents without photos of their children in their wallets, and I haven’t seen any yetwho wander around with video recorders to show videos of their toddlers taking their firststeps. We were also told that radio would spell the death of books and the printed press,but it didn’t. And television hasn’t killed off radio, and the Internet won’t mean the end ofTV. There are more and more media, but they don’t kill one another off.What were the seminal encounters and friendships? You’ve mentionedRoger Thérond as a faithful companion of Visa Pour l’Image from the veryearliest days.I always say that, aside from my own father, I have had two “spiritual fathers”: GöksinSipahioglu, the first person to give me a chance, and Roger Thérond. My dreams as a“beginner” have come true. When I was twenty, I dreamt of working with Roger Thérond,just as I dreamt of meeting Michael Rand, Rolf Gillhausen, Arnold Drapkin and all thosenames, so many of whom are no longer with us. These are the people who really shapedme. I often say that at Visa pour l’Image we are the last dinosaurs. If I were a 20-year-oldphotographer today, who would I dream of meeting? No one. There are no more all-timegreats who had such authority, talent and generosity. Those times are past, and it’s a realshame.2e Bureau – Sylvie Grumbach18 rue Portefoin – 75003 PARIStél. +33 (0)1 42 33 93 18 / mail@2e-bureau.compage 3

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