Sponsors, Olivier Royant
Olivier Royant © Yan Morvan
At Visa, people come from different horizons to speak one universal language: pictures. Faithful to its beginnings, Paris Match is not a magazine that claims “Life is marvelous”. We continue to show life as it is. Unremittingly in the field, our reporters and photographers look for truth without concession. This unfailing commitment brings us to publish strong, emblematic moments that will remain engraved in our collective memories. Our era has built commentary into a religion. It teaches us that we must at all times have an opinion about everything, instantly sharing it with the world. “Twitter”, 140 letters from within a courtroom in New York is a journalistic feat! In this vertiginous acceleration of news where we talk endlessly about everything, we have a tendency to forget about those people who are out on the front lines bringing home information. Nevertheless, this truth from the field and its facts are the basis for the media chain that stretches from the event to the consumer. The photographer remains the first indispensable link. His is our eye in the field and he has his own view point. It is his vision that enlightens our own and allows for immersion. At Visa, we want to defend photojournalism. With this passion that is essential to the profession where danger often hides behind the facts. As David Carr of the New York Times explains, “We have yet to invent the journalistic drone”. “Missiles can be radio controlled from afar and flying spy planes can be directed with a joystick, but journalists continue to go see for themselves where the bombs have landed”. No machine can accomplish that while at the same time capturing a moment of humanity. Put a name or a face on a story. Take for instance the case of Yuko Sugimoto. The picture of this young 28-year-old woman looking for a trace of her son Raito in the ruins of her tsunami stricken home has become iconic of the tragedy. It was published on the covers of 55 magazines worldwide, including Paris Match. Nevertheless, it took a major journalistic investigation to find this anonymous heroine of the tsunami and hear Yuko’s true story. Worldwide information has taken wings with Facebook, Twitter, and smartphone videos. It defies dictators and censors. Technology is there to help us add a new dimension to our stories. Surprisingly, the more television and YouTube bombard our sensibilities with an endless flow of videos, the more our brain exhibits the need for still photos. From movement, pictures capture eternity. From events, they make history. Emotion is ultimately the last place where human beings don’t lie. They are the moments of eternity and truth that we feel throughout the Visa exhibitions.
Olivier Royant, Editor in Chief of Paris Match