Generation Sipa :
Après trois ans de captivité, Marcel Carton, Jean-Paul Kauffmann et Marcel Fontaine, dans le Falcon 50 qui les ramènera à Paris le lendemain. France, 4 Mai 1988 © Roger Auque
My Lebanese Years
1976. I’m 20 years old and hitchhiking following a girl in Lebanon. A Christian family involved in the conflict is putting me up. I find myself in the middle of a war without a clue. I meet journalists and photographers. I want to do what they do. And soon I hand in my very first report to the magazine VSD.
1982. The siege of Beirut, the Israeli intervention against the PLO, followed by massacres in Sabra and Shatila in September. At the end of the year, I pick up a camera. I want to go back to Lebanon , I went to see Göksin. He turns to his assistant: “Give him another camera, 3000 francs, a roll of film and an airplane ticket.” Here I am!
1983. April 18. I’m interviewing Paul-Marc Henry, the French ambassador to Lebanon, when we learn that an embassy was attacked. “I think it’s mine,” he says. We start running, surrounded by bodyguards. It’s the American embassy: 63 dead, including eight members of the CIA. I’m the first photographer on the scene. I send the images to Göksin and he congratulates me. Then it’s war in the Chouf. We’re like wild dogs; we’ll do anything for a scoop. On October 23, I cover the Beirut Barracks Bombings for Time.
1985. Hijacking of TWA Flight 847. Journalists are evacuated from the airport. I’m with the photographer Patrick Baz, whose father was the Air France station manager. We hide out in his office, 100 meters from the aircraft. We photograph the hijackers doing gymnastics in the cabin.
1987. I get kidnapped by Hezbollah and remain their prisoner for eleven month. When I’m released, I take a picture of myself shaving.
Read the full text of this article on the French version of Le Journal.
40 ans de photojournalisme - Génération Sipa
Michel Setboun and Sylvie Dauvillier
Layout: Grégory Bricout
© 2012, Éditions de La Martinière
239 pages – 39 euros