(1983 - 2012)
Remi Ochlik au Scoop Grand Lille 2011 © Geneviève Delalot
The journalists Rémi Ochlik of IP3 Press, and Marie Colvin of The Sunday Times, were killed in the line of duty the night of February 22, 2012, in the Baba Amro neighborhood in the Syrian city of Homs. Several others were wounded or killed in the attack on the the press center.
Rémi Ochlik was not yet thirty years old.
I met Rémi following the murder of photographer Lucas Dolega by the Tunisian police. At the time, I was particularly interested in photojournalists of the “golden age” of agencies like Gamma, Sygma and Sipa. I realized that I was witnessing a new generation of photographers, which I dubbed, in an article for La Lettre de la Photographie, “The Dolega Generation.” Rémi struck me as one of the most promising, and I invited him to my house for a long interview. I was captivated by his clear vision, his modesty and of course his talent.
Rémi and I had a friend in common, Mark Grosset, his journalism professor. Mark had encouraged Rémi, sending him to the Wostok agency, where he covered events in Paris before heading to Haiti.
Jean-Francois Leroy immediately projected Rémi’s photos at the Visa pour l’Image festival. “It’s euphoric. I feel like every magazine is going to start calling me for assignments,” Rémi told me before breaking out in laughter. Nothing came of it, however, and he left for the Congo.
In 2006, with a few friends, he founded IP3 Press, covering the 2007 French presidential elections. When the recession hit in 2008, it was difficult for photojournalists. It was only when the earthquake struck Haiti that Rémi was published again.
His coverage of fighting in Libya earned him superb double-page spreads in Paris Match and a World Press Photo award. Rémi went to Libya for Paris Match, but they judged the situation too dangerous and called him back, so he returned to Libya on behalf of his agency.
That December, at the Scoop Grand Lille, the jury was unanimous: the three reports submitted by Rémi Ochlik, “The Fall of Tripoli,” “Egypt Tahrir Square” and “The Jasmine Revolution” were awarded the Grand Prix Jean-Louis Calderon.
To say that we miss Rémi is not enough. His loss is tragic not only for his girlfriend, his parents and his family. It was a loss for French photojournalism.
February 23rd, 2012