Génération Sipa : Pierre Villard
Arrestation de Nathalie Ménigon, membre du groupe terroriste Action Directe, rue Pergolèse à Paris. France, 14 septembre 1980 © Pierre Villard
September 14, 1980
I had joined Sipa the year before. I photographed stars and royalty, like Caroline and Stephanie of Monaco, at a time when photographers talked to the people they followed as equals. On that day, in an alley off the Avenue Foch in Paris, my colleagues and I were waiting for Christina ONassis. Suddenly, we hear gunshots. A few guys and a girl are caught in a shootout. Total confusion. The bullets don’t seem real at first, but the car they turn into swiss cheese convinces me they mean business. Everyone dives into the bushes. But I’m 23 years old and tell myself, that’s not why I took this job. I venture out and find myself in the middle of the firefight. I grab my camera and a 105mm lens out of the trunk of my car start taking photos. Cops or robbers? They surround the girl. One of them points his weapon at me: “Give me the film or I’ll shoot you.” They throw themselves on me and put me in handcuffs, trying to push me into the courtyard of a building. They want the film. I cry out like a veal. “Let that idiot go,” one of them says. I keep taking pictures. When I get back to the agency, I learn that I witnessed the arrest of the terrorist Nathalie Ménigon by Jean-Pierre Pochon, the future head of the French security and intelligence.
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