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Home FR Photojournalist Marie-Laure de Decker has died

Photojournalist Marie-Laure de Decker has died


She grew to become a journalist through the Vietnam Battle, and traveled the size and breadth of the African continent, from Chad to South Africa. She was additionally concerned with vogue and cinema. She died on July 15 on the age of 75.

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Tall and skinny, with brief hair, a smoker’s voice and a powerful character, Marie-Laure de Decker did not go unnoticed on the planet of photojournalism. However what set her aside was her instinctive approach of forging her personal path, with out relying on an editorial crew or a development. She went off on her personal to the Vietnam Battle in 1970, photographed the hostage Françoise Claustre in Chad and lived in Chile and South Africa throughout apartheid earlier than creating a ardour for the Wodaabe, a nomadic tribe of the Fula. She died on July 15 on the age of 75 in a Toulouse hospital.

Born in Algeria in 1947, Decker remembered above all her very younger years spent in a village in Côte d’Ivoire, the place her father labored in a gold mine. She found, together with the “enchanted Africa” that without end charmed her, “the unbelievable stupidity of colonization, the theft that the Whites imposed on Africa,” as she advised Le Monde in 2021.

Again in France and despatched to boarding faculty, the lanky younger lady began as a mannequin, which she hated, earlier than choosing images. Her first digicam was given to her by cartoonist Roland Topor, her accomplice on the time. She began by photographing the outdated artists she admired: Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Hans Bellmer… Her photographs didn’t create a lot curiosity.

As she dreamed of working for the Gamma company, created by Gilles Caron, she determined to go away for Vietnam on the age of 23, together with her Leica. Her rudimentary English did not cease her from shortly signing photographs for Newsweek journal. “You lose the battle” is what the younger photographer advised the generals she met, after seeing GIs scared to loss of life and ravaged by heroin. Quickly, greater than the combating and bombing within the jungle, it was the Vietnamese she beloved to {photograph}. She took photographs of life in villages, bars, and youngsters.

The ordeal of the hostage Françoise Claustre

Again in Paris after two years in Vietnam, she finally joined the Gamma company, although not with out problem. On the time she was the one lady on this male-dominated, macho surroundings. “One photographer, Henri Bureau, requested me if I might come to do the housekeeping,” she recalled. Initially despatched to minor assignments, her breakthrough got here when Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then Minister of Finance, selected her for his portraits. Regardless of their divergent political beliefs, they developed an in depth relationship. She didn’t hesitate to make use of it to acquire a residence allow for her buddy Eldridge Cleaver, the chief of the Black Panthers.

She took a well-known photograph of Giscard d’Estaing, through which he’s seen on tv as he is studying that he gained the 1974 presidential election. But it surely was above all her photographs of the hostage Françoise Claustre (1937-2006), held by Tubu rebels led by Hissène Habré in Chad that made her a family identify. In 1975, Decker and Raymond Depardon made two successive journeys to satisfy the archaeologist. Decker was the photographer, Depardon was the cameraman. Their photographs revealed the researcher’s ordeal to the general public and prompted France to relaunch negotiations for her launch.

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