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Visa pour l’image: Afghanistan through 40 years of photos by Eric Bouvet


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Before the presentation of the Golden Visa, the most important reward of the Visa pour l’Image festival, which will be awarded on Saturday evening, France 24 met with Éric Bouvet, French reference in photojournalism, whose work resonates strangely with the news.

At the Visa pour l’image Festival in Perpignan, the biggest photojournalism festival, Éric Bouvet, winner of numerous awards, presents a retrospective of his 40 years of work in the field, where he found himself at the forefront.

The work of the French photojournalist resonates strangely with current events, in particular his photos of Afghanistan. Witness to the events that shook the country from the Soviet invasion to the American war, including the regime of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, his photographs show the reality of the Taliban regime.

A “tragic flashback”

“Afghanistan is the country I have been to the most, I have been there 13 or 14 times when the country was in conflict.” explains Éric Bouvet, who was there when the Soviets left in the late 1980s. “What people don’t know is that Kabul was intact when the Soviets left in 1989 and then it was different. ethnic groups who killed each other to take power as often after the departure of an invader. “

“This return of the Taliban frightens me enormously because I have met them a little,” explains Éric Bouvet. “I knew them and even before, since these Taliban today are the Pashtuns with whom I went in the 80s to fight against the Russians.”

The journalist did not imagine such a strong comeback of the Taliban. “It’s tragic once again because it’s confinement, a lack of freedom, a step back. Frankly I thought they were over,” adds the photojournalist. “The secret services of the whole world are wrong”

The shocking images of photojournalism

For 33 years, the Visa pour l’Image Festival in Perpignan has been showing the news through the eyes of the world’s greatest photojournalists. This year, around twenty exhibitions are covering current events from all continents.

Among the countries discussed, Burma where the guns also spoke after the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi. The wave of protests that followed were bloodily suppressed by the military junta. The country has closed in and the photographer behind the exhibition “The Spring Revolution in Burma”, which must remain anonymous for his safety, was unable to travel to Perpignan.

The Visa d’Or prize, the most important award of the photojournalism festival, will be awarded on Saturday evening.


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