This book is not a tribute to the photographer Rémi Ochlik, killed at age 28 in Homs, Syria on February 22nd 2012.
This book is a continuation of his work. Remi wanted to make this book, a chronicle of the Arab Revolution that he witnessed. But he did not have the time.
Remi had thirteen months for his reporting: from January 2011 starting on Avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia, until February 22nd, the day of ground offensive by the troops of President Bashar al-Assad on the Syrian city of Homs. In just a few months, from the first signs of the Tunisian uprising to the larger movement in four other parts of the Arab world that saw thousands of oppressed people taking to the streets and fighting for their freedom, Rémi managed to photograph and immortalize this movement and the legitimate anger of people suffocated by years of dictatorships.
"Photography is an attitude, a way of being, a way of life" said Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Remi was born curious. With a father who was a passionate amateur photographer Remi had a profound desire to discover other human beings and to travel the world. His path was set: he would be a photojournalist. His goal: to show us through his work a more complex world which does not always make sense.
In Haiti, in 2004, during the fall of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, he wrote:
"We think of this strange duality that creates war. We live through terrifying moments, during which we would trade our loved ones in exchange for a safe escape from the mess, and yet here we are, barely out of danger, with only one desire, one obsession: to go back again and again, to feel the fear again and the powerful adrenaline rush. War is worse than drugs. For a moment it is a bad-trip, the ultimate nightmare, but the next moment, once the danger has passed, one is dying to go back to take pictures risking one’s life. There is a kind of incomprehensible force that pushes us to always go back and bear witness ... "
The one, who has been called "the promising talent of photojournalism", grew up faster than expected, and even if he will not come back and continue his work in the future on conflict zones which fascinated him so much, he leaves us with an amazing body of work - a particularly mature look at the recent history of the Arab Revolutions.
This book will assemble his best photographs. Photographs he captured always close to the people who lived the war, close to the men - rebels or insurgent fighters,Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Syrians.
Rémi Ochlik wanted to be a witness, here is what he saw.