‘Je Suis Paris’ by Valery Hache

By on November 16, 2015

valery_hache_portraitName: Valéry Hache
Hometown: Rennes
Resides: Nice
Profession: Photojournalist at AFP
Hobbies: Photography exhibitions, the sea, photography books and films
Hipstographer since: 2013
Year of Birth: 1962
Favorite Combo:  John S  +  BlacKeys SuperGrain 
Favorite Lens:  John S 
Favorite Film:  BlacKeys SuperGrain 
Favorite Flash: None

"My wife and I were in Paris, for the Paris Photo salon. It was Friday night and we were having dinner with a few journalist friends, from AFP and RFI. About 21h30, we were warned that there was gunfire – no further details were offered – and we left the restaurant within the next 5 minutes. On our way back to the hotel, we came across dozens of fire engines, with their sirens wailing, but we were still not aware of the gravity of the situation. When we got back to the hotel, I switched on the TV and the gunfire had changed to attacks… The next morning, my photojournalist’s instinct drove me outdoors; I needed to see the various sites. I arrived early, so many of the victims’ personal effects were still lying there, strewn about on the blood soaked sidewalks. The people at the scene looked worn-out and there was an eerie silence. Here and there, you could see that people were starting to bring flowers and light candles. I took pictures alongside my fellow journalists who had been working all night. The Bataclan site was completely closed off, so I wandered along the perimeters. Around noon, I came across this scene of a bike pulling a piano along. I managed to quickly take 3 pictures before leaving these emotionally draining places. I posted this picture on social media and it immediately got 40.000 likes on Facebook, and 5000 tweets on my Twitter account. I’d like to leave the un-cropped original here: the pianist was about to play "Imagine" by John Lennon, in front of the Bataclan. After that horrible day, I went to several "symbolic" sites, like the Eiffel Tower, in order to create some distance from this horrific tragedy, but mainly, to defy fear."
Valery Hache



This post is also available in: French

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