Libération & The Celebration of Photography
In what must be one of the greater shows of respect and support for photography that I’ve ever seen, editors of Libération, the French newspaper founded in 1973 by Jean Paul Sartre and Serge July in the wake of strikes and protests across France in May 1968, published the November 14 edition without a single photograph.
The paper isn’t as militant-left as it was in the beginning, subscribing to a more Social Democrat outlook today. However, it’s affection for photography – in particular, photojournalism – is well known and almost entirely foreign to a country like Australia, where imagery has traditionally taken a back seat to text.
At the top of the front page of the issue, a brief explanation of the paper’s action reads:
“It’s not a wake, we’re not burying the photographic art. Instead we give photography the homage it deserves. Yet no one can ignore the calamitous situation press photographers now find themselves in, especially war photographers who risk their lives while barely making a living.”
Libération culture writer, Brigitte Ollier wrote on the decision to publish pictureless with an article, “Libération” Plunged Into Darkness.