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14 / 05 / 2012 Delphine Lelu
Bon voyage, Horst!
This morning, to our deep sorrow, we heard that Horst Faas, the truly grand German-born photojournalist, had passed away on May 10, 2012, at the age of 79.
Over the course of his extensive career he gained renown for his work, in particular for the coverage of the Vietnam War (Associated Press, 1962-1974) for which he won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1965.
He had been seriously ill since 2005, paralyzed from the waist down, and his health had been deteriorating with the passing years.
We were enormously lucky to have him as our guest in Perpignan in 2008 for a retrospective exhibition - "Horst Faas: 50 Years of Photojournalism" - the title of his last book which he had prepared with the assistance of Hélène Gédouin.
He had willingly contributed to our first Festival catalogue published by Snoeck in 2011, telling of his experience in the field and commenting on differences between work in the past and the present.
He was a loyal festival-goer at Visa pour l'Image, whenever he was strong enough to be here with us, weaving his way in his wheelchair through the streets of Perpignan to the different exhibitions.
And those who were lucky enough to meet him, were always impressed by his humor.
The man who witnessed and recorded many pages in history may have gone, but his pictures and the image we have of him will remain forever in our minds.
Thank-you Mr. Faas for showing us so many things through your eyes, for your modesty and for the passion that drove you on. Quite simply, thank-you.
Our thoughts go out to his wife, Ursula, and to all his friends and relatives, in particular Hélène who was always there for him, as well as to all the photojournalists who embraced Horst as their mentor and who are now orphaned.
Fare thee well, Horst !