Edouard Elias

French Photographer

After living for 10 years in Egypt, Edouard returned to France to attend university in 2009. He studied photography at the Écoles de Condé in Nancy, where an early fascination with war photography gave way to a new interest in the documentary work of photographers such as Lewis Hines, Walker Evans, Atget, and Alec Soth. He first reported on conditions in a refugee camp in Turkey, then began photographing in Aleppo, Syria. Back in Paris, he struggled with photo editors who never returned his calls until the Getty Images agency showed faith in his work. His images have since appeared in Paris Match, Der Spiegel, and The Sunday Times Magazine.

In January and February 2013, Edouard worked for AFP in Syria alongside French photographer Olivier Voisin, who taught him how to move in the field and understand war zone situations. Voisin died in Turkey after being injured in Syria on 24 February. Edouard is currently a member of the agency Haytham Pictures.
Edouard was abducted in Syria Thursday June 6 with the journalist Didier François.

Source: World Press Photo



Artist Statement

"I chose photography naturally. It is surely the result of a double education: separated between Egypt and France, I learned to consider images both as memories and objects that allowed me to transpose myself into places where I could only remain for a moment, but also as historical documents, more in accordance with my classical instruction. In addition, many cartoons have certainly trained me in a straight, frontal and clear frame, so I was very early aware of geopolitical events as well as of the problems of population movement linked to war or suffering. At the age of 18, after a A level, ignoring which way to choose, and to comply with family expectations, I went to a business school. It was not for me, no compatibility possible. I then attempted a reconversion in the school of photography in Nancy. It was a revelation, I was fitting in the right place. Different encounters, for example with the reporter Luca Catalano Gonzaga in Rome, with the books of the agency Magnum, with some documentaries on photography report, made me eager to watch History in progress, to live it through my camera and especially not to forget it. So, instead of completing my internship at the end of the year in an identity photo shop, I went to Turkey in the Syrian refugee camps and then to Syria, producing my first photoreport.

My childhood allowed me to acquire the faculty of movement, not limiting myself to the borders of my village or the cities of my region. So I naturally started on the road of reporting. The conditions and the encounters engendered satisfy the need I have to answer personal questions. All the means necessary to photograph a human being in a difficult situation (pain, loss, war, poverty, suffering) result from a deep desire and a work on personal adaptability. Nevertheless, the essence of our work must be focused first and foremost on the subject. The results today of the image on the international scene leave me skeptical, but I think that these photographs, although they unfortunately are taking the risk of not changing the situation, will allow us to remember. I keep on practicing photo reportage. The Foreign Legion committed to the Central African Republic and then to its surroundings in France, punctuated my work for a year. Lebanon, Jordan on the Syrian refugee crisis with the organization Première Urgence Internationale, the Congo DRC on rape as a weapon of war and its doctor Denis Mukwege or the closed educational centers of the Judicial Police of Youth are, as well as the rescues of migrants in the Mediterranean, part of my subjects.

Visa for the image allowed me to sell my first photographs of Aleppo in Syria, to meet professionals who will become dear friends. I have, besides my personal projects orders and projects to realize in France and I dedicate all of my activity to photography.

My pictures have been published in: Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Sunday Times magazine, Time Lightbox, VSD, Le Monde, Figaro Magazine, Le Parisien Magazine, Polka, Le Point, Libération, LFI Leica international, Gala..."

Source: edouardelias.net

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