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Yan Morvan - Bobby Sands


236 pages
Text(s) by Bobby Sands, Yan Morvan & Sorj Chalandon 
Photos by Yan Morvan
30 x 24 cm 
Language: French, English 
Publisher: André Frère Éditions

Bobby Sands died on May 5, 1981 at 1:17 in the morning. He was previously arrested and sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of firearms. On March 1, 1981, he began a hunger strike followed by nine other political prisoners who were members of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and the INLA (Irish National Liberation Army). Their demands: to obtain the status of political prisoners to which they are entitled. They all died, the last one in almost general indifference. 

“At that time, I was a freelance photographer at the Sipa press agency, one of the three major photographic press agencies in Paris in the 1980s. I had the profile of the determined young reporter “risque-tout“, that suited the riot situation in Northern Ireland, so I was naturally sent on the Londonderry clashes in April 1981. I stayed there for three weeks and returned several times during the same year.

Those weeks that I lived in Derry and Belfast, living with the rioters of Catholic neighborhoods, photographing the tension, despair, faith and courage of the Irish people, using the camera as a weapon to serve their cause, persuaded me forever of the validity of photographic witness as an instrument of memory, emotion, reflection, guarantees of a free and democratic world”. 

It turned out that Sorj Chalandon, a great writer, lover and defender of Ireland and just causes, sent by French newspaper Libération, was also in Belfast at the same time, and he offered us a text written in 2004 and published in Libération, on this intense moment.