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Diego Goldberg – François Mitterrand


On the death of François Mitterrand

At the distance, I should have foreseen it. He had allowed me to accompany him during the election campaign that had led him to the presidency of France. After being drawn to the backdrop of his machinations and I remained a prisoner of his largesse.

He let me approach when he wanted and other times his eyes were that he accepted my presence, but the photographic act. In a dialogue that was extended from 1977 to 1995, the intermediary has always been the focus of my camera. I was given a gift of incredible moments, small intimate gestures and political combat situations.

He has always been a choreographer and I have just seen him. His brain was used on two parallel voices: he was occupied by daily trifles and the other order to twist the fate of France according to the path he had planned. In reality, he flew above mere mortals as he manipulated the invisible levers that there is no perceiving.

He was a loner, a great seducer who hid his innate shyness with the flower of language.

When I met him again in May 1995 to photograph him during the last days of his presidency, his first words were: “thank you” and immediately “have pity on my face”. In his last trip to Moscow, to celebrate with the rest of the heads of state the 50 years of the end of the Second World War, I saw him gather forces of nothingness.

Photographers cherish all their images. The ones that François Mitterand has given me are my favorites. For that I tell him too: thank you.

Diego Goldberg

Published in the Clarin Journal of Buenos Aires, Argentina, January 9, 1996.

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