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Hubert Henrotte (1934-2020) by Diego Goldberg


It was 1977 and in Latin America there were only military governments. For a photojournalist, and I was just beginning – at the moment as a Sygma correspondent in the region – it was a very frustrating time: terrible things were happening, but invisible.

Disappearances, torture, generalized repression, most of them impossible to photograph. I then wrote a letter (a letter !!!) to HH explaining all this and he immediately responded with an incredible proposition for me: go to Paris to join the agency staff.

Arriving some time later, he offered  his apartment in Rue des Marroniers which he had just left to me and my wife and very soon my first son. All this without knowing me. Here is HH!

Generous, able to bet on what his journalist and photographer instincts advised him. It was the start of a sometimes complicated relationship, but always based on mutual respect and above all on my admiration for this man passionate about his profession, able to see the future and act accordingly.

Always ready to support us in our photographic adventures, he created a French agency but with a global reach, an almost impossible challenge.

An inexhaustible worker, he was in his office during the week, but also, when we returned from a trip to drop off our films at the agency, he was still there, even on Saturday and Sunday.

HH is gone and with him, surely, a great era of photojournalism that he helped to build.

Diego Goldberg

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