“He didn’t always pay us very well, but we owe him a great deal.” This was Patrick Chauvel’s strong closing statement during the too brief homage paid to Göksin Sipahioglu by the organizers of the 18th edition of the Bayeux-Calvados Award for war correspondents.
A short interview with the founder of Sipa Press, an excerpt from the film Rapporteur de guerre (War Correspondent), was shown first, followed by Patrick Chauvel’s speech during which he told the famous story of Göksin’s arrival in Prague in his red Ford Mustang pulled by a Soviet tank. The story particularly amused the audience because Patrick Chauvel himself arrived in Bayeux in his own white Ford Mustang. “The tradition….” he soberly commented.
But the brevity of the homage to Göksin Sipahioglu who was both a great reporter and an immense editor-in-chief perfectly illustrates the incomprehension which reigned in the past and is still too often rampant between the different forms of journalism.
The fact that Göksin Sipahioglu was for forty years one of the most important editors in the world, and as such, responsible for sending hundreds of photo journalists to wars all around the world was seen as important enough to modify the established program. It is regrettable.
During the ceremony, Yuri Kozyrev from Noor agency was doubly honored, winning the professional first prize as well as the public choice award in the photo category for Dépêches de Libye (Dispatches from Libya). Yuri Kozyrev was unable to attend the ceremony, being on a photo assignment, and so the award was accepted in his name by Stanley Greene, founder of the same agency. Stanley Greene was in Bayeux for a remarkable installation illustrating his book Black Passport.
Bayeux pays a brief homage to Sipahioglu by Michel Puech in La Lettre de la photographie 2011/10/10