After this email, in a telephone conversation, Jean-Michel Psaïla specifies that it has been a week since he contracted the virus as well as his wife. “It’s okay, for the moment no medical complications,” he specifies. He is worried about his photographers and refuses to give them working missions: “It is a huge responsibility, and then, once we have done, hospitals, masked people, and morgues, there there is nothing left to photograph, everything has stopped! “He concludes.
Jean-Michel Psaïla is the CEO of Abaca Press.
1 / Are photographers and employees of your agency sick and / or absent (how many compared to the workforce)?
Collaborators no, but I am. I have a great team that manages the agency from day to day. All staff juggle with health risk, babysitters and their passion for information.
2 / What instructions and equipment were given to your photographers in the field? And have they encountered difficulties with the police?
Instructions were of total caution with no obligation to go out. They choose and some continue to “cover” the news like our photographer Eliot Blondet who is today with the army in Mulhouse.
3 / Are you afraid that this pandemic will lead you to review your projects or even close your agency? What impact on your turnover?
The impact on turnover is enormous, certainly between 50 and 70% fall in April / May but the ABACA team is making great efforts and the government will certainly help us not to close.
We remain united in this battle and will come out even stronger. Fuck the Virus!
Interviewed by email on March 22, 2020
Abaca agency website: https://abacapress.com/