The press photographers with their jargon were a brotherhood from which I felt excluded until, during the events of Algerian independence, I shared their passion for what was going on. An insane race to get to the head of the parade, to be in front of it, not to follow it. “If your photos aren’t good, you’re not close enough,” Capa would tell me.

I walk backwards, the faces and the cries come closer, I can’t even hear the noise of the shutter any more. I have the feeling I’m taking better pictures. Jolted about by the surges and convulsions of the crowd, my eyes full of the sun and the dust, the images jostle each other in an increasingly rough struggle as I become increasingly attuned to the vibrations of the crowd.

The fervor is contagious, I try not to let myself be overwhelmed. The clamour grows, and with it a certain state of grace. I adjust the framing. And the tenth photo is the good one. Swept along by the delirious joy of independence, these young people believe that now they are free and happy. What has become of them today, of them and of their beautiful dream?


Marc Riboud