May 68 events
Göksin Sipahioglu evokes in me this impressive presence deserving of "respect", not only because of his look, of his big size - 1,90m - of his age - 30 years more than me-, but also for his human side. Big boss remained a journalist militating in the soul, this independent man, revolted by the injustices of all kinds, decided and brave, gave me the taste of the profession whereas his work inspired me the biggest respect. Founder of the agency Sipa Press, which I had the honor to be a part, he is since more than half a century, a major figure of the photojournalism to which he offered some of its most beautiful pages. From the war of the Sinaipassing by the very closed world of the Albania of Enver Hoxha, by the crisis of the missiles of Cuba, by Mao's China until the process of independence of Djibouti, the Soviet intervention in Prague, to the departure of Dubcek and May 68, few events escaped his lense during his photojournalistic career. In 1969, his decision is taken: he is going to create his propore order. With his partner, Phyllis Springer, independent American journalist who will become his wife, he picks up a tiny local of 16m ², the owner of which is other one than the humorist Fernand Raynaud. If the space is restricted, the address is prestigious: 102, avenue des Champs-Elysées. Until November, 1973 official date of creation of the agency, all the photos which is taken out of his door mention the name of Sipahioglu. Afterward, the name of "Sipa Press" will be lead naturally.
At the same time manager and chief editor, Göksin Sipahioglu is forced to abandon the ground for to dedicate himself exclusively to the functioning of Sipa Press. In the agency, endowed with an imprsssive network of worldwide correspondant, were formed numbers photographers of international fame, bosses of agencies and guiding, as well as print media and broadcasting. While I work on a review on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of May, 68, I rediscovered with emotion the photos of Göksin taken during the events. In 1968, these photos appeared in magazines as Bunte, Paris Match and in several daily papers. Jean Bertolino had used it some in his book Les Troublions. In November, 1998, within the framework of the Month of the photo in Paris, I had the honor to prepare the exhibition A glance on the barricades with photos which Göksin had never shown. The demonstration, which had a striking success, inspired Jean-Luc Monteroso, director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie this comment: "I found your magnificent and surprising photos ... It is a true happiness to discover your images. I knew you a very great manager of agency; you are now for me THE photographer of my generation".
In his article "Le dinosaure du photojournalisme", appeared in Le Monde of November 20th, 1998, Michel Guerrin notices: "He's going out of May, 68 - hurt by a grenade - which he photographed day by day". And he quotes Phillys Springer: " I put him down with my Mustang in the front line ". It is true that all the big photographers immortalized the events of May, 1968, but the particular interest of the images of Göksin lives in the freshness of his glance. It is the glance of a journalist foreign to this Parisian microcosm. Always in the front line, he looks for the good photo. As "La Pasionara", this woman who raises herself in the middle of the boulevard Saint Germain between the demonstrators and the polices. He does not hesitate to take risks. " If the grenade which I received in full face had exploded. I would have no more face. ", he says. With his friend Jean Berolino, he makes a success of a scoop inside La Sorbonne occupied where he photographs "The Katangais ".
During his delivery of knight's medal of the order of the legion of honor from the Elysee, on January 19th, 2007, the president Chirac describes him: " One of the numerous talents of Göksin Sipahioglu was to track down that of the others. Knowing how to combine a big professional requirement with a very profound humanity, he is seen by his co-workers as, I quote them " a generous, faithful and accessible Lord ". And I am very happy to reward this very big charismatic boss, who was a photographer and an outstanding journalist ".
" A Single obsession animates this boss of visual press: to be the first one " said Michel Guerrin. Göksin, requiring to himself, in the faculty to encourage his circle of acquaintances to try always to surpass themselves, for what I am deeply grateful to him.