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Éric Vazzoler

I was born in Suresnes, France in July 1963. For those who don't know where it is, this town is close to Paris, about 12 km far from the Eiffel Tower.

As my father was a physically handicapped person and could not drive a car, my earliest memory is throwing up on severals visits to the parc nearby, the Parc du Mont Valérien.

I still remember the memorial marking the execution location of French resistants by the Nazis and the American Cemeterywhere nearly 1600 American soldiers who died in France during WWI and WWIIlie buried.

My first 35 mm camera, I get it at the age of nine. At that time were my pets my best companions and therefore also my favorit topic.

In September 1976 is my father gone. Since then I have been definitly convinced by the fact that photography is a way to keep my heroes alive by my side. My dad was my hero of whom my secondary schoolfriends were laughing at. Indeed, he was not like other fathers. I couldn’t play soccer with him.

Early I noticed that the norms dictated by the society in which I live is an unbearable act of discrimination.

My hero died, he was still young and handsome.

The best picture I’ve ever missed is a close portrait of him. So that you could believe me.

Since 1986 I devote myself to capturing the faces of the young people who live, marginalized and rebel, in places where hope has forgotten them, especially in the former Soviet Republics.

Shortly

  • Born in Suresnes, near Paris in 1963

  • I get my first SLR camera ( the Soviet Zenith ) three month after my father’s death in 1976

  • Studies of russian language at l'INALCO – Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris

  • Since 1986 I’m a freelance photographer for several french and germanMagazines and Newspapers : Stern, Der Spiegel, Die TAZ, Libération, Le Monde, Marianne, La Vie…  also doing corporate assignments : Pfizer, Bilfinger Berger, Herrenknecht ...

  • 1996, I leave Paris

  • 2001-02, Stay in Berlin

  • 2006, after frustrating stints by Vu, Sipa and Editing, I become a member of the german press agency Zeitenspiegel (Stuttgart)

  • For 23 years I continuously lead in four languages noteworthy photo workshops to kids of ghettos, to prisoners, to the grandchildren of Stalin’s Deportations, to visually impaired children, to children with Down Syndrome... Mostly I teach in German and Russian.

  • About 30 soloexhibitions among Europe and Russia

  • I've been nominated once for the Prix Niepce (2006, most famous french honour) and I've won unknown prizes just like the Grand Prix of Fotofestiwal in Lodz (2008, Poland)

  • Since 2003 I live in Strasbourg together with my wife Luitgard and my three sons Lennart, Sören, Karel