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CARON, Gilles

PORTRAIT-CARONGilles Caron was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, on July 8, 1939.

He disappeared on the 5th of april, in Cambodia.

He joined the Parisian agency APIS in April 1965 and two years became one of the founders of the Gamma agency with his friend Raymond Depardon and others. During the Six-Day War in June 1967, he made himself and his agency famous by scooping the international press corps with his photographs of victorious Israeli soldiers at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall, among them Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin. Only a few months later he was in Vietnam for the bloody battle of Hill 875 at Dak To.

In 1968, he divided his time between France and Nigeria, recording the war in the secessionist southeastern province of Biafra and the resulting famine, as well as the May student revolution in Paris. He also followed French president Charles de Gaulle on official visits to Romania and Turkey. In August 1969, he traveled to Northern Ireland to document the riots that led to the deployment of British troops and the beginning of “the troubles.” He then went to Prague to cover the first anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

In February 1970, he left for Northern Chad with Raymond Depardon and Robert Pledge to investigate the turmoil in the Tibesti where the Toubous were in open rebellion against the French-backed government. Caught in an ambush, they were imprisoned for a month by government forces. Shortly after his return, Gilles Caron headed for Cambodia where he went missing on April 5, 1970, in Khmer Rouge-controlled territory.

He was thirty years old. His work has been featured in Sous les pavés, la plage (Les Editions La Sirène, Paris), and in 1998’s Photo Poche collection (Editions Nathan, Paris).

Since 1991, his archive has been distributed through Contact Press Images.


Gilles Caron’s work was presented at the Rencontres d’Arles in 2006: Chant / Contrechant : 1967-1970″