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BEHIND THE SCENES

24.12.2014

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Since December 2013, France has sent 1200 soldiers – including foreign legionnaires – to the civil war in the Republic of Central Africa. In August 2014, French photographer Edouard Elias documented their daily life. The soldiers appreciated Elias’s pictures: he was the first civilian to receive an invitation to a Christmas party at the unit’s home base in Nîmes.

“They seemed to completely forget that I don’t wear a uniform. They treated me like an equal and even admitted that, out in the field, they had actually wondered if they could trust me. But they left me in peace, no controls, nothing. Now what they’re saying is, ‘You were there with us and now you’re part of the family. Before you were a journalist, now you’re Edouard.’ They were also grateful for the photos that allowed their families to see the reality of their life over there. For me personally, it was a great feeling to be accepted by this closed society.”


See Edouard Elias’ reportage in LFI 2/2015, available February 27th.

To view, simply visit the video section.
© Jérôme Salles

Edouard Elias

Born in Nîmes in 1991. After spending ten years in Egypt, Elias returned to France and studied photography at the Écoles de Condé in Nancy. After doing a reportage on a refugee camp in Turkey, he began to document the Syrian civil war. He spent ten months in prison there. His work has appeared in Der Spiegel, Paris Match and Sunday Times Magazine.

www.edouardelias.com
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