“The sky is totally turquoise, not a cloud on the horizon.
On this day of September 21, 2001, the day promises to be radiant.
We are exactly ten days after the attacks September 11 in New York.
I had just moved into an apartment on avenue de Muret, which seemed spacious compared to my old studio cabin. Despite the luxury of my mini terrace which overlooked the Garonne, please, on which only one chair could sit, it was not possible for me to change my old dented car, a gray Visa which sometimes gave me a look of Peter Falk inColombo. But, on this sunny day, I knew she could start relatively quickly.
After a few turns of the keys, here I am in the direction of Éditions Milan going up the avenue de Muret, towards the road to Spain; I go along on one side the Semvat the Toulouse bus reservee – and on the other the AZF factory, which is less than five hundred meters from the editorial office.
After a jovial entrance to Milan Presse and a little hello to the teams ofPyrenees magazine, I head fairly quickly as usual to the coffee machine, to join a journalist friend there. We then decide to leave the building to take full advantage of the mild weather, our coffees in hand.n.
A cigarette in my right hand, a cup of very bad vending machine coffee in my left hand, I'm ready to change the world with my colleague.
A huge bang sounded. In front of me, the sky opens completely. No time to say a word or react. Everything flies around me. My friend gets on the floor and screams I burn, I burn » ; I explain to him that it was only my coffee that spilled on his back, I start to laugh nervously.
I locate the explosion not far from here, in front of me, without understanding what is happening. A deafening silence accompanied by all kinds of alarms gives a chaotic atmosphere. I understand that the situation is serious, we all have the events of the Twin Towers in our heads, eyes meet full of incomprehension and fear. I immediately take my mobile phone to call my father who lives in Narbonne, a few kilometers from Toulouse: Dad, there has just been a huge explosion in Toulouse. Everything is destroyed around me, I'm fine, I'm alive, pass the message to the family. »
I'm hanging up and I try to call my partner to tell her that everything is fine, but the phone lines are saturated... The moments that follow are still trouble for me to this day. As photographic reporters, we are seasoned in certain situations to cover dramatic events and maintain our composure. Today, the situation is different: I am not sent to an event, I am in the event. I absolutely had to go home to get my photo equipment without knowing what I was going to discover."
Excerpt from Ulrich Lebeuf's testimonial text
Ulrich Lebeuf, born in 1972, is a French photographer. Member of the MYOP agency since January 2007, his work is published inThe world,Release,The New York Times or magazines likeGrace,VOD,Geo,M the World…
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