Alain Keler


1982, Journal d'un photographe - 1982, Diary of a photographer

I am a photographer from the Syma agency.  I travel a lot.  I am in love with Jennifer, a pretty American with green eyes who I met in Jerusalem in 1981.  I sport a moustache shaped like a semi-circle that moves like the continental drift according to my morning mood before my shave.  Francois Mitterand is the President of France. He’s the one who inaugurates my first photo.  1982, a year rich in events, trips, and photographs. 
The world is still shared between those we call the super powers – the United States and the Soviet Union.  Ronald Regan, ex Hollywood cowboy, is president of the United States.  Leonid Brejnev, the strong man of the Soviet Union, exits this world on November 10th.  December 20th, it’s Arthur Rubinstein, the marvelous pianist who adorns my mother’s record covers, who disappears.  Pierre Mendes-France, briefly the President of the Council of Ministers for 8 months from 1954 to 1955, and an important man of state also leaves the world.  The glass bottles of milk distributed at schools in the 50’s to fight malnutrition were his brainchild!
June 6, the Israelis invade Lebanon under Operation Peace for Galilee.   There was also the Iran-Iraq war, the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon, and the Hama massacre in Syria.  Sinai is surrendered by Israel to Egypt.  Margaret Thatcher sends British troops to take back the Falkland Islands invaded by the Argentinian dictator’s army.  After his defeat, this one would fall.  Bolivia returns to democratic rule.  Mexico announces itself incapable of paying back its debt of 80 million dollars; the Shining Path grows in Peru; Hissène Habré takes back power in Chad.  In Afghanistan, the explosion of a tank in the Salang Tunnel kills between 1000 and 3000 people.
In 1982, there is the World Cup in Spain and the Shame of Gijón; in Sevilla, Germany battles France in the semifinals in a penalty round.  A memory that has haunted football fans like me ever since. 
2015, thirty years later, I dove into my archives from 1982.  There, I discovered photos that I had never developed.  Examining my contact sheets as well as my travel notebooks from my travels allowed me to reconstruct what was for me a remarkable year.


Je suis photographe à l’agence Sygma. Je voyage beaucoup. Je suis amoureux de Jennifer, une
jolie américaine aux yeux verts rencontrée en 1981 à Jérusalem. Je porte une moustache en
demi cercle qui, comme la dérive des continents, se déplace en fonction de mes humeurs
matinales précédant mes rasages. François Mitterrand est le Président de la France. C’est lui
qui inaugure mon année photographique. 1982, une année riche en évènements, en voyages,
en photographies.

Le monde est encore partagé entre ceux que l’on appelle les deux grands, les États-Unis et
l’Union Soviétique. Ronald Reagan, l’ancien cow-boy d’Hollywood, est le Président des
Etats-Unis. Leonid Brejnev, l’homme fort de l’Union Soviétique, quitte ce monde le 10
novembre. Le 20 décembre c’est Arthur Rubinstein, le merveilleux pianiste qui ornait les
couvertures des vinyles de ma mère, qui disparaît. Pierre Mendes-France, éphémère président
du Conseil sous la IVème République, et grand homme d’état, quitte lui aussi ce monde. Les
bouteilles de lait en verre distribuées à l’école dans les années 50 pour lutter contre la
malnutrition, c’était lui !

Le 6 juin les Israéliens envahissent le Liban dans l’opération Paix en Galilée.
Il y a aussi la guerre Iran Irak, Sabra et Chatila, le massacre de Hama en Syrie.
Le Sinaï est restitué par Israël à l’Egypte. Margaret Thatcher envoie les troupes britanniques
récupérer les Malouines envahies par l’armée de la dictature argentine. Celle-ci tombera à la
suite de sa défaite. Les civils reviennent au pouvoir en Bolivie. Le Mexique se déclare
incapable de rembourser sa dette de 80 milliards de dollars, le Sentier Lumineux se développe
au Pérou, Hissène Habré prend le pouvoir au Tchad. En Afghanistan, l’explosion d’un camion
citerne dans le Tunnel de Salang tue entre 1.000 et 3.000 personnes.

En 1982 il y a la coupe du Monde de football en Espagne et le match de la honte, à Séville,
où en demi-finale l’Allemagne bat la France aux tirs au but. Souvenir qui, depuis, hante tous
les passionnés de football, comme moi.

2015. Trente trois ans plus tard je me suis plongé dans mes archives 1982. J’y ai découvert
des photos jamais tirées. La lecture des planches contact et celle de mes carnets de voyage
m’ont permis de reconstituer ce qui fut pour moi une année remarquable.


1982, Journal d'un photographe - 1982, Diary of a photographer

French president François Mittterrand receives for the first time the constitutional bodies. He was elected last may. Paris. January 4, 1982.
Local election campaign of Alain Peyrefitte, RPR opposition party. District of Beauvais, January 8, 1982
Coastal highway, kilometer 83. A salvadorian soldier exhibit a skull. El Salvador, february 8, 1982
Guerrilleras. El Salvador, 12-15 february, 1982
Funeral of a civilian killed in a crossfire between army and guerilla. El Salvador, february 12-15
Musicians in a dancing garden along the coastal highway. El Salvador, february 14, 1982
Victims of death squads. Guatemala, february 20, 1982
Guatemala city, february 1982.
Presidential election campaign.  Chiquimula, Guatemala. February 28, 1982
Arrested by the civil defense, a guerrilla is handled to the battalion commanded by Col. M. Benito Lucas Garcia, brother of the incubent president. A few years later , I was told by an NGO his family never heard of him. Chajul, Guatemala. March 23, 1982
Violent crackdown of a protest demonstration after the results of the presidential election. the man with a gun fired with  live ammunition at the last protestors and the journalists. Guatemala city, Guatemala. March 9, 1982
Violent incidents after an attack by an American at the mosque El Aqsa. The attack left two dead and several wounded. Jerusalem, Israel. April 11, 1982
Start of the evacuation of the settlement of Yamit, in the Sinai peninsula. The last israeli settlers refused to leave, paving the way for an attack by the israeli army. Yamit, occupied sinai peninsula. April 21, 1982
the final assault by the Israeli army of the Yamit settlement. Yamit, occupied Sinai peninsula. April 22, 1982
Wailing wall, Jerusalem, Israel. April 27, 1982
Palestinian working at the construction site of the colony of Ma'aleh Adumin. Occupied West bank. April 29, 1982
Prime minister Margaret Tatcher at the"conservative Women's Conference". The"Iron Lady" has just sent the british army to the Falkland Islands (malvinas), invaded by the argentine army. London, United Kingdom. May 26, 1982
Nap under an old Sophora tree. London, United Kingdom. May 29, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Front line. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. Phalangist soldiers fighting along with the israeli army. June 6- July 16, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Front line. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. June 6- July 16, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Palestinian prisoners. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. June 6- July 16, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Front line. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. June 6- July 16, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Front line. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. June 6- July 16, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Front line. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. June 6- July 16, 1982
Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Front line. Peace in Galilee Operation. Southern Lebanon. Phalangist soldiers fighting along with the israeli army. June 6- July 16, 1982
Holidays in southern France. Aigues Mortes. July 20-August 2.
A woman is demonstrating alone. Her son has disappeared in Argentina in 1976. She has never heard of him since. Under the military, around 30.000 people have disappeared. Paris, France, august 10, 1982
A civilian, Hernan Siles Zuazo, is becoming president of Bolivia, after the military junta relinquished power.In the crowd, a delegation of miners coming to cheer "their"President. La Paz, Bolivia. October 10, 1982
The "Shining Path" - Senderoso luminoso- is a violent maoist guerrilla fighting the peruvian army, and the peruvian institutions, in the Ayacucho region. Ayacucho, Peru. October 1982
Women visit the penitentiary of "El Fronton", a prison island off Lima where the prisonnersof the "Shining Path" maoist guerilla are kept. The Fronton island, Peru. October 15, 1982
The prisonners of the "Shining Path" maoist gueriila queue for food . Island prison of El Fronton, off Lima. Peru. October 16, 1982
night meeting of campesinos,  in the town house of a village in the Ancahuasi region in the Peruvian Andes. Peru. October 25, 1982
Military school. La Paz, Bolivia. November 12, 1982
Officials listening to the newly elected president of Bolivia, Hernan Slies Zuazo, for his first visit as president. Potosi, Bolivia. November 10, 1982
Peasants Day. Ahead of the leader of the peasant union, a union member makes a speech to mark the 201 anniversary of the death of the leader of the rebellion against Spain Tupac Katari. Ayo Ayo, Bolivia. November 15, 1982
Bus stop on the way to lake Titicaca. Bolivia, november 1982
Family meal washed down with beer and alcool on the shore of lake Titicaca. Bolivia, november 1982
Tin mine "Siglo XX. Llalagua, Bolivia. November 1982
Downtown La Paz, Bolivia. November 1982
Press conference of the mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac. He introduces the top candidate for the next municipal elections. Paris, France. December 21, 1982