Behind this issue lies the laughter and joie de vivre of Martina Bacigalupo who lit up our offices with her energy, every time she visited. This Italian photographer moved to Burundi, a small enclave within the immensity of the African continent. “Why did you choose Burundi ?” her mother asked her one day. “What about you, why did you choose my father ?” she replied. “Ah, your father just happened upon me.” “Well, same here, I just happened upon Burundi.” So now you know. Behind this issue, there are a lot of reports that we just happened upon. Within a few months, the news of the existence of 6Mois has spread among photographers and proposals have been pouring in. We discovered the others by chance during our research and through recommendations from a girl who had seen a guy who had seen a report that was obviously exceptional (although wasn’t always). Sometimes, all it takes is three clicks. Other days, our searches are worthy of a detective bureau. Why does one report win our support over another ? Emotion can’t be explained – you just feel it, sometimes physically. Shivers up your spine, misty eyes, a hypnotised gaze... Then, you have to sort and organise the narratives so that they relate to one another. Behind this issue, there’s the rolling stride of Guillaume Bonn, and his question at the end of two work meetings on his photos of Kenya : “By the way, do you pay the photographers for the publication ?” The question speaks volumes about a profession that has become used to being mistreated and paid in peanuts (i.e. the showcase of publication or gallery sales in exchange for free photos). It was precisely against this inversion of the order of things that 6Mois was created. Behind this issue lies the discovery of several colour photos on Mao’s China, which were displayed on the website of a gallery in Beijing, but our emails and calls received no answer. An independent reporter in China, Jordan Pouille, was called in to help. He followed the trail back to the author of the pictures, who now lives in an apartment block in Beijing and whose fate could fill ten volumes. In the jumble of his CD-ROMs, like a treasure trove, amid his family photos, he unearthed hundreds of pictures that express maoist madness. Behind this issue, there is the passion of Evgenia Arbugaeva, who is based in New York, but who has never forgotten her native Siberia and the happy little girl she once was in the cold and wind of the russian Far North. There is the voice of Mohammad Golchin, from his mountains, at the end of a telephone line that cuts out every half hour, relating the lives of iranian school children in farsi – so close yet so far. Behind this issue, there is the work of the journalists of the 6Mois newsroom, in search of the german Wandergesellen (journeymen), who did not hesitate to spend New Year’s Eve in a heavy metal club in Freiburg, or follow up on the owners of the ships wrecked in the Mediterranean, by going door-to-door on the docks of Sète, or spending days tracking down dummy corporations in tax havens. Behind this issue, there are so many encounters and discussions that a one-page editorial is clearly insufficient. From now on, a new story will replace all of our agitation. Once printed, 6Mois is yours. The pictures and texts take on new meaning, since you will discover them without ever having heard of them, without knowing the authors’ faces or voices. You’ll read them with your memory, your sensibility and your curiosity. A new story begins : yours !
PS : 6Mois n°1 surpassed 42 000 copies, almost doubling its objectives. Without the media echoes that the launch had enjoyed, n°2 continued the trend with 39 000 copies. It’s a surprising result. Usually, second issues only attain half the sales of launch issues. The adventure of 6Mois thus got off to a great start. Thanks !