02/24/2013 05:12 pm ET Updated Apr 26, 2013

The Final Letter Written By Olivier Voisin, a French Photographer Who Died of His Wounds in Syria

This blog post has been translated after originally appearing on HuffPost France.

French photographer Olivier Voisin recently died in a Turkish hospital where he was taken in critical condition. On Friday, he suffered head and arm injuries from shrapnel when a shell exploded near Idlib, in Syria. He was an adorable, touching and very talented person. He loved to take risks.

As a freelance photographer, he had to take photos constantly and send them to agencies to earn a living. The economic pressure tormented him. He took magnificent photos that sometimes didn't interest the agencies because they obviously weren't "news" material. Some of his photos are presented on his website. In Libya, where we briefly worked together, he took this photo (see the last one down at right), one of the greatest war photos I've ever seen. He had many other photos like this one stocked on his computer.

Below is the e-mail he had sent to his Italian friend, Mimosa Martini, the day before he was wounded in Syria. She made it public on her Facebook wall. This text must be read. It is passionate and deeply distressing. It is representative of him as a person and it displays the horrors and the impasse of the Syrian conflict. It truly exposes Olivier Voisin, the man.

Antoine Vitkine


Update: At the request of Olivier Voisin's family who did not want the letter to be published, I have decided to remove it from my blog. This email was initially sent to his Italian journalist friend, who had published it on her Facebook page. We agreed, together, that this letter was worthy of being read by the public and that it honored Olivier's memory. We respect his family's request and their pain.