Arts, Culture & Media

Remembering Arab Spring Photographer Rémi Ochlik

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Photographer Rémi Ochlik who was killed last year in Syria at the age of 28 (Photo: Corentin Fohlen)

Many journalists have died covering the Arab uprisings.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)
Last year, 17 were killed in Syria.

One of them was award-winning French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik.

He was only 28-years-old.

Ochlik documented the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.

Then last year, he headed out to Syria.

He made it to Homs late one night, as the city was under heavy shelling.

The very next day, on February 22, Ochlik was killed when a rocket hit the house he was holed up in with several other journalists.

American reporter Marie Colvin also died in the attack.

Ochlik is remembered by his colleagues as someone who felt invested in his mission: to tell the stories of the people at the heart of the conflicts.

One of his friends and colleagues is Belgo-Tunisian photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa.

He runs a crowd-funding platform for visual journalism called Emphasis and has just published a book of photographs by Rémi Ochlik.

It's called "Révolutions" and features Ochlik's images of the Arab Spring.

Karim Ben Khelifa says it's difficult to explain the urge many photojournalists like him have to risk their lives in war zones.

And in spite of the hardship of losing such a young and talented friend, Ben Khelifa says Ochlik's decision to go to Syria was not a mistake.

"It is sad, but this how he decided to live and this is how he decided to die. And I think we can only be inspired by the commitment he had to the people."

Rémi Ochlik's photos of the Arab Spring are on exhibit at the Art Institute of Boston until February 22nd.

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    Tunis, Tunisia in January 2011 (Photo © Rémi Ochlik)

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    Cairo, Egypt in February 2011 (Photo © Rémi Ochlik)

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    Ras Lanuf, Libya in March 2011 (Photo © Rémi Ochlik)

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    Credit: Remi OCHLIK

    Remi OCHLIK/IP3 - Bouayda, on March 24 2012 - 3 AM, People of Bouyada village pray and attend funeral of 4 young men who died crushed in their home after a shelling from Assad forces.
    Most of the time, funerals take place during the middle of the night to avoid to be attacked by the army.

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    Adjabyia, Libya in March 2011 (Photo © Rémi Ochlik)

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