Jérôme Sessini builds a passion for photography, discovering
documentary photography through books shown by a friend, a
photographer. He initiates his own practice, shooting people, landscapes
and daily lives of those around his native Eastern France (with Diane
Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Mark Cohen, in mind).
In 1998, although nothing predicted he would turn to journalism, Sessini
arrives in Paris. Gamma photo agency gives him the opportunity to cover
the ongoing conflict in Kosovo.
Sessini has since then covered most of the international current events:
Palestine, Iraq (from 2003 to 2008) , Aristide’s fall in Haiti (2004), the
conquest of Mogadishu by the Islamic militias and the war in Lebanon
Sessini’s work is immediately internationally acknowledged. It is
published by prestigious newspapers and magazines among which,
Newsweek, Stern, Paris-Match as well as Le Monde and the Wall Street
His photography also leads to single exhibitions at the Visa Photo
Festival in Perpignan, at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Bibliothèque
nationale François-Mitterrand, as well as with the French Ministry of
In 2008, Jerome Sessini starts the Mexican project: « So far from God,
too close from the US”, a dive into the drug cartels’ war in Mexico. This
yet ongoing project has already been awarded twice with the F-Award
and a Getty Grant.
From this direct confrontation with violence, Sessini has recognized a
state of things which is at the heart of his work, “Ordinary fellows are
always those losing, either it being in Iraq, Mexico or France”.
Evolving within an uncertain balance of cynical realism and straight
upset, Sessini is very careful with the “rightness” of his photographic
work. He rejects idealism and otherworldliness, which do not take in
account some pieces of reality.