PARIS, FRANCE (October 5, 2007) - Photojournalist Alexandra Boulat, 45, has died in hospital in Paris today, agency VII said. She suffered an aneurism in late June and has been in a coma ever since.
She was the daughter of Life magazine photographer Pierre Boulat and Annie Boulat, the founder of the French photography agency Cosmos.
Boulat suffered a brain hemorrhage while on assignment in Ramallah,VII managing director Frank Evers said, and afterwards she underwent a 5-hour operation at the Hadassah hospital in Israel where doctors stopped the bleeding and stabilized her condition. To give her rest and aid the recovery, doctors put her into a coma, he said, and performed some other minor surgeries to make her breathing easier and she was moved to Paris.
"Alexandra was a remarkable person, and the world is a sadder place without her," Santiago Lyon said this afternoon. He's the director of photography for the Associated Press in New York.
"We should remember her for the great photographs she made and for the energy she brought to everything." Lyon worked with Boulat in 1998 when they were covering Kosovo and they became friends, and she photographed Lyon's wife on their wedding day.
"As these things go there can be large stretches of time go by between seeing old friends, but we saw her last year for dinner in New York and she was the old Alexandra, so full of energy. She will be missed."
“I am very saddened by the news of Alexandra's passing," Peter Turnley said tonight from Prague. "I have known Alexandra for many years and had the privilege of working with her and being a colleague in many conflict zones and places of interest in the world. She was a wonderful person and photographer and always an incredible picture of elegance, courage, energy, and seeming love for life. She also always exuded a true love and passion for photography and the process of communicating human and world stories.”
Boulat remained in coma from the time she fell ill until today, and was being cared for by the neurosurgery department at Lariboisière hospital in Paris and by her mother.
Before VII, Boulat shot for the photo agency Sipa Press and often focused her coverage on the innocent victims of war, women and children living in conflict zones. For the last two years she had been living in the West Bank covering the Islamic militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Earlier in her career she documented the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and war in Iraq, and the conditions for women in the Muslim world.
She was one of the founding members of the VII agency and has been primarily a conflict photographer in the Middle East, joining VII when it was established in 2001. She was trained in graphic art and art history at the Beaux Arts in Paris. Her news and feature stories have been published in Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, and Paris-Match. She won awards from the Overseas Press Club in 2003 for her coverage of Afghanistan, and was named Best Woman Photographer by the Bevento Oscars in Italy in 2006.
Any plans for funeral or memorial services have not been announced.
Alexandra's Agency VII Photo