Photog Accuses Le Monde of Trashing 27 Years of Work Without Notice


Argentinian photographer Daniel Mordzinski, know for his work photographing literary giants, is accusing famous French newspaper Le Monde of trashing 27 years of his work without warning. Boxes worth of negatives and slides were allegedly thrown away when the photographer’s office at the newspaper was cleaned out without notice earlier this month.

For 10 years, Mordzinski held an office at Le Monde as part of an agreement with the newspaper El Pais. But on March 7th, El Pais correspondent and friend of Mordzinski’s, Miguel Mora, discovered that the office had been emptied out, suggesting that the decades worth of Mordzinski’s work stored there had been thrown out.

Le Monde has yet to issue a response to the accusations, but that hasn’t stopped Mordzinski and his supporters from starting a social networking campaign to spread the story and their indignation.

In addition to an open letter by writer Luis Sepulveda, Mordzinski himself is accusing Le Monde of “more than negligence.” With the exception of the hundreds of photos digitized for exhibitions or books, the photographer can’t help but assume that the rest of his work has now been relegated to the dumpster.

El fotógrafo Daniel Mordzinski denuncia que Le Monde “ha tirado a la basura” su archivo de 27 años de trabajo [Quesabesde via Reddit]

Image credit: archives by Môsieur J. [version 8.0]

  • Alex St. Jean

    that suuuucks, i thought breaking a hard drive with 1 year of photos was bad… DOUBLE BACK UP YOUR STUFF EVERYONE.

  • Thomas Hawk

    It’s important to keep backup copies of your images — maybe in the cloud, even in a safe, maybe off site, maybe even in a bank deposit vault. No?

    I mean what if this building had burned down and he’d lost all his valuable negatives then? What then?

    As someone who has lost images in the past though, I certainly sympathize with him. Losing images sucks hard.

  • hini

    For the young people here: There is no backup for analog negatives. It is a crime to destroy other peoples negatives.

  • Terry Clark

    The big question is (for me), was he a staff photographer or did he hold “freelance” status? If he was a staffer then the newspaper (at least here in the US) owned the work and thus could do whatever it wanted with it at any time, including toss it away without warning. However, if he was not a staffer and held an office as part of a freelance agreement then he should have a case. I hope for his sake it’s the later and he can recoup at monies for the paper’s negligence.

  • Terry Clark

    No backup for your negatives unless you have scanned the work. And with 27 years worth of work that task would be daunting (read impossible), even with an army of assistants scanning 24 hours a day.

  • Charly

    In that case Le Monde is even in more big troubles, because he didn’t work for Le Monde but for El País, a big spanish newspaper.

  • Theranthrope

    I keep trying to stuff my color-positive slides and film negatives into my external HDD, but it’s not working so well even though I have several gigs of space left, although I did manage to get a couple of them wedged into the housing somehow…They’re backed up, right? Right?

  • Theranthrope

    Kids these days…

  • hini

    There is a difference between american and european copyright. Even if you work for a company and the company pays your film rolls here you never loose the copyright. So Le Monde is in big trouble.

  • Procentje20

    A backup admin once tolld me there are two types of people: They who have lost date, and they who will lose data.

    This guy had no backups. And relied on a company he didn’t communicate with to look after his stuff. He clearly is a moron.