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Alexandra Boulat, National Geographic Contributing Photographer, Dead at 45
Posted Oct 6,2007

We received extremely sad news yesterday that our colleague Alexandra Boulat, a National Geographic contributing photographer, died peacefully in Paris. Our condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to Alexandra’s family and her friends all over the world.

From The New York Times:

Alexandra Boulat, an award-winning photographer known for a clear, descriptive style and a knack for making emotionally moving, often idiosyncratic images of people affected by war, died yesterday in Paris. She was 45.

She died after suffering a brain aneurysm in June and falling into a coma from which she never emerged, her friend Gary Knight said.

Ms. Boulat’s work appeared in many publications, including National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and Paris-Match. For most of the 1990s, she photographed conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. Her picture of Kosovar women surrounding a flag-draped coffin was a runner-up in the Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards for Magazine Photography presented by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and she won many other awards for her work.

Before the current war with Iraq, she was in Baghdad for National Geographic and gave attention to the lives of affluent people at a time when most photographers were interested in showing only Iraqis’ misery. During the war she took pictures that told about death in different ways, like a body wrapped in a white sheet.

“You can show a war without showing a gun,” she said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation shortly after the United States invaded, “and that’s interesting—in only one photograph.”

Some of Alexandra Boulat’s photography can be viewed at the links below:

VII Photo Agency: Alexandra Boulat’s portfolio

NGM.COM: Remembering Alexandra Boulat

National Geographic magazine: Diary of a War

National Geographic magazine: Baghdad Before the Bombs 

Ken Geiger


Posted by Ken Geiger | Comments (6)


Jan McGirk
Oct 6, 2007 10AM #

This sensitive, energetic woman and her extraordinary images of war and women will be greatly missed. What a colleague she was, always pushing a writer to see and question more, get up early and look again.
And so humble-- no photographer's ego to this elegant soul

Goodbye, Alex.
We are pledging money to the Gaza Welfare Association in Ms Boulat's name.

John Rice
Oct 6, 2007 10AM #

A shocking story to read - I've come to know about Ms. Boulat from the days of my first love with National Geographic. She was indeed very special in her own art backed up by her deep concern to stand by the side of the mankind, whenever they were in distress.

Sara A. Vera Beltrán
Oct 6, 2007 10AM #

We National Geographic loses a photographer or a writer all its readers mourn.

Ms. Boulat will be certainly missed by all of us. My condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.

Oct 6, 2007 10AM #

What a loss to the world!
She was an extraordinarily talented artist/photographer, and will be missed by all...
My thoughts and prayers are with her partner, family and friends.

Jim Markowich
Oct 6, 2007 10AM #

I must admit I did not know of Ms. Boulat and her work until tonight.

Over this holiday weekend, I pulled out a volume from a 1981 reprint of a 1968 Time/Life series on world cuisine -- the one on The Cooking of Provincial France. After many years of neglect, I found it extremely engaging, so much so that I Googled its author, M.F.K. Fisher, to discover a wealth of material about another figure about whom I knew nothing.

Tonight, I Googled the family portrayed on pages 41-43 of that book -- Pierre and Annie Boulat, and their two daughters. Those of you who knew Alexandra personally would probably enjoy this glimpse into her early life, if you can gain access to the publication.
The photos were taken by the late photographer for Life Magazine, Mark Kauffman.

Library of Congress catalogue card #67-20204

Bob Faith
Oct 6, 2007 10AM #

Thank you Alexandia Boulat! God speed!

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