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January 13th, 2015

Art Journal Pioneer Michel Renaud Killed at Charlie Hebdo Offices

[The following article was published on January 8th by the French newspaper, Libération. It was translated by watercolorist Martine Pittet. The article reports on the murder of Michel Renaud, the founder of “Rendez-Vous du Carnet de Voyage”, an annual international festival celebrating travel-related art journaling and writing. The festival is held in the ancient French city of Clermont-Ferrand. It is one of the most prestigious conferences of its kind, attracting art journalists as well as travel writers. Many of the participating artists are also members of the Urban Sketchers organization.]

“Michel Renaud, who founded the “Rendez-Vous du Carnet de Voyage” Festival, was among the twelve victims in the attack that took place in the Charlie Hebdo premises. He was 69.

Renaud was in Paris with his colleague Gérard Gaillard (who miraculously escaped the shooting), guests of the Charlie Hebdo team to discuss collaborating on future projects.

In the first part of his professional life, Michel Renaud was a journalist. He worked for Europe 1 Radio and the Figaro newspaper. In 1982, at age 37, he was contacted by Clermont-Ferrand Mayor, Roger Quilliot, who was looking for a city Communication Director. After several decades he resigned from this job and became a passionate traveler and the founder of his great festival “Rendez-Vous du Carnet de Voyage” (translation: rendezvous with travel journals).

Over the years, the event gained international recognition as THE art journalist’s festival. Thousands of visitors and exhibitors have come from all over the world to exchange and share cartoons, watercolours or testimonials in a merry and colourful five-day bazaar. Always interested in new talents and original ideas, Michel Renaud was attentive to everyone, whether the famous artist or young adventurer.

Since his death, the travel sketchers community has been posting an increasing number of testimonials on social media networks to pay tribute to Michel’s values: Intellectual curiosity, humanity, tolerance … all things the evil commando group hated and tried to silence.”

PORTRAIT: Wolfgang Krisai (from a 2011 photograph by Valentin Uta)
TRANSLATION: Martine Pittet

Michel Renaud

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