• Frédéric BOURCIER

My 5-euro buddy

This is the story of the bond that has been woving for several years between a photographer and a fragile gentleman.


He’s a man who had a life accident. I don’t know which one ... most certainly a drinking problem.

What I do know for sure is that he is a ward of the nation. He no longer has any identity papers and used to refuse financial help from charities. He remembers the day he was born but is less sure of the year.

He’s a gentleman difficult to tame. Although he is desocialised, he has kept some dignity. He refuses to beg and systematically sells cookies, chocolates or calendars… and most of the time returns home with them. He chooses his clothes or shoes with the exactness of a businessman, always wearing shirts and dress shoes, even if his feet hurt. He continues to manage his life as he probably did before, when he was a sales representative.

He’s a gentleman who chooses what he tells me or what he remembers. His memory? It often fails him. When my questions are too intrusive, he withdraws into himself and leaves in incomprehensible monologues.
He’s a trickster who invented a strange charity to soften our retired grandmothers... well, those who open their door.

He is a fragile gentleman who finally agreed to be photographed after visiting him for many years.

For me, telling about our conversations is a way of keeping in touch with this lonely and dignified gentleman. Perhaps also a duty to remember a life of suffering and loneliness, which will one day fly away noiselessly......

He’s a man named Bernard G. He’s my 5-euro Buddy.

This is the story of his visits.

I fear the day he longer rings my doorbell ...



Frédéric Bourcier was born on November 18,1962.
He was successively a fashion photographer for over 25 years and a photo reporter. He reported gagged women, prisoners’ life in overcrowded prisons, exploited children, in Kosovo, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Central America ...
He is the author of "Livre Echange". (Barter Book)
Frédéric Bourcier definitively breaks codes with this to-be-continued story " My five-euro buddy".
Frédéric Bourcier spends some of his time meeting with and understanding those who cross path with him. It is what makes this atypical photographer’s world so rich.

Book released in 2004 with the support of the city of Lyon for the International Child Day.
The opening of the photo exhibition took place in Lyon city hall lounges.
Format 25 x 30 cm / 2,500 copies

My 5- euro buddy
Self-published Book released in December 2019.
All copyrights and profits are fully donated to the Notre-Dame des Sans-Abri, a charity which looked after of Mr. Bernard, « My 5-euro buddy».
Format 30 x 30 cm / 600 copies
Audience Prize at the « Festival Rendez Vous Image » in Strasbourg / 01-2020.