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AWARD: ALL ABOUT PHOTO 2017 WINNER MARCO GUALAZZINI

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Marco Gualazzini is the recent winner of All About photo contest 2017. As part of the Award, be-Art magazine is glad to offer a highlight on its columns.


MARCO GUALAZZANI


BIOGRAPHY

Born in Parma in 1976, Marco Gualazzini began his career as a photographer in 2004, with his home town’s local daily, La Gazzetta di Parma.

His recent works include reportage on microfinance in India, on the freedom of expression in Myanmar, on the discrimination of Christians in Pakistan.

For the last few years he has been covering Africa extensively.

He devised and took part in the creation of a documentary for the Italian national TV network RAI on the caste system in India, which has been selected at IDFA- The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, and has been awarded with the Best Camera Work Award at the Al-Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival 2014.

Gualazzini’s reportages have been published widely in several national and international titles, and he has been a frequent contributing photographer to The New York Times,  to L’Espresso Group.

Represented by CONTRASTO Agency – www.contrasto.it

PUBLICATION

Internazionale, Io Donna, D di Repubblica, L’Espresso, CNN, M (Le Monde), Der Spiegel, The Sunday Times Magazine, Wired, Newsweek Japan, Sportweek, Paris Match, The New York Times, LIGHTBOX- TIME magazine, Courrier International, L’Express, 6Mois, and Vanity Fair among the others.


INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY BEATRICE CHASSEPOT


Be-Art Magazine: How did you decide to take the path of photojournalism? Is it because of a specific event?

Marco Gualazzini: My father was a “special envoy” of what used to be one of the top Italian daily papers, and journalism was something we lived and breathed at home. Then, at university, I had the fortune to have two important figures in Italian journalism among my lecturers. I’d been cultivating a passion for photography for a number of years, so it was the combination of these two elements that set me on my way.

 

Be-Art Magazine: How do you make a decision of such or such country to cover?
Marco Gualazzini: I got into photography during the years of the genocide in Rwanda and the fall of Siad Barre in Somalia, when a number of photographers – now regarded as the leading photojournalists of that period – were covering those events.
Since it was that kind of photography, and that kind of news, that got me into photography, when I actually started my career I felt a sort of moral obligation to continue the work of those photographers, not least because the problems in those areas were far from being solved, so in 2012, when the opportunity to go to Somalia presented itself, I grasped it like a shot.
Be-Art Magazine: you certainly shoot lots of images each time. What are your criteria to sort the photo you want to keep?
Marco Gualazzini: This is a major problem, for sure. To be honest, though, I’ve taken fewer photographs in Somalia than in other places – unfortunately – because of the precarious safety conditions there and the limited amount of time that can be spent on the ground.
That said, editing is of fundamental importance. It’s always difficult to condense weeks’ work into thirty or so pictures. It’s difficult to leave out certain photos, photos you feel a particular connection with for emotional reasons, and about which it’s hard to be objective. This is why I always need someone working alongside me, someone who has less of an emotional connection to the photographs than my own and is able to help me make a selection.

 

Be-Art Magazine: Concerning the image that the Jury chose, can you explain the context of it? And the reason you shoot it?
Marco Gualazzini: The photo was taken early in the morning. The fishermen take the fish to the market, where it will be cleaned, cut and sold.
I knew the practice, because I’d already seen photographs of it, taken by Somali photographers. As a western photographer, however, it wasn’t easy to capture; timing was complicated, for reasons linked, again, to safety and to the curfew. But since I’m trying to portray the resilience of the Somali people, and given the important role fishing plays in the country’s economy, for me it was essential to take that photo.
Be-Art Magazine: what impact would you like to make with your series of photos from all over the world?
Marco Gualazzini: I’m a little disillusioned about the actual impact photos can have on what’s happening in those countries. Having said that, I believe it’s right to continue illustrating the situation. In my own small way, and difficult as it is, I’m still trying to forge ahead with something that’s often more of a mission than a profession.
The All About Photo award is a good incentive not to give up, and I consider the financial aspect of the award as a grant allowing me to pursue this project in Somalia.

 

Be-Art Magazine: what is your next destination?
Marco Gualazzini: At the moment I’m in Pakistan, but thanks to the award, however, I hope to return to Somalia by the end of June.
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