In ancient philosophy the root represents the beginning or the cause of all things.

The four fundamental elements of nature are roots: earth, water, air, fire.
In the modern sense the term is borrowed from botany, where it is used in reference to plants that bind to a soil by putting down roots. From the latter, every living being becomes the bearer of a different experience and culture.

Human history is characterized by situations in which the roots can be compromised: the origins of a people that risk being denied, as well as the natural resources of a territory that are threatened; but also the roots can be the confirmation of belonging to something or someone and be synonymous with identity.
Current international events require a reflection also on the root, understood as the motivation triggering short circuits such as social inequalities and environmental crises, all elements generating conflicts.
At a time when the very roots of photojournalism are being challenged by new technologies, it is essential to enhance the photographic story as an authentic narrative on specific situations and events, it can illuminate circumstances and create awareness in public opinion on issues of fundamental importance.

The selected projects will be submitted to an international jury, composed of professionals
and chaired by Patricia Franceschetti Cagnoni.

The experts will meet in order to determine the award winner and assign special mentions.


Photography critic, editor and curator, she deals with exhibition and publishing projects within visual culture.
After studying Environmental and Territorial Sociology at La Sapienza University of Rome, she completed her studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3. In Paris she deepened the history and criticism of contemporary photography, dedicating herself exclusively to curatorial activity.
In 2010 she has been included in the list of Expert Consultants of the ICCD – Central Institute for the Catalogue and Documentation of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
From the same year she is president of pianoBI.
Since 2012 she has been a member of Progetto Donne e Futuro, for which she represents the Women and Art section.
Among the different organizations and entities with she collaborated: the production company Giart for the Fotografia Italiana documentary film series, distributed by Contrasto; Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Treccani for which she worked on the Contemporary Japanese Photography section, included in the publication Enciclopedia of Contemporary Art.
She has also also curated exhibitions and edited photographic books for several authors, including: Maurizio Galimberti Italyscapes (2013) and Portraits (2016), Francesco Faraci Malacarne (2016), Giuseppe Mastromatteo, Humanscape (2018), Nicola Tanzini TokyoTzukiji (2018), Group Exhibition #18Explorations (2018), Alberto Gandolfo What remains (2019), Romano Cagnoni Human Revelation (2019) and many other.
Portfolio reviewer, member of the jury and nominator of national and international awards, she is contributing editor for Il Fotografo Italian magazine.
Benedetta is a member of The Romano Cagnoni Foundation’s Board of Directors and Director of the Romano Cagnoni Award.

Benedetta Donato

Director of Romano Cagnoni Award

Rules of Contest

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