Romano Cagnoni “War and Humanity” 11° Festival Fotografico Europeo 2023, Legnano 18 Marzo-25 Aprile

War and Humanity
di Benedetta Donato

Do not lose sight of the human side even in the most dramatic situations. Observing today the work of Romano Cagnoni, this seems to be the synthesis of his path, characterized by the many photographic campaigns made in the hottest fronts of the world. And perhaps you understand better his attitude not to consider himself a war photographer, but a photographer who knew how to document a war, a photographer and that’s all. From the reports that have made the world discover the tragedy of Biafra and that have earned him the most important international magazines covers and the prestigious Overseas Press Award, to North Vietnam, where he accesses as the first Western non-Communist photographer, managing to portray a smiling Ho Chi Minh, to South America of Fidel Castro and Salvador Allende, to arrive at deeply compromised territories, such as those of the countries of the Middle East and the former Yugoslavia.Events destined to irreversibly change the balance of world geopolitics, which Cagnoni reports in images not aimed exclusively at the ordinary photojournalistic chronicle, but goes beyond. Stopping in places, choosing to tell the complex realities, through the faces and stories of the people. For this reason, even today, his photographs are able to arouse wonder in those who observe them.An exhibition that sheds new light on the path of this extraordinary author, on the associations with figures, such as Simon Guttmann and Graham Greene, with images characterized by great visual and emotional impact, where to emerge is the sense of deep truth, thanks to a rare and tangible sensitivity to universal themes of humanity. Because, as the author himself said: “The best photograph for me is a human document of visual impact. Document in the sense that it relates to existence. Human because it tells the state of mind of the other. And all this must have a visual impact that makes it memorable.”

1 Romano Cagnoni, in Maledetti Fotografi, intervista pubblicata nel 2015

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