My agency will
be 35 years old this year and among many of my experiences connected
with photography and life stories, AIDS and its coverage is certainly
one of the most touching and impressive.
I remember by heart Alon Reininger's pictures for example, which I
consider one of the greatest pieces of documentary photography of
the whole last century, or that last picture shot of actor Rock Hudson
in a French Festival by Philippe Ledru (which was his last important
public appearance with that devastated face, really shocking the public
opinion for the first time). As an editor, it has been impossible
for me to look at the photo essays and pictures that have covered
the AIDS epidemic without being deeply and intimately connected with
them and with the use of photography in this delicate and emotional
situation. For instance Hervé Guibert's pictures and texts
are among the most moving documents on the disease I can remember.
The roll call of photographers in this month's Digital Journalist
bears witness to the dedication these people brought to telling the
world of the devastating effects of the epidemic.
In the beginning the focus seemed to be so much on the United States
and very little on Europe or on the other countries. Now, however,
as the disease spreads its horrific web through Africa, and on to
India and China, here thedeath toll is estimated to climb to over
450 million people, photographers are continuing to photograph on
the front lines of this terrible new kind of war.
Italian photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin is represented here with pictures
from two of his important bodies of work, from Uganda and Cambodia.
Paolo's pictures show the concern the conscience of living through
one of the worst plagues in the world and still trying to keep a kind
of dignity to avoid that awful "guilty feeling" which has
been spreading since the birth of this terrible disease.
Italian photographer was born in Rome in 1964, and works with Agence
VU and Grazia Neri. In 1995 his reportage on AIDS in Uganda was awarded
with the first Prize at World Press Photo competition in the category
"Daily Life" and in 1996 he was nominated as Kodak Young
Photographer. He has covered political and social crisis in Bosnia,
Cambodia, Kossovo, former U.S.S.R. Since 1995 he has been working
on a long-time project documenting the HIV pandemic in developing
countries. In 1997 he was awarded with the first prize at the Gijon
Photofestival for his work on Bosnia. In 1999 he received the third
prize in the portrait category at World Press Photo competition. In
2000 he won both the Leica Prize and Hasselblad Grant.