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Pietro Masturzo

Pietro Masturzo
Pietro Masturzo
Photo by Antonio Barrella
Pietro Masturzo
Pietro Masturzo

Cry. First a thesis on ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus. Then, travel to Ukraine, Japan and China, where he earned his living by doing odd jobs. Life in Naples. Later, in Rome. Working on documentaries by day and press releases by night. More jobs, more evening classes. All for an idea which had always been there in his head and which, over time, had become a conviction: that photography, and photojournalism in particular, was the road that Pietro Masturzo was meant to travel, with the commitment, passion and curiosity that had characterised his travels so far. So he set off again for the Caucasus, where he shot his first true real photographic reportage. The agencies started to commission some work.

The turning point was Iran. Or, rather, the roofs of Tehran's gutted buildings, thirty years after the Islamic Revolution. It was the period just after the protests during the presidential election, when thousands of people thronged the streets, crying out their dissent. In the daytime. And then at night too. Cries from the rooftops, though. From the balconies, from the windows, from where it sounded stronger, more powerful. Pietro captured one of these rooftops with his lens; the illuminated, square windows, the mould on the walls, the surrounding city, half broken, women in ḥijābs with their hands to their mouth, ready to launch their cries. One of those photographs of the rooftops would win the World Press Photo Contest and give Pietro the professional recognition to allow him to fulfil his desire: that of speaking with photography as though with a language. What does this specific language tell us?

A foreboding. Something that has yet to happen, that is about to appear around the corner of the viewfinder. A vague haze that, instead of hiding, reveals. There is a sense of life passing slowly in his photos, and it falls upon the eye the beholder like a ray of light-narrow, yet powerful enough to brighten the shadows.

The story has been written by Rossella Milone, writer

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