Paolo Pellegrin

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Paolo Pellegrin (born March 11, 1964) is an internationally renowned photojournalist who was born in Rome, Italy, into a family of architects.


Pellegrin studied architecture at L'Università la Sapienza, in Rome, and after three years he decided to change career directions and left to study photography at Istituto Italiano di Fotografia in Rome, from 1986 to 1987. During these years, he met the Italian photographer Enzo Ragazzini, who became his mentor.

Between 1987 and 1990 he began working on his first photography projects in Italy, concentrating on immigration, the circus and homelessness. He was also working as an assistant for a number of photographers and videographers. In 1991, after completing a well-paid assignment for the Italian state TV channel, he bought a second-hand car, filled it with his prints and negatives, and moved to Paris where he met Christian Caujolle, who invited him to join Agence VU’, which represented him for nine years.

In 1992 he began working on personal projects, on subjects such as the Romani people in Italy and Bosnia and made several trips to the Balkans after Albania opened its borders. Through Christian Caujolle, he met Grazia Neri, who represented him in Italy. Between 1994 and 1995, he started working on a project about children in post-war Bosnia and travelled in Italy, Romania, Mexico, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya for a project on HIV/AIDS. In 1995 he won his first World Press Photo award for his work on AIDS in Uganda.

The year after, he was awarded the Kodak Young Photographer Award / Visa d'Or at Visa Pour l’Image photography festival for his reportage on AIDS in Uganda and participated in the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass. In 1997 he published his first book, Bambini, on his work about children in Bosnia, Uganda and Romania and was awarded the City of Gijòn International Prize of Photojournalism for his work on children in post-war Bosnia. In 1998 he worked on a project for Médecins Sans Frontières, which became a book, Cambodia, and a traveling exhibition. He won a World Press Photo award for his work in Cambodia. In the same year, he was given his first assignment by Kathy Ryan at the New York Times Magazine to work on blood feuds in Albania with reporter Scott Anderson. This assignment with Anderson marked the beginning of a long-time work collaboration that will result in over ten cover stories for the magazine.

Between 1999 and 2000 he travelled frequently between Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, and Serbia during the war, creating an in-depth reportage on the conflict and its aftermath. He won a World Press Photo for his coverage of the conflict in Kosovo. In 2000 he was offered a contract position at Newsweek magazine by Director of Photography Sarah Harbutt and was awarded the Hasselblad Foundation Grant for Photography for his work in the Balkans. He also published the booklet L´au De La Est La, with his work on children in post-war Bosnia.

In 2001 he became a Magnum Photos nominee and won a World Press Photo award for his work on anti-terrorism in Algeria. During the same year, he won the Leica Medal of Excellence for his work in the Balkans. He began to travel extensively, covering news events mainly in the Middle East and Africa. In 2002 he published the book Kosovo 1999-2000: The Flight of Reason and won the German Hansel-Mieth prize for a story in Bosnia. In 2003 he travelled to cover the US-led invasion of Iraq. In 2004 he began travelling to Darfur to cover humanitarian crisis and won the Olivier Rebbot prize by the Overseas Press Club, USA, for his coverage of Darfur. He also won a World Press Photo award for his reportage on Yasser Arafat’s funeral. With Thomas Dworzak, Alex Majoli and Ilkka Uimonen, created Off Broadway, a traveling multi-media project. He became a Magnum Photos full member in 2005. In the same year he covered the aftermath of the Tsunami and hurricane Katrina and won two World Press Photo awards, one for his work on the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and another for the reportage on the backstage of fashion shows in NYC.

Between 2005 and 2006 he worked on a project about the Guantamano Bay detention center and its former detainees in Afghanistan, Albania, Kuwait and the U.K. In 2006 he travelled to Lebanon to cover the war, where he was injured in Tyre. He won a World Press Photo award for his work in Lebanon and the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his long-term project on Islam. In 2007 he was awarded the Robert Capa Gold medal by the Overseas Press Club for his work on the war in Lebanon and won the Leica European Publishers Award for Photography,[1] as the result of which his As I Was Dying was published in seven languages. 2007 was also the year of Double Blind, with his work on the war in Lebanon, with a text by Scott Anderson. He also won City of Gijon International Prize of Photojournalism for his work on Lebanon. During 2008 he travelled to Syria and Jordan for a story about the Iraqi Diaspora and won the Deutsche Fotobuchpreis 2008 for the book As I was Dying and The Lucie International Photography Awards 2008 Book award. He also worked on the New York Times Magazine annual Oscar’s Portfolio.

In 2009 he was awarded Getty Image Professional Editorial Photography Grant for his work on the Iraqi Diaspora in the Middle East and a STERN Spezial Portfolio was published with a monograph of his work. In 2010 published the 5th annual Magnum Photos Fashion Magazine, STORM and the 130th number of the Photo Poche collection. The book Dies Irae was published in 2011, when he travelled to Egypt and Tunisia to cover the revolutions in North Africa. On assignment for Zeit Magazine, covered the Japan’s earthquake and tsunami destructions. He also went on a road trip from San Antonio to Oakland for the Magnum project “Postcards from America” with Jim Goldberg, Alec Soth, Mikhael Subotzky and Susan Meiselas.

In 2012 published the book Paolo Pellegrin (Kunstfoyer der Versicherungskammer Bayern) and won a World Press Photo Award with his reportage about the Tsunami aftermath in Japan. On assignment for Zeit Magazine, he went to Guantanamo once again, to document the U.S. Naval Base and detention center conditions under the Obama administration. He worked in Rochester and Miami for the Magnum project “Postcards from America”. On assignment for Zeit magazine, made a second trip to Rochester.

In 2013 he won his tenth World Press Photo Award with his reportage about Rochester, New York, Photographer of the Year in the 70th annual Pictures of the Year International competition and the prestigious Dr. Erich Salomon Prize 2013.


Main solo exhibitions[edit]

2013 - Another Country. Fotografia - Festival Internazionale di Roma. Macro, Rome, Italy

2012 - As I was Dying. Städtische Galerie, Iserlohn, Germany

2012 - Paolo Pellegrin. Magnum Gallery, Paris, France

2012 - Paolo Pellegrin. Galerie Italienne, Paris, France

2012 - Dies Irae. Maison de La Photographie, Paris, France

2011 - Paolo Pellegrin Retrospective. Kunstfoyer der Versicherungskammer Bayern, Munich, Germany

2011 - Paolo Pellegrin. Spazio Forma - Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan, Italy

2011 - As I Was Dying. Palacij Ljublijankega Gradu, Ljubljana, Slovenia

2010 - Paolo Pellegrin. Galerie de l’Instant, Paris, France

2010 - Retrospective. Galerie Fait et Cause, Paris, France

2009 - Black Mountains. Reportage Atri Festival, Italy

2008 - As I Was Dying. Western Australian Maritime Museum, Perth, Australia

2008 - Iraqi Diaspora. Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France

2008 - Paolo Pellegrin. Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, USA

2008 - As I was Dying. Zephyr Weltkulturen Museum, Mannheim, Germany

2008 - As I was Dying. Magnum Gallery. Paris, France

2008 - As I was Dying. Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France

2008 - Nero Avorio. Casa della Confraternita, Udine, Italy

2008 - As I Was Dying. Leica Galerie, Solms, Germany

2008 - Double Blind. Fovea exhibitions. New York, USA

2007 - Double Blind. CVZ Contemporary, New York, USA

2007 - Darfur. Holocaust Museum, Berlin, Germany

2007 - Broken Landscape. Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Italy

2006 - Traces. Galleria Santa Cecilia. Rome, Italy

2006 - Traces of War. Malmo Museer, Sweden

2005 - The War of Desires. House of Photography, Moscow, Russia

2004 - Israel and Palestine. Bildens Hus Fotomuseet, Sundsvall, Sweden

2002 - Traces of War. Mercati di Traiano, Festival Internazionale di Roma, Rome, Italy

2002 - Traces of War. Hasselblad Center, Goteborg, Sweden

2001 - Paolo Pellegrin. Leica Gallery, New York City, USA

2001 - Kosovo 1999-2000. Parson School of Design, New York City, USA

2000 - Kukes. War in Kosovo, Swedish Parliament, Stockholm, Sweden

1999 - Cambogia. Convento S Chiara Napoli, Italy

1999 - Bosnia. The Heritage of War. Chiesa di Santa Monaca, Firenze, Italy

1999 - Cambodia. Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France

1998 - Cambodia. Galleria Sozzani, Milano, Italy

1997 - Bosnia. Palazzo Renzo, Bologna, Italy

1997 - AIDS in Uganda. EFTI, Centro de Imagen, Madrid, Spain

1997 - Emergency. Galleria Grazia Neri, Milano, Italy

1996 - AIDS in Uganda. Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France

1993 - The Homeless. Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France

Main group exhibitions[edit]

2013 - Deutschlandreise. ZEPHYR - Raum für Fotografie in Mannheim. Mannheim, Germany

2010 - Disquieting Images. Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy

2010 - Magnum. Shifting Media. New Role of Photography. C/O Berlin, Germany

2010 - Haiti Earthquake. Reportage Atri Festival, Atri, Italy

2009 - Georgian Spring. Magnum Photos traveling exhibition: Uferallen, Berlin Germany; Teatro Circo Price, Madrid, Spain; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France.

2008 - Access to Life. Corcoran Museum, Washington D.C., USA

2008 - Disposable People. Hayward Gallery, London, UK

2007 - Darfur/Darfur - George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY

2007 - Altri mondi - FotoGrafia. Festival Internazionale di Roma.Rome, Italy

2007 - Berlin 1946 - 2006 - Camera Work AG, Berlin

2007 - Vor den Augen der Welt - Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Germany

2007 - Degrees of Separation. Michael Mazzeo Gallery. New York City, USA

2007 - Indianscope. Maison de la Photographie. Lille, France

2007 - Euro Visions. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels

2006 - Off Broadway. Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy

2006 - Katrina - An Unnatural Disaster. Noorderlicht Gallery. Groningen, Holland

2004 - 11th Noorderlicht Photofestival 2004. Stichting Fotografie Noorderlicht. Groningen, Holland

2003 - Confronting Views: Nine Phtographers on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK

2003 - Exhibitions at Dokument 03. Bildens Hus . fotomuseet. Sundsvall, Sweden


  1. ^ "Exhibitions: Paolo Pellegrin: As I was dying", Les Rencontres d'Arles. Accessed 8 May 2014.