Angela Varricchio was born in Benevento, Italy, in 1979.
In 2003 she took a Full Honours Degree in Science of Communication at the Università degli Studi di Salerno in Italy, expounding an original thesis in Poetics and Rhetoric about visual mechanisms of the photographic body persuasion of the UNHCR, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, UNICEF, and FAO social photographies campaigns. Then, Angela attended an internship at the Communication and Development Department of E.N.P.A., an Italian non-profit organization for animal protection.
After a post-degree specialization in Media Content Product Management, in 2005 she completed a post-graduate specialization in Photojournalism at Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata (I.S.F.C.I.), in Rome. During her studies, Angela attended workshops with Antoine D’Agata, Francesco Zizola, Patrick Zachmann, Angelo Turetta, Letizia Battaglia, and Franco Zecchin. She attended further workshops with Lina Pallotta and Morten Andersen too.
Since 2007 Angela has been working as a freelancer photojournalist. In 2011 she taught ‘Reportage and Naturalistic Photography’ and ‘Elements of Basic Photography’. In 2012 she was a Senior photographer in ‘Senior meets Junior – Reading of portfolios’, a national event organized by Tau Visual, Associazione Nazionale Fotografi Professionisti at Giu* Box Gallery in Napoli, in order to help young photographers improving their skills. In 2014 Angela was a Wedding Photojournalist Association Member.
At Ecrea 2016, she presented the first results of her running research. Focusing on the most iconic Vietnam and First Gulf war photographs, the study speculates about the diametrically opposite visual patterns of free and embedded photojournalism and their relationship with the pictorial representations of Western myths.
In 2017 Angela finished the Master Degree of Arts in Photojournalism at Mid Sweden University, in Sweden.
– Ascanio Ciriello. Italy. 2006. First prize.
– Orvieto Fotografia Professional Photography Awards. Italy. 2008. Bronze award in “Reportage” category.
– Orvieto Fotografia Professional Photography Awards. Italy. 2009. Bronze award in “Reportage” and “Open Photography” category.
– Premio fotografico 2009 Tau Visual. Italy. 2009. Honorable mention in “Travel and Ethnic” category.
– National Geographic Italian Contest, web gallery. Italy. 2010. Finalist.
– Intimalens Ethnographic Film Festival. Italy. 2012. Second place in “Photography” category.
– Leica Italia Award Contest. Italy. 2013. Finalist.
– Fiof Awards Nikon Photo Contest. Italy. 2014. Bronze award in “Reportage” category.
– Fiof Awards Nikon Photo Contest. Italy. 2014. Bronze award in “Storytelling” category.
– Wide Foundation Documentary Photography Award. Sweden. 2015. Finalist.
– Fiof Awards. Fiipa. Italy. 2016. Second place in “Story” category.
– Magnum Photography Awards 2016. 2016. Selected in “Street photography” category.
– Siena International Photo Award. 2016. Selected in “Storyboard” category.
– Lensculture Photo Contest. 2016. Selected in “Street photography” category.
– Aspa -Alghero Street Photography Awards-. 2018. Finalist in “Travel” category.
– Scatti divini, group exhibition. Firenze, Italy. 2007.
– Exposure: 4th Annual Photography Competition, group exhibition. New York, USA. 2013.
– Intimalens Ethnographic Film Festival, group exhibition. Caserta, Italy. 2012 /2013.
– Views from the North, group exhibition. Sundsvall, Sweden. 2016.
In the introduction of War images published by Medics Without Borders in 2001, a Radio France Inter journalist, Daniel Mermet, explains: “A reporter belongs to the pataphysical comedy. He believes to ride around the four angles of the earth free, but he is only a dog harnessed by his leash and the old cunning of the global powers, a puppet entangled in his barbed wired, knife’s edge, Arainde’s thread, or rope around the neck. He is manipulated by himself, by the adolescent who lives inside him, Capa in Spain, Caron in Vietnam. At the bottom of his heart, hidden in the darkroom of his memories, there are two or three images which before shaking up the world shaked up his world”.
I think that unconsciously I decided to become a photojournalist during my adolescence, browsing randomly the book of Contemporary History. I was shocked at observing Margaret Bourke-White’s black and white photographs of Buchenwald prisoners, a Goya’s print from Disasters of War, and an anonymous German soldier’s photograph, portraying a Jewish young woman obliged to wear a sign with the written “I am a bitch”. The indignation at the human rights violation, the racial hate and the brutality of war pushed me to lend the voice of silent and oppressed by a camera.
Photojournalism is a cultural tool to attract public opinion’s attention on features out of the majority of media agenda, because of the lobbies and stakeholders’s economic interests. The increasing power of lobbies of in hiding or distorting reality has caused the crisis of independent publishing companies, with a slow and progressive narcotisation of public audience. The consequence is the birth of an alarming ignorance or acquiescence about sensitive features and a lack of engagement in defending civil and human rights by the audience itself.
Photojournalism is an ethical and civil revolution, fought through the acculturation process of public audience. Documentary is a precious mean of explanation of the historical and political motivations from which a daily news originates. At the beginning of 20th century by social reportage transvestites, drunks, bohemians and working class ceased being amorphous misfits, waste at the margins of society, as the conformist bourgeois thought established, and started to be considered human beings who need a political help by an organized welfare. Following the same fil rouge, in the contemporary era photojournalism has to adapt to the new challenges, detecting the contradictions of the new economic system.
Photojournalists are critical observers, gardians of democracy. Their photographs must be pungent and incisive to shape an alternative form of active intelligencija. Photojournalists have not only the duty of reporting visually facts as a duty of information exercise, but also of stimulating civil mobilisation. Reporters are the pirates against the regime.
Quoting an extract of John Caputo’s Obligation happens of 1993: “The photo abruptly calls the viewer to a moral awareness that cannot be limited to roles, contracts, or laws; neither is it buffered by distance. A fragmented world is still a world of moral demands, only now they may be most pressing when least expected, and the demand itself can shatter conventional wisdom”.