Angela Varricchio was born in Benevento, Italy, in 1979. In 2003 she took a Full Honours Degree in Science of Communication at the University of Studies of Salerno, Italy. In 2005 she completed a Post-degree specialization in Photojournalism at Istituto Superiore di Fotografia e Comunicazione Integrata (I.S.F.C.I.), in Rome. Since 2007 Angela has been working as a freelance photojournalist and multimedia journalist and from 2011 to 2012 she had been teaching photography and reportage. After having taken a Master Degree of Arts in Photojournalism at the Swedish Mittuniversitetet in 2017, she started a doctorate in Media and Cultural Studies at the English University of Lancaster in 2018. Her research investigates the impact of gender on war photography, mapping the salient characteristics of the female gaze on the hegemonic Western white male-oriented visual war narrative.
– Presentation of the paper “The iconicity of war photographs and their powerful roots in Western myths: A rhetorical analysis of Vietnam and Gulf war images”. 7th ECREA Communication Conference. Prague, 2016.
In the introduction of “War images”, published by Medics Without Borders in 2001, the Radio France Inter journalist Daniel Mermet explains: “A reporter belongs to the pataphysical comedy. He believes to ride free around the four angles of the earth, 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, Ariadne’s thread, or rope around the neck. He is manipulated by himself, by the adolescent who lives inside himself, 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, shook up his world”.
When I was seventeen years, I found three images on my book of Contemporary History which shocked me: some Margaret Bourke-White’s black and white photographs of Buchenwald camp prisoners survived to the Shoah, a Goya’s etching from Disasters of War, and an anonymous German soldier’s photograph, portraying a Jewish young woman forced to wear a sign with the writing “I am a bitch”. The indignation at the human rights violation, the ethnic and gender hate, and the brutality of war lead me to become a photojournalist, to lend the voice of each form of silent and oppressed living being by a camera.
Photojournalism is a cultural tool to attract public opinion’s attention on features out of the majority of the media agenda, because of the economic interests of lobbies and stakeholders. The increasing power of lobbies in hiding or distorting reality has caused the relative crisis of independent publishing companies, with a slow and progressive narcotisation of audience. As a consequence, the birth of an alarming ignorance and acquiescence about sensitive features has caused a lack of engagement in defending civil and human rights by the audience. Fighting the overcomes of the crisis of photojournalism classic form, contemporary forms of photojournalism have to adapt to new challenges, detecting the economic system contradictions, functioning as guardians of democracy. Multimedia journalists must be pungent and incisive to shape an alternative and resilient form of politically engaged intelligencija to raise questions about new forms of inequity.
I am a serial walker and I fiercely advocate the defence and preservation of the indigenous cultures and their myths, fighting the ethical and political vacuum produced by capitalism, the animal and human body commodification, the supremacy of the Western white heterosexual male approach, the cultural stereotypization and massification, working for the flourishing of a sexual, racial, and political diversity-oriented culture by digital activism.