Enrico Dagnino’s reportages and archives are distributed and exhibited around the world. His debut as a photojournalist occurred during the end of the eighties, around the time of the fall of the Berlin wall and the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Dagnino’s singular eye captivates and leads the viewer into history with poetic and brutally honest testimonies displayed as photographs, video and self-made books.
Photography saved my life. Without photography I would be dead or in jail. It gave me purpose. It opened the world in front of me. I could go everywhere and see it with my eyes, instead of being in a corner shooting up heroin and traveling inside my brain.
Why to have an exhibition? To clean myself up. It’s a way to show the world as I see it and as I live. It’s my vision of the world.
When I look at my photographs I can see they are all mixed up. Personal and reporting. They are entwined, it’s hard to separate them.
After I come back from a trip I lock myself in my apartment listening to music for days and nights. It’s hard to deal with people and normal things like going to a restaurant with bunch of friends. I make scrapbooks. I am trying to free my mind, to let the pain go.
I never thought I would live so long. I have pushed very hard against the edge of luck. I developed a kind of survival mode. Because the only thing that matters in a war zone is survival. I translated this to real life, but it doesn’t go well with family or children or lovers. I was always thinking: today is my last day so lets take hold of it.
At the beginning, preparing for the exhibition, going back editing searching, it was heavy to go through the ruins of my life. In order to choose pictures from Sarajevo I had to go through the rolls of negatives and there were pictures of my ex-wife, my kids, my father who died, all mixed up with the horror of the siege daily life. Old rolls of ﬁlm, all my ex girlfriends my lovers; I could see the moments when everything fucked up when all my illusions ends.
Often I feel like it’s just an endless cycle that is getting worse and worse.
I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Born in Italy in 1960, Enrico Dagnino currently lives in Paris.
His photojournalistic career began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution in Prague, in the late 1980s. Dagnino then followed the chaotic transition from the former communist block: the uprising of Romania, civil wars in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. His photographic reports are widely published in the international press, and his archives distributed through Black Star, Grazia Neri, and Cosmos agency.
Dagnino covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the first Intifada, fighting between Russian forces and separatist Chechens, and in Africa the exodus of Rwandan refugees, Kabila’s offensive in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the presidential elections in Kenya, invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq by the Americans…
In 2009 he reported the story of immigrants in Lampedusa for Paris Match magazine. With rare evidence of human rights violations in Europe, the publication of his images about the plight of African immigrants in Libya was an alerting message to European institutions. For Enrico Dagnino, this was the start of a long history with Libya, where he later met former-ruler Muammar Gaddafi and continued his investigations into the fate inflicted on those who strived to leave the country.
In 2011, Tunisia and Egypt are freed from a dictatorship through uprisings. In Libya, the revolt turns into a civil war and in the first months, Enrico Dagnino remained in Tripoli and in the hands of Gaddafi. For Paris Match he tells the story of the invisible war; explaining the control of the dictator’s clan.
In September 2012, during an assignment for French daily newspapare Le Monde he made a first-hand account of how the batallion of determined rebels took Sirte, the last bastion before Libya was freed from Gaddafi.
Special thanks to gallery Navarra, the 2eme Bureau, Sébastien Moreux and Maral Deghati.