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Francesco Giusti

Francesco Giusti (Italy, 1969) is a documentary photographer oriented toward the investigation of contemporary, social and identity related issues.

He has explored different approaches: from photojournalistic essays to portrait stories to long term documentary based projects.

He has worked primarily in Africa, in Europe and the Mediterranean, in the Caribbean region and in Latin America.

He has been awarded with prizes from different organizations such as the World Press Photo 2010, Vois Off Arles/Prix de la Critique 2016, Premio Ponchielli/GRIN 2011 (Honourable Mention), PhotoVisa Russia 2018 (finalist multimedia), Viewbook PhotoStory 2009 (1st Prize Documentary), Premio Ponchielli/GRIN 2004 (Honourable Mention), Canon Young Photoghraphers Award 2002 (Best Photographic Project), Prix Care du Reportage Humanitaire 2000 (Finalist), Leica Oskar Barnack Award 1999 (Honourable Mention).

His works have been exhibited in galleries, public institutions and international events such as Rencontres d’Arles 1999, Visa Perpignan 2000, Festival di Fotografia di Roma 2006, Fotografica Bogotà 2010, Houston Fotofest 2011, 4th Fotofestival Germany 2011, FIFV Valparaiso Chile 2013, Photovisa Festival Russia 2014 & 2018, Getxo Photo 2015, Voies Off Arles 2016, Indian Photo Festival 2017 and others.

Publications & clients include: Internazionale, Time Lightbox, l’Espresso, Courrier International, OjodePez, GUP, Colors, IoDonna, D Repubblica, Leica Magazine, Russkij Reporter, l’Europeo, Photonews and others.

He is co-founder of Liveinslums , an NGO focusing its efforts in favor of the informal settlements and the critical areas in great cities, carrying out development and applied research projects with a multidisciplinary approach.

He has run workshops in Italy, Egypt, Kenia, Germany, France, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Bolivia.


World Mental Health Day is observed on the 10th of October every year. Today.

I came across the website of Scott, to see again his project “Butterflies”, which is divided into chapters, and is a long term project about mental health in different regions of the world. A project carried out with great commitment and dedication. It always moves me.  Butterflies By Scott Typaldos

I recently went back to re-photograph a large psychiatric hospital in Naples; the “Leonardo Bianchi Psychiatric Hospital”, which has been abandoned to itself about twenty years ago.

In 1998 I spent some weeks living in a small room inside the hospital, photographing the last “guests” present in the structure before the final closure. Last year, interested and obsessed by the place and by the people I met years ago, I asked and obtained permission to re-photograph the structure and work on the rich, but also abandoned, archive of medical records (around 70,000 medical records, some with photographs of the patient attached), which covers almost a century of psychiatric history of one of the largest and most capacious psychiatric hospitals in southern Italy. A project currently in progress.

In reviewing Scott’s work, I discovered similarities between some of our images.

We probably have a couple of obsessions in common or may be we are not original enough and we sink into the cliché of the wall, the shoes, the corners; more likely it is the experience itself that brings our attention to similar details. May be a common effort to “put in the shoes” of a person considered mentally ill, has led to common visions. Perhaps these places -that unfortunately still exist- are all alike in some corners.

What for sure matters, are the people who inhabit, or have inhabited them, and still have insufficient or no rights at all.

October 10, 2020

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