Alessandro Penso


B. 1978 - ITALIAN BASED IN ROME

Alessandro Penso, born in Italy, studied clinical psychology at The Sapienza University of Rome. He went on to study photojournalism at the Roman School Of Photography and Cinema, where he received a scholarship. Alessandro is deeply committed to social issues, and in recent years he has been focusing on the issue of immigration in the Mediterranean. During this time, he has produced work on detention centres in Malta, the situation of migrant workers in the agricultural sector in the south of Italy, and young people stuck in limbo in Greece.

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Motivated by the desire to raise awareness of injustices at Europe’s margins, Alessandro’s work depicts those who find themselves on the receiving end of xenophobia, racism and violence. His work from Greece was the focus of a major solo exhibition entitled ‘The European Dream: Road to Bruxelles’, which travelled through Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland and Belgium; where it was shown at the European Parliament.

Alessandro works regularly with Italian and international publications, including: The International Herald Tribune, TIME, The Washington Post, Businessweek, The Guardian, BBC, Human Rights Watch, L’Espresso, D di Repubblica and Vanity Fair Italy.

He has received awards by World Press Photo; Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Grant; Getty Editorial Grants; Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Fund; and the Terry O’Neill Tag Award. Alessandro’s images have been widely exhibited at photography festivals in Europe, and he regularly conducts workshops and professional seminars.

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Selected Works

Frontiera

Frontiera

Alessandro Penso

After the closure of the main Balkan migration route in 2015 and an EU deal with Turkey a year later, the number of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants knocking on Europe’s door has decreased dramatically. But as people look for alternate routes, the situation in Bosnia has changed. Migrants and asylum seekers there, mainly from…

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Refugees in Bulgaria

Refugees in Bulgaria

In 2013, due principally to the war in Syria, Bulgaria found itself in the middle of international migration flows like never before. Caught completely unprepared for the around 11,000 refugees…

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The European Dream

The European Dream

For almost seven years, I have been photographing the conditions of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Europe, with a particular focus on European Union border countries. I have aimed…

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Migrant Workers Journey

Migrant Workers Journey

The project “Migrant Workers Journey” describes and documents the social and human working conditions of migrants employed illegally in Italy in the agricultural sector, mainly as seasonal worker during the…

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Unaccompanied minors in Serbia

Unaccompanied minors in Serbia

Further along the Balkans route, I found 1,500 people stuck, living in old industrial warehouses in the Serbian capital Belgrade. More than half of these people were unaccompanied minors who…

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Exhibitions