On the Front Line. Women Photojournalists in War Zones

Words by Teresa Sartore
October 17, 2016

“A great photograph is something you feel, in its compassion, its light and colour, its aesthetic. A photographer recently said to me ‘I don’t take pictures with my eyes, I take pictures with my body’”.

Alice Gabriner


Women have played a vital historic role in the development of war photography, even though they remain a minority.

Palazzo Madama in Turin (Italy) presents On the Front Line: Women Photojournalists in War Zones, curated by Andreja Restek, Stefanella Campana and Maria Paola Ruffino. The photo exhibition is on show from 7 October to 13 November 2016 and includes 70 pictures taken by 14 international women photojournalists who work for top international publications.

Everybody remembers Robert Capa – Campana points out- but few recall the work of Gerda Taro, who died at only 26 documenting the Spanish Civil War. Nowadays, female photojournalists are growing in number and working on the frontline, often revealing important stories men have not been able to tell. Stories that would otherwise never be covered.They go into the most atrocious and dangerous battlefields to document and denounce war’s horrors through their camera lens.

The photojournalists displayed at the exhibition are Linda Dorigo, Virginie Nguyen Hoang, Jodi Hilton, Andreja Restek, Annabell Van den Berghe, Laurence Geai, Capucine Granier-Deferre, Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Matilde Gattoni, Shelly Kittleson, Maysun, Alison Baskerville, Monique Jaques, and Camille Lepage.

From Afganistan to Syria, from Sudan to Palestine: seventy photographs, in colour and black and white, taken with digital cameras or on film, tell the story of history unfolding. Each photographer is showcasing five prints, emblematic of her work and perception of conflict zones, and of what it means to be a woman in a mostly male-dominated profession.

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