Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Andrea Pistolesi: The Rohingya Refugees

Photo © Andrea Pistolesi-All Rights Reserved

Andrea Pistolesi is a pro in the full meaning of the word...a my kind of guy...a photographer who fuses travel and editorial imagery, and who's candid enough to say that professional travel photography as it existed is now extinct, and that travel publications and ancillary glossies are a dying breed. He espouses the view -like I do- that interesting visual stories are all around us, but that we need to broaden our scope by creating new ways of distribution (think of the new VII Magazine, as an example).

Andrea was born and lives in Florence, and studied geography at the local university, evolving in a travel photographer specializing in geographic and global social reportage. He published books on exotic destinations (Indonesia, New Zealand, Morocco, South Africa, The Land of Buddha, Hinduism, Eastern Christianity), and amongst others, has recently published a book on prayers of major religions.

He was widely published in CN Traveller (Italy), Delta Sky, Departures, Elle, l'Espresso, Figaro Mag, Gente Viaggi, Geo, Gulliver, Hemispheres, Islands, LATimes Mag, National Geographic, NYT Sophisticated Traveler, Photo, Rutas del Mundo, Smithsonian Mag, Time, Travel & Leisure, and many others.

Andrea's website is a cornucopia of travel and editorial photography, which is bound to give viewers hours of enjoyment, and provide photographers immense inspiration and ideas.

I spent a while on his website, trying to decide which of his galleries to feature on this blog. It was difficult, and I changed my mind often. Finally, I chose the brilliant reportage of the Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh.

As Andrea describes them, the Rohingya are the unwanted of southwestern Asia. An ethnic Muslim minority, they have no rights in Burma and try to flee across the borders with Bangladesh where only a few earn a refugee status. For others, it's a life of squalid illegal camps, an unending odyssey falling prey to human traffickers, to organ traffickers, to sex rings and to pedophiles.

Also read Andrea's blog post Requiem For Travel Photography. And don't miss his work on the Nats (spirits of Mynamar) and on the Bugis Seafarers.

Highly recommended as a photographer to follow.