Photo Op Social
I chose to work on the migrants issue because I felt I had to witness this historic event and tell it through my photographs. The main idea was to show these people’s stories and emotions by catching specific moods, such as desperation, joy, satisfaction, and fear.
The migrants’ journey, their passage, thousands of feet stepping along paths and railways; it all stays on the background. Through my eyes, that huge multitude turns out to be a gallery of faces, depicting a variety of personal feelings: a woman’s eyes among the crowd, the loving gesture of a father carrying his disabled son, or the endless cry of babies and children.
An incredible flow of refugees on the move, leaving Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. They are making their way toward northern Europe, looking for freedom.
They arrive to the Greek island of Lesvos, six mile far from Turkish coasts, after dangerous crossing on inflatable boats. Lesvos is the first safe haven they reach.
From Lesvos to Athens, first stop before moving toward East Europe.
I followed their route through Idomeni, at the border between Greece and Macedonia, then in Presevo, in Serbia, Sid and Tovarnik as well, along the border between Serbia and Croatia until the end of the long road to freedom.
Number of photographs: 30 B&W photographs
Size: 50 x 70 cm
Type of prints: digital prints on Fine Art Hahnemühle Photo Luster paper
Frames: black wood • 61 x 91 cm
Stefano Schirato was born in Bologna in 1974, where he graduated in Political Sciences.
He has been working as a freelance photographer with a keen focus on social themes.
After several reportages covering topics such as the condition of children living in the sewers of Bucharest, he was awarded with a scholarship to take part in a course with Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin.
In 1999, together with the Non-Governmental Organization New Humanity and in support of Emergency, he proposed to witness the drama of landmines in Cambodia. This work gave birth to his first book, Gli occhi della Cambogia, with a preface by Ferdinando Scianna.
Starting from 2000 he devoted himself to a long-term project about seized ships which was to take him, over the following two years, in various mediterranean harbors in order to document the life of maritime prisoners on board.
In 2002 he met the Oscar-winning film director Giuseppe Tornatore, who examined his images and encouraged their publication.
The same year, the publisher Silvana Editoriale launched his new book titled Né in terra, né in mare (neither on sea nor land) with an essay by Tornatore.
In the last years has been divided between social issues and still photography and backstage of Tornatore’s movies.
His works have appeared on Vanity Fair, Panorama, D La Repubblica delle Donne, Il Manifesto, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, Cnn, Le Figaro Magazine, Washington Post, Geo International.
His project on the Refugee Crisis along the Balkan Route “One Way Only” has been exposed in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome by the President Laura Boldrini.