New York might be the center for art and glamour photography, Los Angeles the evil empire for paparazzi, but Washington DC is the capital for news and documentary photography. The epicenter of political power, along with the richest museums in the country, Washington is also the headquarters for National Geographic and the host of some of the most prestigious universities. This concentration of politics, art, media and education make DC a natural hub for professional photographers, but one thing was missing. Until 2008 there was no event that would reflect this unique position in the photographic world. Under the leadership of Theo Adamstein, Washington has now a week-long photo festival — FotoWeek DC. This event finally gives photographers, gallery owners, curators, photo editors, and the public at large a venue to participate, view, exchange, share and confront their love for photography. — Jean-Louis Atlan, Zone 2.8 Gallery
Over in Georgetown the Zone 2.8 Gallery is working hard to get ready for FotoWeek. The gallery opened in 2007 with the goal of “providing art collectors and the public at large access to established international photographers as well as untapped talents.” For FotoWeek Zone 2.8 will present War Zone, the work of Paris based Italian photographer Enrico Dagnino.
For the last 20 years, Dagnino has covered conflicts from the Balkans to Chechnya, the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan; he has documented the brutality, the misery, and the horrific wounds of the flesh and the soul that come with war. The 50 photos in the War Zone exhibit will attempt to delve deeper into war and it’s aftermath.
Dagnino’s debut as a photojournalist occurred during the end of the eighties, around the time of the fall of the Berlin wall and the Velvet Revolution in Praha. He then covered the uprising in Romania, followed by the coverage of the outbreak of the civil war in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. For several years he covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as the conflict opposing Russia to Chechnya, or the Yemenites of the North to those of the South.
Furthermore, he depicted the civil wars of Somalia, the Nagorno-Karabakh, the Rwandan refugee crisis, the Kabila’s offensive in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as the invasion, by the American forces and their allies, of Afghanistan in 2001 and of Iraq in 2003.
In parallel, he worked in the especially disadvantaged area of Kinshasa, working on the social organizations, the government housing neighborhoods, homeless men and women, and the Shegué (streets kids). He covered inter-ethnic fighting in Kenya in January 2008 for Paris Match, following the presidential elections of 27 December 2007.
From the fall of the Berin Wall to the proclamation of independence in Kosovo, Dagnino’s reportage work is a record of European history today.
Photos courtesy of Zone 2.8 Gallery and the artist. Click on each photo for more information.
Zone 2.8 Gallery is located at 1000 Wisconsin Ave. NW (suite 300)
– Kerrin Kastorf