BEARING WITNESS. Reporting from the front four decades of war
Opening May 25, 17:30
Photos by FAUSTO BILOSLAVO
With Francesco Semprini
Curated by Giorgia Riviera
RSVP at email@example.com
The bloodshot eyes of a child soldier who has already seen too much, the terrified look of a prisoner expecting to be executed, the last strand of life in the glance of a wounded man. These are the eyes of war crossed in the reportages from the front line. But we too are the eyes of war. Journalists, photographers, and video makers fatally attracted by conflicts. We can’t stay away from them, because war reporting is not just a job, but our deep passion. The exhibition covers the last forty years of conflict, starting from Lebanon in 1982 to Africa, the wars at the crossroads of Asia, and getting through the Middle East to the conflicts in the heart of Europe.
Traveling the world, writing stories, and looking for adventures prompted Biloslavo to become a war journalist. Born in 1961, his first reportage was during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. A year later, along with Almerigo Grilz and Gian Micalessin, he created Albatros Press Agency. In the 80’ he covered conflicts from Afghanistan to Africa to the Far East. In 1987 he was captured and detained in Kabul for seven months. Once released, thanks to the former President of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, he returned to Afghanistan in 1989 during his Soviet army withdrawal, where he was targeted and seriously injured. Biloslavo also went to ex Yugoslavia, covering several wars from Croatia to Bosnia, and the NATO mission in Kosovo. In 1997 he was in Chechnya to help freeing photographer Mauro Galligani, who was taken hostage. Biloslavo was the first Italian journalist to enter Kabul freed from the Taliban after September 11, 2001. In 2003 he got into the Iraqi desert after the Western mission to bring down Saddam Hussein. In 2011 he was the last Italian reporter to interview Colonel Gaddafi during the uprising in Libya. After that he documented the rise and fall of Islamic State strongholds Sirte (Libya), Mosul (Iraq), and Raqqa (Syria). In 2021 he covered the Kabul airport evacuation and then he entered Afghanistan, controlled by the Taliban. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it spent more than four months reporting from the frontline.
Biloslavo works with the Italian daily news Il Giornale, and contributes with the magazine Panorama and the Mediaset TV. He’s the author of “Prigioniero in Afghanistan”, “Le lacrime di Allah”, “Gli occhi della guerra”,“Libia kaputt”, “Guerra, guerra, guerra”, “I nostri marò” and “Verità infoibate”. His most recent work is “Ucraina, nell’inferno dell’ultima guerra in Europa”.
Biloslavo received several awards, including the Cesco Tomaselli journalistic prize for “Libia Kaput”. In the last 40 years covering conflicts and humanitarian crises around the world he wrote over 7,000 articles along with photos and videos for major Italian and international newspapers.
Francesco Semprini is a long-time journalist based in New York. For La Stampa he covered the most important US and UN political and economic events of the New Century and has been a war correspondent in the main crisis areas such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Libya.
In 2022 Francesco has received the “UNCA Gold Medal Award”, the most prestigious prize of the UN Correspondent Association, for his story on the UN inspectors (IAEA) heading to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Russian occupied zone. He produced “Siete Mil”, a short documentary on the Venezuelan crisis and for Signs Publishing he wrote “Twenty: The new American Century”. He is also co-author of “E’ la guerra bellezza” published by Paesi.