HomePhotographyPonchielli Prize 2023: Alessandro Cinque crowned winner

Ponchielli Prize 2023: Alessandro Cinque crowned winner

Alessandro Cinque is a Ponchielli Prize winner organized and promoted by GRIN (National Iconographic Editors Group), dedicated to photo editor Amilcare G. Ponchielli. An award that, even in this 19th year, through more than 270 candidate projectsit tells about the complexity of the reality that surrounds us, about the problems of our societies, the horror of war, ecological challenges, and alternative life choices.

To judge the works there the jury was chaired by Roberta Valtortahistorian of photography, and in composition Maria Stiffoni Ponchielli, Barnaba Ponchielli, Federica Berzioli, and Benedetta Donatoas members of GRIN; Paul Woodsphotographer and artistic director of the Cortona On The Move festival; Marco Zanella, last year’s winner; AND Andrea Comollocommunications manager WeWorld Onlus.

Alessandro Cinque wins the Ponchielli Award

The triumph in this edition is therefore Alessandro Cinque’s Fog networks. Combating water scarcity with fog, a project that tells the story of an artisanal and inexpensive system created by engineer Abel Cruz of Lima to harvest water for domestic use from fog. Lima, the capital of Peru, is the second city in the world built in a desert after Cairo and is characterized by very high internal migration, creating neighborhoods that often lack basic services.

Roberta Valtorta, president of the jury, stated: “The topic of the need for water is particularly relevant throughout the globalized world. The author solves the problem with an admirable balance between the human figures and the landscape through measured and expertly controlled shots. The gray and opaque atmosphere created by the fog, which confuses day with night, not only gives the whole work homogeneity and cohesion but becomes a metaphor for the human condition crushed and standardized by poverty also gives the images a patina of historical flavor, as if the reality of the Peruvian metropolis has sunk into a distant and indefinable time”.

“Another important aspect is a match between a state of life full of problems (of which the lack of water becomes a symbol) and the positivity of the solution found and shared at the community level, expressed here by people’s gestures, facial expressions, especially children’s, and finally the lights of the vast urban landscape, almost small auspicious stars”.

Alessandro Cinque’s work will be exhibited at the next Cortona On The Move festival from July to October 2024.

Mentions and best book of the year

Those who win mentions are Michele Borzoni and Rocco Rorandelli with Ecological Spring. Climate and Environmental Activists in Europe, a project that talks about environmental activism in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, and Austria and highlights the civic engagement of new generations. AND Davide Monteleone with Critical Minerals and Energy Switch project that examines the relationship between the energy transition process and the resources needed to realize it and the environmental, social, economic, and geopolitical consequences associated with the growing demand for strategic minerals.

Davide Monteleone
Davide Monteleone, Critical Minerals and Energy Switch

further Infinite Presence by Armand Perna (editor Rubbettino) was recognized as the best book of the year. These are the jury’s motivations: “The volume presents a difficult subject – the contradictory anthropic Calabrian landscape – according to a rigorous, coherent and completely rhetoric-free documentary method that corresponds to a fundamental, serious and clear proposal”.

WeWorld and the Ponchielli Prize

Also in this edition, WeWorld is next to Ponchielli’s prize through the “WeWorld special recognition” for the best photography project on the topic of women’s rights and gender equality. To win recognition is Annalaura Cattelan’s Dreaming of Zeno. The project features Martina and Sara, who got married civilly in 2017 and immediately decided that their child if it will be a boy, will be called Zeno. The work recounts their experiences in Barcelona, ​​where they pursued access to medically assisted procreation (PMA), which is prohibited in Italy for female couples.

Anna Laura Cattelan
Annalaura Cattelan, Dreaming of Zeno

Andrea Comollo, WeWorld Communications Manager, said: “Annalaura Cattelan won the WeWorld Mention Award for the best work in women’s rights and gender equality with a pure photographic narrative that holds together the human dimension of the couple as well as the dimension of context in which they have to move, in which both mothers are forced to go outside Italy so that Zeno can be born. Annalaura Cattelan tells the story of love and the fight for rights with intimacy and determination.”

The mention of GRIN for WeWorld instead went to Weber Hugo for Moimom. The author is the son of a single mother with whom he had a very difficult relationship. When the woman suffered a severe stroke at age 42 that left permanent damage, they became close again. Photography became a kind of therapy that changed their relationship.


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