Alessandro Gandolfi

Alessandro Gandolfi

Born in Parma (Italy, 1970), Alessandro is a photographer and journalist, co-founder of Parallelozero Photo Agency (based in Milan).
His work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines, including Le Journal de la Photographie, Courrier International, Lightbox TIME, Newsweek Japan, Le Monde, Le Figaro, VSD, Die Zeit, Geo, Mare, The Sunday Times Magazine, National Geographic France, National Geographic Italy, L'Espresso, Internazionale, D - La Repubblica delle Donne, Marie Claire, Sette - Corriere della Sera, Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Geo, Elle.
His pictures have been exhibited or screened in several personal and collective photo exhibitions, like the 2016 Photojourn Festival (Bangkok, Thailand), the 2015 and 2014 VISA Pour l’Image (Perpignan, France), the 2014 Angkor Photo Festival (Cambodia), the 2009-2015 National Geographic exhibitions in Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome, Italy), “Le Printemps Arabe” at the Centre Méditerranéen de la Photographie (Ajaccio, France, 2012), “Freedom to Create” (Cape Town, South Africa, 2011), “Provocation” at the New York Photo Festival (USA, 2011) and “Unpublished-Unknown” at the MACRO Testaccio (Rome, Italy, 2010).
In 2016 his work on the post-ebola situation in Sierra Leone won the PDN Photo Annual 2016 in the Documentary/Photojournalism category and a honorable mention at the MIFA (Moscow International Foto Awards). He also won the National Geographic's Best Edit Award twice in 2010 and 2011 with two reportages published in the Italian edition of the magazine. He curated exhibitions and attended conferences (2015 Settimanale di Fotografia, Genoa), he has been member of juries and he regularly holds photojournalism workshops and portfolio readings.
Graduated in philosophy, he joined the Institute of Journalism and then he worked as a writing reporter for La Repubblica. In 2001 he started to work as a photojournalist.
Italy
Etnaland
Daily life under the highest volcano in Europe

For ancient Greeks it was the realm of Vulcan, the God of fire. But the gigantic shape of Mongibello (from the Latin 'mons' and the Arab word 'giabal', meaning both mountain), always inspired more trust than fear: the spit-firing Etna - UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013 - has always been conside
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Mexico
The wall
The oddest frontier

Donald Trump announced it during his presidential campaign, and once elected he confirmed it: he will build a wall at the US border with Mexico. It's not yet clear if, as he promised, Mexico will pay for it. And it's also not clear, if the wall will follow all of the 1,200 miles of border separatin
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Venezuela
Caracas' high life
Is the country's capital really the tough place you were told about?

In 2015 Caracas has been declared the "most dangerous town in the world". The economy is in a slump, inflation is quite high and most people spend hours queueing in front of supermarkets hoping to buy milk, eggs, sugar and flour at controlled prices. Despite an enormous loan from China, fifteen year
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Italy
Saint Agatha's fever
The religious feast that turns Catania into an open air theater

"In Catania - wrote novelist Giovanni Verga at the end of the 18th century - Lent comes with no Carnival. To compensate this, there's the festival of Saint Agatha, a great city event where the whole town turns into a theater". The festival of Saint Agatha, held every year from February 3rd to 6th, m
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Estonia
The new Crimea?
The Baltic Sea hosts a revived Cold War

There's a new Iron Curtain in Europe, and it's in Estonia, one of the Baltic states bordering Russia.

Estonia is a EU and NATO member, it was for a long time part of the Soviet Union, and it's right in the middle of the new Cold War between Washington and Moscow. Since Russia annexed Crimea
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Europe
Standouts & Poors
What really separates the richest and the poorest towns in the EU?

Wolfsburg (Germany) and Silistra (Bulgaria) are separated by 1,500 kilometers as the crow flies. But prosperity separates them more than distance. Wolfsburg is the richest town in the European Union, the one with the highest income per capita. Silistra is the poorest, the one with the lowest average
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Italy
Endless Duomo
Go deep in Milan's art and history of its most famous Cathedral

Under the Milan cathedral, better known as Duomo, there's a hidden factory where, from centuries, a lot of people work endlessly: bricklayers, carpenters, sculptors, restorers. The Duomo is an infinite construction site because its built with a marble so unique and beautiful but also fragile when i
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Italy
(Un)welcome to Austria
Here's how the migrants will try to cross the Alps

In 2016, once the "Balkan route" is closed, migrants will land on Italian coasts. And come summer, many will try to cross the Alps. But at the Brenner Pass, the main gateway to Northern Europe, Austria has sealed the borders for them, and many believe the risk is that sooner or later this will creat
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Venezuela
The Q crisis
When a life in a queue is a nightmare come true

High inflation, continuos blackouts, hospitals without medications, endless queues out of supermarkets and the capital, Caracas, declared the "most dangerous town in the world".

Venezuela is living one of its worst moments: corruption, devastating policies and the oil price drop put the wh
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Switzerland
Gimme shelter
What is it like to be a refugee in a Swiss fallout shelter?

A legacy from the Cold War, public fallout shelters are scattered all over Switzerland. During last months, the number of political refugees in the country grew a lot, so dozens of those shelters, unused from many years, have been transformed in assistance infrastructures for them.

Many sh
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Switzerland
The invisibles
An unexpected journey throughout Swiss poverty

In Switzerland, according to Caritas, more than a person out of ten live under the poverty threshold. Half of these people live in extreme poverty. It's quite uncommon to have 'Switzerland' and 'poverty' in the same sentence, but poverty in this rich country exists, it's a fact.

In great c
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Turkey
Damascus on the Bosphorus
The better-off Syrians today live in Istanbul

It's the largest Syrian city out of Syria. Some Syrians just pass from Istanbul: they're going to Europe. Many others decided to stay there, starting their life again and populating a town in the town counting over a million people. Someone call this community Damascusbul.

It's something f
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Italy
Climatic grand tour
How climate change is reshaping Italy's landscape

It's no news anymore: climate change is already on, everywhere in the world. Italy, that narrow territory extending in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea among North Africa and Central Europe, is no exception. Italy is the perfect place to host the "Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change". Her
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United States
Chicagoland
Where the american dream was born

Before airplanes, those traveling coast to coast across USA by train had to pass through Chicago. Strategic and logistic center since its very beginning, the "wind city" became the slaughter house of America: Chicago's meat processing system inspired the idea of the assembly line and the whole capit
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Cuba
Havana. Castro's Academy
Escuela Nacional de Arte

When Fidel Castro took the power in Havana, in 1960, one of his first acts was the confiscation of the great golf course on the South side of the city. He wanted to build a school of fine arts on it, better: "the most beautiful academy of fine arts of the world". And with no fees for the students. C
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Sweden
In the ghetto
A district where integration and fundamentalism get mixed up

In Rinkeby, a neighbourhood located in the North of Stockholm, the 95% of people come from abroad. It's a kaleidoscope of 60 ethnic groups and 40 different languages: there are people from Somalia, Iraq, Syria but even from Lebanon, Ethiopia, Turkey, Bosnia, Romania, Bengal, Peru. In Sweden, places
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Cuba
Havana Club
Meet the emerging Cuban bourgeoisie

America hit Havana well before diplomacy. Since a few years in fact, Raul Castro's perestroika is allowing foreign investements, small businesses and the buying and selling of real estates (even on the internet). So now-a-days, on the Malecon, Audi and Mercedes show off along the typical old Cadilla
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Greece
Athens, La Dolce Vita
Athens today means crisis. But that's not for everyone

There's still a lot of money in Athens, despite the dramatic economic crisis and the political issues. And there is also a lot of people able to spend it on exclusive beaches, private parties and VIP clubs. It's the well-established rich middle-class who lives in exclusive residential districts like
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Sierra Leone
Radio Ebola
Fighting Ebola on the radio.

The radio reaches everyone, in Sierra Leone, even in rural areas. It's cheap and many people listen to it even on their mobile phones. That's why there is a programme on air in krio language called "Dreb Ebola", literally: kick Ebola. Dreb Ebola's message is clear: the virus didn't disappear, and if
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Sierra Leone
Ebola Aftermath
The country is leaving behind its back the Ebola nightmare.

On November 6th, 2015, Sierra Leone has been declared "Ebola-free" by WHO. On May 2015 (six months before), after almost one year schools reopened and people want their normality back: celebrating, smiling, greeting friends shaking their hands. The awakening has been brutal, as it's not just about t
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Canada
Nanuk's world
The capital of polar bears

Once a year Churchill becomes the world capital of polar bears. Between October and November, in this remote village of Canada (with a thousand inhabitants and two-hour flight from Winnipeg, or two days by train) overlooking the Hudson Bay, the bears wait the bay to freeze completely to move north,
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Italy
EXPOsing Milan
While the Expo is running the city turns into the avantgarde of Italy

2015 is Milan's year. From May until October, the economic capital of Italy will host the Expo. The city has worked hard to be at its best for the event, and now shows high skyscrapers and many renewed urban areas (the new Darsena, the Cathedral, Vittorio Emanuele gallery) while huge investments mad
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Albania
Swinging Tirana
A new life and energy run through the streets of the capital

Just twenty years ago, the city of Tirana was a sort of Pyongyang in the heart of Europe, the capital of a paranoid, isolated nation. Today Tirana is a vibrant, ambitious town, welcoming those who ran away during the Nineties now back richer, and with a better instruction. It's people in their thirt
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China
Rolls Royce generation
Young millionaires in Shanghai: not an ordinary Chinese life

They are the new Chinese entrepreneurs. Young, bright, lovers of luxury, they refuse the past (that is, politics) and look at the future with managerial grit. Boasting U.S. University degrees and European girlfriends. To settle they chose Shanghai, the New York of the East, an ambitious, cosmopolita
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Nepal
Andho, a brighter future.

In Nepali language, "andho" indicates a blind person. In Kathmandu, the capital, andho people sing in clubs and play cricket, give massages to mountaineers and run libraries with braille books. In Nepal blindness is a quite widespread disease: the nation is one of the hardest hit in the world compar
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China
New York of the Far East

In the 1930s it was the Paris of the East. Worse, they called it "Asia's whore". Today, almost a Century later, Shanghai has become the new New York: the head of the dragon, the locomotive of economic growth, the entrance door of the world's richest country (China will soon become that). Thus, Shang
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Italy
Crazy Emerald Coast

Fifty years ago the Aga Khan discovered the Emerald Coast. In 2012, the Emir of Qatar bought it for 600 million Euros. In between, decades of craziness and extravagance which turned the small Sardinian waterfront in the world's most exclusive paradise. Once upon a time, goats would graze on Capricci
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South Korea
On the border
The last wall of the Cold War is a funfair closely watched by soldiers

Its name is Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and it is the buffer zone created at the end of the war in 1953. Five hundred kilometres along the 38th parallel, open to tourists after half a century of isolation, which become a coast-to-coast trip through pristine nature reserves, underground tunnels
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Russia
Kommunalka

During the Soviet period, the "kommunalke" were collective households where families used to live together sharing kitchen, bathroom and telephone. The kommunalke have not disappeared even after the consumerism era. To this day hundreds of thousand of poor families still live in the noble palaces of
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Mexico
Nogales. Low-cost dentists

Koali lives in Alaska but her dentist is in Nogales, Mexico. She flies to Tucson whenever she needs a visit or a dental care and simply walks across the border. She travels for 4,000 kilometres, but she saves quite a lot of money every time. Thousands of US citizens do the same every year: they trav
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Mexico
Nogales crossroads

Paul Theroux describes the fence in Nogales as "the oddest frontier I have ever seen". A metal fence divides the city into two: on one side boring Arizona with villas and shopping centers, on the other side extravagant Mexico with mariachi, night clubs and low-cost dental clinics. After years of sho
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Palestine
Story of a former surfer girl

Two years ago, when she was 15, Shorouq was a happy student who used to surf just outside her house by the beach. Today Shorouq has turned 17 and has become a woman. She is married and pregnant. She has left school and her surfboard is hanging on the wall for good. This is a common destiny for Gaza
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United States
De Blasio's New York

On November 6th, 2013, "socialist" Bill de Blasio was elected Mayor of New York City. His program includes the financing of minimum wages and kindergartens by raising taxes for the richest citizens. Radical ideas which since some time encounter a fertile ground in the U.S. In a recent survey, when a
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Palestine
Yalla C'mon!

Dj Waleed shouts "Yalla, c'mon...!!!" mixing Arabic and English. This is his battle cry ever since he started working in Tel Aviv clubs in the 1980s putting on Bob Marley and Michael Jackson songs. Today Waleed Abu Abdo, better known as Dj Waleed, who is almost 60, is still Gaza's most famous disk j
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Palestine
Zahia's trip

Zahia is four years old girl affected by acute myeloid leukemia. Zahia Al-hawia lives in Gaza City in a three-storey house surrounded by the love and care of her parents and grandparents. She needs to go to Tel Aviv every two weeks for treatment at the Dana-Dwek Children's Hospital where she stayed
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Italy
Verdi is alive!

Giuseppe Verdi was born two hundred years ago on the 10th October 1813. He was the son of an innkeeper from the Parma region and became the most famous Italian music composer of all times. His masterpieces were an integral part of the unification of Italy. What has Verdi left behind? His native home
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South Korea
Shy Seoul

Capable of unexpected leaps, Seoul resembles the shy Korean women who look at their reflection in the subway's mirrors: silent and reserved by day, wild at night in Hongdae's karaokes, imitating K-pop stars. The capital, whcich lies on the banks of the Han river, is one of the world's richest cities
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South Korea
Seoul, plastic mania

South Korea's face is changing. Literally. Seoul is the city with the highest per-capita number of cosmetic surgery clinics, and here one woman out of five has undergone plastic surgery at least once in her life. In Korea, beauty is an obsession, and a scalpel the easiest way to obtain it. So much s
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Italy
A hidden paradise
Wild horses in Sardinia

The cuaddeddu, or Giara horse, ranks among the last wild horses in Europe. There are about five hundreds left, and they live in a plateau in Southern Sardinia called the Giara. These horses are quite mysterious: how they reached the middle of the Mediterranean area is not clear yet - probably they w
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Ethiopia
Harenna, last coffee collectors

In 2012 Harenna coffee was recognized as one among the five best coffees in the whole of Africa. The Harenna forest is in the Bale National Park at an altitude of 2000 metres. Harenna coffee grows spontaneously and is still collected by the small local community - approximately 5000 people - that wa
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Italy
Living barefoot

There are dozens of them in Italy, hundreds or perhaps thousands all around the world. They have made a radical decision: living without shoes, at home and outdoors, when it's sunny and when it snows. These people go barefoot to work and to the supermarket, they take the subway and get on a plane ba
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Italy
Deserted Lunigiana

There is a corner of Italy that is wounded and forgotten, hit by flooding and isolated by landslides. Not a part of Italy one would expect, it is not Sicily nor Calabria, but Lunigiana, an historical area between Emilia, Liguria and Tuscany in the wealthy Northern Italy. Here a flooding of the river
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Medjugorje's miracle
A new Vatican commssion will search for true holy events

In 1981 Medjugorje was a poor village of the Socialist Yugoslavia surrounded by low stony hills. It was on one of these hills, the Podbrdo, that on the 24th of June six minors started to claim that they had seen "a female figure with an oval face, black hair and blue eyes": it was the Gospa, the Vir
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Ethiopia
Macalle, the perfect prison

There's a special prison in Ethiopia from which inmates don't want to escape because it teaches them a profession and it's a perfect model of prison enterprise. In the Macalle jail prisoners sell fruit and fabrics, build houses, bake bread, manage beauty centres and food stores. All this through coo
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Ethiopia
Great bourgeoisie awakening

"We've been sleeping over the past 30 year, now we are awake", a businessman says sitting in a room at the Nani Building, a skyscraper sponsored by the Saudi billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi. This building is also a symbol for a massive urban expansion that made Addis Ababa one of the most confusing -
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Italy
The Strait for Unesco?
Calabria and Sicily joined by the Strait of Messina

For once we do not speak about the elusive bridge - mysterious and imaginary - which should link the two cities, but rather about the breaking idea of nominating the entire area between the main Southernmost regions of Italy, to the World Heritage Sites list of the Unesco. The official request will
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Italy
Living in a caravan

There are people who are residents of the Tremiti Islands but do not have a house there. They are the "homeless tremitesi", forced to live in a caravan or in sheds due to the lack of available housing. The Tremiti Islands are part of the Gargano National Park where building codes are particularly st
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Kenya
Young Africans are growing up

"Africans have become sedentary. We spend our days in the car or in the office, we eat fast-food and our children put on weight watching television". Professor Vincent Onywera from Kenyatta University in Nairobi is studying a problem that is becoming dramatic: escalating obesity, particularly among
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Italy
In the rice triangle

The European China is located between Lombardy and Piedmont and is a perfect network of ditches, streams and small canals ten thousand kilometres long. A unique hydraulic system in continental Europe waters 235,000 hectares of fields which produce most of European rice. During spring, the "rice tria
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Italy
The two faces of Milan

Abandoned skyscrapers, incomplete neighborhoods, as well as deserted factories, empty schools, vacant houses and offices, derelict swimming pools and parking lots. Milan is looking forward to Expo 2015 but is ignoring an embarrassing present: almost 1,7 million square metres in the city are occupied
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Ethiopia
A waterless paradise

"Drought in Ethiopia is worse than a military coup". This is what Sando Santilli admits as he jumps on his car heading to Sora, in Southern Ethiopia. Sandro - an Italian-born from a family based in Addis Ababa for 3 generations - designs and produces filtering systems to make pond and muddy river wa
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Palestine
Gaza is wonderful!

From the outside Gaza looks like an open air jail. Even if the people who live there dream about a normal life, for the rest of the world Gaza looks like hell. Seen from the inside instead, Gaza is a place of dignity and hope that - unluckily - nobody wants to tell about. Gaza is Wonderful! it is ob
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Alessandro Gandolfi
International photojournalism