Valerio Bispuri: Prisoners / Prigionieri



ISBN: 9788869657917 Category:

Valerio Bispuri


Italy holds 190 penitentiaries – among them, 5 female prisons and 52 women’s wards. Valerio Bispuri is the first photographer authorized by the Italian Penitentiary Administration Department of the Ministry of Justice to visit some of the most important detention centers in the country to document the condition of prisoners in 15 jails – both female and male, like Regina Coeli in Rome, San Vittore in Milan, Poggioreale in Naples, Ucciardone in Palermo – from 2014 to present. The Italian penitentiary system is not always able to reach the goal of “re-education” enshrined in the Italian Constitution, despite an attempt to reform the law in force since 1975. Overcrowding, precarious structures, insufficient number of operators, cultural mediators and prison guards are the most relevant problems. At the same time, crucial questions such as study, work, cultural activities and sport are carried out thanks to the will of the prison staff and the fundamental contribution of many volunteers. Prisons are the mirror of a country’s society, from small dramas to major economic and social crises. In these non-places, people deprived of their liberty try to rebuild habits, affections and find an alternative for the future.

After Encerrados, in 2015, the result of 10 years of work in 74 prisons throughout South America, and Paco, on the devastating consequences, in the suburbs of South America, of an extremely harmful drug obtained with the cocaine processing waste, the photos by Valerio Bispuri – together with the texts by the writer Edoardo Albinati, the founder of the Antigone Association Stefano Anastasia and the author – present us a new intense and touching chapter on the life of those who are usually invisible to the eyes of the world, relegated to the margins of society.

The book will accompany the exhibition “Prisoners” at Visa pour l’Image Festival in Perpignan, from August 31st to September 15th.

Additional information

Weight 1108 g
Dimensions 21.4 x 29.8 cm
Publisher name Contrasto SRL
Publication date 30 November 2019
Number of pages 160
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.4 x 29.8 cm
Weight 1108 g
Valerio Bispuri was born in 1971 in Rome, where he lives. He has a degree in Literature and since 2001 he is a professional journalist and photojournalist. He worked for some of the major Italian and international newspapers and magazines such as: L'Espresso, Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Internazionale, Le Monde and Stern. He worked extensively in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Middle East. He exhibited his works in Italy, Spain and Argentina. Bispuri has been awarded with numerous international awards including the Latin American POY 2011, the Sony World Photography Award 2013 (first prize in the "Contemporary Issues" section), the Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards 2013 and the POY 2014. Contrasto has published both his important reportages, Encerrados (2015) and Paco (2017).