Martina Bacigalupo, is an Italian documentary photographer and photojournalist born in Genoa, Italy, in 1978. Most of her work African countries, especially Burundi, focusing on the people and the environment. Her photos have been published in several newspapers like the Esquire, Sunday Times Magazine, Elle, Jeune Afrique, Yo Donna and have been exhibited at festivals such as the Encounter of Arles (in France).Martina Bacigalupo studied literature and philosophy at the University of Genoa, at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and also photography at the London College of Communication.

In 2005, Martina Bacigalupo won the Photographer of the Year Award, Black & White section. Two years later, Bacigalupo moved to Burundi to understand and document life in Africa. In 2008, she was chosen for the Joop Swart Masterclass of 2008 in Amsterdam and won the Amilcare Ponchielli Grin Prize. In 2010, she joined the VU Agency. Also, Bacigalupo won the Canon Women’s Journalist Award from the AFJ In 2010 for the project The Resistance of the Forgotten In Uganda. Two years later, she won the FNAC Award Help the Photographic Creation in France. 

She developed personal projects for various non-governmental organisations such as the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Handicap International.

In 2006, she performed a work called Pianissimo, Italy, about blind people in Italy and how the other senses become essential after losing your sightThree years later, Martina Bacigalupo published Forbidden. It shows people being expelled and rejected from their families because of their sexuality. Those photos were taken during interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch with members of the LGBT community in Burundi. Also, during 2009, The second part of Pianissimo, Italy came out. It was called: Fiore del Mio Pericolo (Flower of my danger), and it is a project about the work days of the dancer Virgilio Sieni.

In 2010, Bacigalupo made a new series in Burundi called The Backyard Women for which she took several pictures of women with obstetric fistula problems before and after operations. During the same year, she started a project called Umumalayika/Angel which shows a mother and her daughter in Burundi who face disability. A year later, Martina started working with a project called Somalia: Mogadishu. During 2011, she also worked on another project called Wanawake, Being a woman in Congo in collaboration with MSF, to document people with medical issues in Masisi.

A year later,  She worked on yet two another new projects in Burundi. The first on was called Burundi, children of Buterere, which was about children leaving their work in the fields for school. The second project was called Burundi: Sites of Memory (or Burundi: Places of Memory) a project about historical places in Burundi. In 2012, Bacigalupo worked on a project about women in Vietnam dying of childbirth, called Vietnam, Children of the Plateau.

In 2014, she published a series called Ishaka: Do it with your own hands. This series was about women in Burundi who opted for microcredit after being discriminated. She also worked on another project called Gulu Real Art Studio which took place in Uganda. In this project, Bacigalupo retrieved some photos from the oldest art studio in Uganda. They were published into a book in 2016.

All the pictures in this page are by Martina Bacigalupo. All rights reserved to the author.

Did you enjoy this article? Please like and share it on your Social Media:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here