GIULIANO KOREN - PHOTOGRAPHER - ITALY
When and how were you introduced to photography?
It all started thanks to an old analog camera. My uncle gave me a Petri camera as a present when I was around thirteen years old and I started strolling around Trieste taking photographs of the old city centre.
I still keep one of those first black and white pictures I took of an old building that doesn’t exist anymore because it was torn down, and I also remember taking pictures of one of the fish market’s walls and in the alleys of the old city centre.
What is reportage photography for you?
In my opinion at the core of photojournalism is the ability to fit in with the subjects of your photographs. Once they have accepted you and you have managed to enter their world, you can tell their story at its best.
For a reportage I recently worked on, for example, I spent a few days with some shepherds for the transumanza in the Veneto region and while taking the shots I was also chatting with them and helping them in what they were doing, I became an integral part of their life during that short amount of time.
If you could choose a country for your next photo-reportage, which one would you choose?
To tell the truth, lately I have been thinking about Africa. It would certainly involve some risks, but I am especially interested in Sub-Saharan Africa, probably because I have never been there or maybe because I have recently had the chance to see a photo documentary shot in Africa on children who are being imprisoned together with adults and stay in jail for years.
What made you select the photograph “Back home” for the Just99 project?
Although I am not specialized in landscape photographs, considering its final use on Just99, I thought it necessary to select a photograph that didn’t involve strong feelings, a subject that one would like to always have in plain sight in a flat or in an office. I thought that the selected picture had to be easy to observe and should arouse pleasant feelings.
Here the actual reality is invisible because the observer doesn’t understand that it is the view of a country at war, in it he just sees the beauty of mountains without knowing exactly where it has been taken. Therefore, I would define this photograph universal, because it works well no matter the place where you put it.
What lies behind the title of the photograph?
The title comes from the fact that it was the return journey from the front line to the Herat base camp. When I took it I was coming back from the front between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan where I had spent four days.
During this journey I was in the back of a Chinook helicopter, secured with a sling so as to be able to look out of the hatch and take pictures.
Is there a specific reason why in this case you decided to use colours?
As to the colour range of photographs, it is difficult to explain but sometimes I “feel” that the picture should be in black and white, while some others that it should be a colour photograph.
A black and white picture can undoubtedly better express the dramatic power of the represented scene and have a stronger emotional impact on the viewer, but I thought that for this specific picture using colours was the best option, since they allow to discern the white and orange stratifications and shades on the mountains.
Of all your photo-reportages, is there one that you feel especially attached to?
My favourite photo-reportages are the one in Afghanistan and the one in Srebrenica, although the latter probably prevails over the former both in quality and as regards the emotional effect, how I managed to convey what I have seen there through the photographs.
What is the most vivid memory of the experience that this photograph brings back?
The entire experience felt like being immersed in a war film, with armed people, helicopters and armours.
Unfortunately when you are in Herat you cannot get off the car because, since you are staying with the soldiers, you are a target. The impression is that you are actually staying inside some sort of glass bubble, end even though you see that there is an incredibly different world outside and you would really like to open the door and wander about the streets, you can’t do it because the area is too dangerous.
Therefore I only documented the life of troops in Afghanistan, and I didn’t have a chance to meet and photograph the Afghani people living there.
What do you think that makes the Just99 project special?
I believe that it is an excellent initiative that involves young artists, which nowadays is very important.
I am more than glad to be a part of it, because we must think about ever-new ideas, and I really wish for Just99 to succeed and gain significant ground standing out in the waters of the internet ocean.