WILD Profile: Matilde Gattoni, Unpretentious War Photographer
by: Sarah Kess
June 21, 2012
Who: Matilde Gattoni
Where: Currently in Lebanon
What she does: Photojournalism
What’s on her mind today:
I have the possibility of moving from Beirut to Nairobi, and I keep on thinking about it, but I just can’t imagine my life away from the sea and especially the Mediterranean, where I belong.
What she is currently working on:
I’m working on a long term project that focuses on Syrian women refugees in the North of Lebanon. More than 25,000 Syrians are presently in Lebanon, mostly women and children, living in precarious conditions, since the Lebanese government refuses to recognize their state of refugees, they are forced to hide and live with the terror of being caught and brought back to Syria where they have gone through hell.
What she thinks there is too much of, and too little of:
Too much frustration, too little simplicity.
With whom she would most like to go on a “ tête à tête”:
With my grandfather Francesco, who passed away a few days before my 11th birthday, leaving an incredible void. I wish I could show him my works and share my feelings with him. I miss him dearly.
What good energy means to her:
Wake up in the morning in Kofounissia, one of my favorite Greek islands, open the window and look at the sea. It gives me power and serenity at the same time.
With whom she would like to run a country:
A triumvirate with Gandhi (for equality and wisdom), Maradona (for passion) and Woody Allen (for his sense of humor).
What she would do if she was the president:
I would like to be the president of my country, Italy, not of any country, and see it rise again, destroy the mafia system and mentality, give a new future to the youth. Italy needs a massive wind of change. We are going through an identity crisis, we are lost between an ancient culture and a modern world we still cannot adapt to. I would like to be proud of my country and not having to run away from it.
What her most striking moment was:
It has yet to come. “Happiness is beautiful only while you’re waiting for it,” says Serbian writer Desanka Maksimovic.
What her earliest memory is:
I can’t remember how old I was but I was very little. It was Christmas Eve, in the house where I grew up in Italy. My mother, my sister and I were getting ready for the night and suddenly I turned my head towards the window and I saw the first snow of the year falling slowly from the sky.
What she believes in:
I believe in change and I can’t think of a better way to express it than the Hindu Trimurti, in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified by the forms of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva the destroyer or transformer.
What cracks her up:
A movie with Peter Sellers
What kind of movement she would like to start:
The PUWP–The Party of Unpretentious War Photographers.
With whom she would like to grow old:
With a younger John Travolta.
What she would like to leave future generations:
Curiosity for life.
What her WILD Wish is:
Cross the ocean on a merchant ship.