ISPA WINNERS 2023
RUNNING WILDDuring the last three years I have chronicled the work of wildlife hospitals, particularly the CRFS LIPU in Rome (largest hospital in Italy in terms of the number of hospitalizations) and the South Florida Wildlife Center (SFWC) in Fort Lauderdale. For me wildlife, rehabilitation centers are battlefields where there is a daily clash between the natural and the artificial, the wild and the domesticated, progress/profit and respect of the environment. In the legislative management of wildlife, as well as in the bodies of the hospitalized animals - whether they are victims of poaching, car accidents, poisoning by toxic substances or the erosion of their habitat – we can see the major present-day ecological and political issues. The animals in these places of care are the victims of a conflict that’s greater than them. Here they find people who are seeking a more sustainable relationship between humanity and nature and who are struggling with a complex process of restitution: giving back to the animals what was taken from them, and giving back the animals to the Earth.
Irene Alison, who was born in Naples in 1977, is a journalist and photo-consultant, and is the creative director of DER*LAB, a consulting studio specialized in the field of documentary photography. As a journalist, she has worked for the Italian daily Il Manifesto and for D – La Repubblica delle Donne. Irene’s features on current international issues, which were developed with a team of photographers, have been published in magazines such as Geo France, The Independent Magazine, L’Espresso, D, XL, Marie Claire and Riders. As a photography critic, she has contributed to leading Italian newspapers such as Il Sole 24 Ore, La Lettura (Il Corriere della Sera) and Pagina99. She has been curator of exhibitions and editorial photography projects for national and international galleries and festivals, and she is currently the exhibition curator at the Rifugio Digitale Gallery, in Florence. She is the author of two books, My Generation – Ten under 40 Talents of Italian documentary Photography (Postcart, 2012) and iRevolution, Notes Toward a History of Mobile Photography (Postcart, 2014). 2022 saw the publication (by the Yoffy Press) in the United States of Holding Time, a photobook that had been created jointly with the photographer Catherine Panebianco, for which Irene wrote the words. As a photographer, she has been collaborating since 2020 with the CRFS LIPU Wildlife Center in Rome, the largest wildlife rescue center in Italy, chronicling its work and handling its visual communication. Her first photobook (La Madre Attesa, edited by Laia Abril) was published this year by Postcart Edizioni, as was her essay Muse col Muso, animal imagery in contemporary photography (by Postcart edizioni). She loves animals, and their cultural and iconographic representations, and she talks about this in her blog Zazie Dogzine.