• Francesco Cocco


In Limbo

The fear of a past that cannot be erased and the hope of a future in Italy. These are the phrases that are often uttered by asylum seekers, men and women who have left everything to seek a new life in our country. They are sentences that become images, strong images of the life lived during the long journey from their countries to Italy. And here, after the fear, after finding survival, they fall in waiting. Waiting for a document that allows them to live. And waiting often hurts more than rejection. Waiting destabilizes, empties, extinguishes hopes, destroys projects, immobilizes. And this is how thousands of asylum seekers in Italy live every day.


Covid-19 is putting collective and individual resistance to the test. Our country has been isolated, sick people have been isolated, health workers have operated and still operate in isolation, facing in turn extreme physical and psychological exhaustion. Going through this time and trying to understand from the inside of hospitals what the Virus is and what its effects are, was like living in two worlds, the “inside” one and the outside one of pseudo normality.


Francesco Cocco, Recanati, 1960.
He began photographing at a very young age during countless trips to Asia and Africa. Since 1989 he has turned his gaze and interest to the universe of children with particular attention to the difficult and complex reality of those who live on the margins of society. Recurring themes of his works are identity and relationships between society and individuals.
In 2002 he began a documentation work about living conditions in prison, culminating in the exhibition and book “Prisons” (Logos 2006), that was presented at Visa pour L’Image in Perpignan (2005) and at Les Rencontres d’Arles (2006).
Since 2003 he is represented by the Contrasto agency. In the same year he also collaborated with MSF on a project about immigration in Italy, which then became a book, “Nero” (Logos, 2007).
In 2006 he took part in the project “Beijing In and Out” and in 2007 he worked in Cambodia for Action Aid. This work was then published in the book “La ruota che gira” (Contrasto).
In 2009 his work in Afghanistan, in collaboration with Emergency, was among the finalists of the Photoespaña Ojodepez Human Values Award.
In 2016 he was in Ethiopia with the AIDS/Aidos Observatory and in 2017 he went to Burkina Faso to document International Cooperation projects related to violence against women, children and HIV.
In 2019 he returned his attention to a theme that has always been dear to him: the phenomenon of migration in Italy. Thus, he developed a work in the C.A.S., centers of extraordinary reception for asylum seekers. In particular, for a few months, he followed a group of operators of the social cooperative “Dimora d’Abramo” in the province of Reggio Emilia, engaged in assisting refugees.
2020 – 2021 He documented the “Virus”, the Pandemic related to Covid _19. A block of images taken inside Hospitals, Covid-Rooms, Intensive Care Units to try to organize an archive, a diary that will also become a document of a period of alienation, desperation, suffering and isolation but also of love and hope.

Carpi, Italy

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Solo in Italia. Contrasto. 2008
La ruota che gira. Contrasto. 2007
Nero. Logos. 2007
Prisons. Logos. 2006