• Rocco Rorandelli


Bitter Leaves

Over the course of almost ten years, Rocco Rorandelli has travelled extensively to India, China, Indonesia, USA, Germany, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Slovenia and Italy in order to document the impact that the tobacco industry has on human health, the economy as well as the environment, looking through the “smokescreen” of the industry. The work is a way to understand how tobacco promotes the stripping of farmlands, threatens workers with dangerous chemicals, exploits child labor and undocumented workers, utilizes aggressive marketing campaigns aimed at identifying new customers (mostly underage), and conducts heavy lobbying to promote its expansion to novel markets and social strata.

Fortress Europe

An ongoing project which started in 2010 which wants to provide a reflection on the signs left on the landscape which show the passage or permanence of migrants. Over the years I have followed their movements along the Balkan and the Mediterranean shores, as main entry points to Europe. I have documented the work of those trying to identify the unfortunate migrants who don’t make it across rivers and seas to enter the continent, and the informal migrant labour camps which abound in Southern Europe.

Fragile School

According to official statistics, in Italy there arew about 41,000 public schools that every day welcome 580,000 students, from kindergarden to high school. Most of these buildings – almost 60% - show alarming structural issues, going from external wear and tear to dangerous mechanical issues. It has been calculated that with today's pace, it will take 110 years to restore all school in conformity to the most recent rules.


Rocco Rorandelli (Italy, 1973) started working as a documentary photographer after his doctoral studies in Natural Sciences, which helped him develop a profound interest in global social and environmental issues. His images are utilized in awareness campaigns of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (WHO, Oxfam, Save the Children, MSF, etc), and are regularly published by the main international magazines, such as Le Monde Magazine, GEO, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Paris Match, Guardian Review, D di Repubblica, L’Espresso, Internazionale, Io Donna, Vanity Fair, Sportweek, Monocle, IL, and others. In 2011 he has been awarded a grant by the Fund for Investigative Journalism for his long-term project on the tobacco industry, published as a book withthe title Bitter Leaves (GOST Books, 2019).
Rocco is based in Rome. He is one of the founding members of the collective TerraProject.

Rome, Italy

More info


Bitter Leaves. GOST Books. 2019

Exhibitions & Screenings

2019. Italian schools, Festival della Fotografia Etica, Lodi, Italy
2019. “Walls of Power”, Arles Photo Festival, France
2018. Shifts, Italian Cultural Center, Marseille Photo Festival, France
2017. I am a Person, International Center of Photography, Palermo, Italy
2017. Land Inc., European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
2017. Shifts, Neimester (Luxembourg), European Month of Photography
2016. Memorandum, Documentaria Festival, Noto, Italy, 11-20 November 2016
2013. 4, Le Murate, Florence, Italy
2010. Noorderlicht International Photofestival, Fries Museum and Blokhuispoort, Leeuwarden, Holland
2010. City Arts building, Dublin
2010. Exposição [ECO], Centro Cultural da Espanha em São Paulo, Brazil
2010. CO Exposicion, Madrid, Spain