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Agence VU - Davide Monteleone
Davide Monteleone

Italian, born in 1974. Member of the Agence VU’ since 2017.
Lives and works between Italy and Russia.

Davide Monteleone has quickly become a journalist and photographer, thus abandoning an engineering curriculum. He studied both topics in England and Italy before settling in Moscow as a press correspondent from 2001 to 2003.

Davide Monteleone has been living in between Russia and Italy since 2003, working both on assigned reportages and on long-term personal projects. In the latter, he addresses the issues of conflictual relationships between individuals and state power in post-soviet Russia. In 2007, he published his first book, Dusha, Russian Soul. Following were La Liena Inesistente in 2009, Red Thistle in 2012, Spasibo in 2013 and The April Theses in 2017.

He is a laureate of several World Press Photo Awards, the Leica Oscar Barnak Price, the Carmignac Price for Photojournalism, the Aftermath Award and the European Publishers Award for Photography.


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Series

The April Theses (2017)

In March 1917, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov (Lenin), leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party, left his exile in Zurich. Eight months later, he assumed the leadership of 160 million people occupying one-sixth of the world’s inhabited surface. On April 9th, with the support of German authorities, at war with Russia at the time, he travelled back to his own country on a train across Germany, Sweden and Finland to reach Finland Station in Saint Petersburg on April 16th where, after a decade in exile, he took the reins of the Russian Revolution. One month before, Czar Nicholas II had been forced from power when Russian army troops joined a workers’ revolt in Petrograd, the Russian capital. In...

Spasibo (2013)

"Chechnya has won, Russia has won". Perhaps the losers are the many Chechens who chose to go into exile as a matter of honour. Those who stayed have returned to a normal life and can satisfy their basic needs after several decades of hardship. Such a “normal” life, however, requires them to make major compromises and often hold their tongues. There is no alternative for those who want to work, have a home and carry on with their lives. In this state of reassuring stagnation, the authorities control everything, distributing favours as they please. The physical violence so prevalent in the post-conflict years, the kidnappings and the summary executions also seem to have decreased. The...

Red Thistle (2011)

Davide Monteleone has travelled for several years across North Caucasian states (Chechnya, South Ossetia, Georgia, Abkhazia, Dagestan…) has witnessed how they were confronted to the consequences of the soviet fall. His work is focused on how late 20th century conflicts and upheavals have scarred a region that was already deeply divided by ethnic and religious divergences. By living with the locals and sharing their point of view, he was able to reach their own reminiscence of the wars they have undergone. His photographs reflect the complexity and the frailty of the populations whose territory borders have been constantly moving. They tell how to live with memory when trauma is still near.

Books

The April Theses

"In March 1917, Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov (Lenin), leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party left his exile in Zurich. Eight months later, he assumed the leadership of 160 million people occupying one-sixth of the world’s inhabited surface. On April 9th 1917, with the support of German authorities, at war with Russia at the time, he travelled back to his own country on a train across Germany, Sweden and Finland to reach Finland Station in St. Petersburg on April 16th where, after a decade in exile, he took the reins of the Russian Revolution. One month before, Czar Nicholas II had been forced from power when Russian army troops joined a workers’ revolt in Petrograd, the Russian capital. In a bullet point document, known as "The April Theses", Lenin called for the overthrow of the Provisional Government and outlines the strategy which, within seven months, will lead to the October Revolution and bring the Bolsheviks to power. 100 year later, I created a chronology of two weeks of Lenin's life just before the events that changed Russia and the entire world. In search of the original draft of “The April Theses”, I recreated and sometimes reenacted, on a real non-invented trip, Lenin’s epic journey inspired by the archival documents I found at the R.G.A.S.P.I. (Russian State Archive of Soviet Political History) and historical books including “To Finland Station” by Edmund Wilson and “The Sealed Train” by Michael Pearson. The final work is a collection of contemporary landscapes, forensic archival photographs and staged self-portraits which retrace a journey in space and time."
Text by: Davide Monteleone

Publisher: Edizioni Postcart (2017)
112 pages
Size: 16,8 x 23,6 cm  

Spasibo

Today Chechnya is an autonomous republic in the Russian Federation, subdued and pacified by force after centuries of rebellion against Moscow. Putin protégé president Ramzan Kadyrov holds absolute power and has almost limitless support from Moscow. "Davide Monteleone is well acquainted with the complex, tormented life of ordinary Chechens. He has crisscrossed the country, stopping in cities and villages, mountains and forests. This book contains neither majestic city- or country-scapes nor bloodspattered depictions of violence. Monteleone rather shows us the otherwise invisible: the stifling atmosphere, the regnant helplessness and fear, the young women resigned to their fate, and the elderly, whose traditional authority has diminished in the face of Kadyrov's brutes. But Monteleone's photographs also depict hope. Chechens are a mountain people who have endured wars and other atrocities for centuries, including the collective deportation to the arid Kazakh steppes and to Siberia under Stalin in 1944. They know how to resist, and they know when to wait. Strong by nature, they are able to laugh even amidst adversity, and they sustain a birthrate that repopulates the land and replaces the dead. They know perfectly well that this dictatorial regime will fall sooner or later, as it has in other Muslim countries." Galia Ackerman Davide Monteleone (b. 1974) started his career in 2000, when he became an editorial photographer for the Contrasto agency. The next year he moved to Moscow as a correspondent. This decision determined his ensuing career. Since 2003, Monteleone has lived between Italy and Russia, pursuing long-term personal projects. He published his first book Dusha, Russian Soul in 2007, followed by La Linea Inesistente in 2009, and Red Thistle in 2012. His projects have brought him numerous awards, including various World Press Photo prizes and several grants like "Aftermath" and the European Publisher Award. Recently, alongside the projects Monteleone has carried out or leading international magazines, foundations, and cultural institutions, he has been involved with exhibiting his work, teaching, and shooting short films. Since 2011 Davide has been a member of VII Photo. In 2009, Carmignac Gestion broadened its corporate sponsorship activities to include support for photojournalism. Under the leadership of Nathalie Gallon, the Foundation annually finances an in-depth photo reportage on a topic directly connected to current affairs: The Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award. The first awards went to photographers covering the Gaza Strip, Pashtunistan, Zimbabwe, and Chechnya. Iran is the subject for 2013.
Text by: Galia Ackermann, Masha Gessen

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag (2013)
164 pages
Size: 24 x 28 cm  

Chardon rouge

"In this inaccessible and inhospitable land, enclosed between two seas, Monteleone has found his theme. A scrupulous narrator, he follows the line drawn by 'concerned photography.' and by linking images he constructs a narrative of places and people. . . .Each image in this book contains a complex story in which the photographer plays the difficult role of being a witness of events and the guardian of memory, weaving together the stories of the Caucasus and the stories of these men and women."—Renata Ferri

Red Thistle is a powerful and fascinating exploration of the important but relatively unknown region of the Northern Caucasus and its people. It lies between the Black and Caspian Seas and is within European Russia (Chechnya, South Ossetia, Georgia, Abkhazia, Dagestan, etc.). Wars have been fought here for centuries—the most recent in Chechnya. Monteleone examines the stubborn, rebellious culture of this region, which although part of Russia, differs in the ethnicity, religion, and social customs of its inhabitants.

Nine beautiful and moving short stories by writer Lucia Sgueglia introduce each section of the book and reflect on elements of daily life and the experience of conflict within the region.
Text by: Lucia Sgueglia

Publisher: Actes Sud Editions (2012)
200 pages
Size: 30 x 24 cm  

Dusha, Russian Soul

This books sets out to describe Russia's heart and soul (Dusha). Between 2002and 2007, Davide Monteleone travelled across many ex-Soviet republics, capturing the melancholy, joy, and solitude of Russian people. That famous spirit, imperceptible and indefinable, is revealed iconographically and poetically in this series of photographs that are distant yet intimate at the same time.
Text by: David Monteleone

Publisher: Postcart Edizioni (2007)
128 pages
Size: 22 x 5 x 22 cm  

Awards


    2017 - Winner CodiceMIA, MIA Fair, Milano

    2016 - Fellowship Asia Society, ChinaFile

    2014 - Best Book of the Year, Paris Photo wtih "Spasibo"

    2014 - PDN Best Book Award 2014

    2014 - The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation best book award

    2013 - Fondation Carmignac Photojournalism Award

    2013 - 2nd prize POY multimedia

    2012 - 3rd prize Lead Award

    2012 - Epea grant, “Harragas"

    2012 - Awaking award Tehran art project.

    2012 - European Publisher Award

    2011 - "Follow your convictions grant" Maurice Lacroix"

    2011 - 2nd Art single World Press Photo

    2010 - Aftermath Project Award

    2010 - Lumix Freelens Award

    2010 - Emerging Photographer

    2010 - 2nd Sony World Photography Awards

    2009 - Leica Oskar Barnak Award

    2009 - 1st General news stories, World Press Photo

    2008 - 2nd prize best book, IPA Award

    2008 - 1st General news, IPA Award

    2008 - Best book, FotoGrafia-Book Award

    2007 - TAF prize, LuccaDigitalFotoFest

    2007 - 1st Spot news stories, World Press Photo

    2005 - 2nd Prize Amilcare Ponchielli

Exhibitions



The April Theses, In The Russian East (Milano)
From 2017-11-16 to 2017-11-29

During the Photo Vogue Festival in Milan (15-19 November 2017) Davide Monteleone will show two recent projects \"In The Russian East\" and \"The April Theses\" in an exhibition curated by Heillandi Gallery.

More information...

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