Introduction by Caroline Milic - Postface by Robert Delpire.
85 black & white photographs
ISBN : 2-85107-218-8
To speak of the state of these places where childhood misery abounds is not to brandish the hackneyed phrase of "human rights" (a phrase too often used and abused for anything and everything). This work brings us to our contradictions as westerners, where we see childhood as an ideal chimeric angelicism or purity, and keep our eyes closed to all else. It brings to light our incomplete consciousness, our blind spots. On ignorance, abandonment, violence. The images of Francesco Zizola tacitly denounce the universal reign of bestial power, inhumanity, with strength and without pity : the ferocious power to harm and enslave, power to kill. And beyond that invokes our moral imperitave as adults, our only humanity, to join together and protect them. No, not because we must preserve the "angelic utopia" we perceive childhood to be, but because it is up to us to protect those who can not protect themselves.
We write and talk a lot, in specialized journals and in meetings, about how photography has evolved in a considerable way from what it was before. I have a very different opinion. I am aware of the slide from narrative to conceptual, of this effort that certain photographers make to advance on the slippery plane of pure aestheticism. I don’t think we can ignore the differences that exist between manual and digital photography, but I a m convinced that the deepest nature of photographers remains unchanged. That there were, at the turn of the century, photographers that had a vivacity and tender heart, photographers whose vocation is not to decorate the walls of museums for their own personal satisfaction, but to show, by using the revelatory truth that is film, how hard humans are on one another, on children, how we can want for bread, for affection, and how, from this wanting, we can die. No, photography hasn’t changed. Lewis Hine, Jacob Riis, they have a brother, his name is Francesco Zizola.