I am an independent photographer based in London. Born in Catania, Sicily, after my studies and various work experiences in Italy, I decided to move to England, carrying my dad’s old analogue camera and great aspirations.
I always enjoyed a sheer passion for visual arts but London pushed my interest to a whole new level, challenging my creative eye towards unexplored directions. I studied photography at KCC (University of Arts London) where had the opportunity to approach the medium from different angles, finding my own way to express myself through the lens. I have been involved in different kind of projects: from fashion to portraits, studio and location, fine art and conceptual photography…and had the chance to exhibit my work internationally, but my “natural habitat” is the Street, Travel and Documentary. Very keen black and white analogue photographer, I love experimenting with old alternative processes and techniques.
“My favourite thing is to go where I’ve never been” (Diane Arbus)
Wild voyageur, in the last few years, I have been wandering solo all around South East Asia, China, H.K., Myanmar ,Philippines, South Korea... and living in Japan and Taiwan, recording my journey on film with my old twin lens Mamiya .While travelling I have been using my passion and skills to help and support NGO, no profit and grassroots initiative.. giving voice with images to those who can't speak for themselves .My main concern is to Communicate, to Transmit, to Generate a reaction…I like to think of myself as a storyteller, but I don’t invent anything … I take down from dictation. Cutting slices of time from everyday life, I discover beauty in the ordinary, surprises in random serendipity.
1. What makes you passionate about helping the NGO?
I come from a very big Family... I am the first of 6 kids and even if among difficulties I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to access to education and develop my skills regardless my gender and despite my not wealthy background.. It probably couldn’t have happened in India where being a child, especially a girl, means to suffer from many disadvantages.
In poor regions, girls have to work in the household from a very young age and often experience domestic violence; there is no room for education. Rajasthan is still quite conservative and the so called Dalits are affected by injustices and poverty because they are at the bottom of the caste system and therefore considered "untouchable". This NGO helps Dalit children and women to build up their self-esteem, to become more independent and to take their own decisions, reducing the existing gender gap in education and labour force participation.
In the past I have already been involved in social service and worked with kids with special need and I volunteered with a similar Project in in Myanmar…
I will be happy to give my contibution again, helping vulnerable women and children break out of the cycle of poverty and abuse.
2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?
I believe Photography is an incredibly powerful tool! Beyond the cliché: “a picture tells a thousand words” there is real value in using images. They grab attention, explain, teach, communicate, promote, inspire...help! A Photo indeed often stands out on its own and says all.
I will be ‘on the ground’ with my camera gathering experiences, collecting significant moments and documenting everyday efforts to reach impactful results…giving voice with images to whom can't speak on their own. I am convinced that being witness of a change and show it to the world can make the difference.
3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?
I am very proud of all I have done and achieved in the last few years, having the courage of stepping out of my comfort zone, overcoming fears and doubts and allowing myself to live day by day extraordinary experiences,with my camera hanging around my neck…even when the situations weren't ideal. I found Volunteering the key to give and grow, to help and achieve and concretely make a difference. I am willing to continue on this healthy path with my photography and PWB is the perfect platform where I can use my skills and passion to help others while doing what I love. I truly believe in their mission and activities and I am very excited of joining this inspiring project in India.
So… here I am, eyes wide open...ready for a new challenge!
Help me to help…telling the stories that matter.
Visit Stella Grasso's Website