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The Village of Istmina

People in the News, second prize stories


The village of Istmina, on the San Juan River in Colombia, is home to many displaced and indigenous peoples. Violence has become endemic in Colombia, a country long ravaged by conflict between national security forces, outlawed armed groups and drug cartels. Women are particularly affected as victims of sexual assault. Marginal groups and aid workers suspected of helping guerillas have also been targeted.

Commissioned by: Noor for Internazionale


Location: Istmina, Colombia


Photo Credit: Francesco Zizola

Francesco Zizola is an Italian photojournalist and a founding member of NOOR photo agency.

Born in 1962, since 1980's he has documented the world's major conflicts and their hidden crisis, focusing on the social and humanitarian issues that define life in the developing world as well as in western countries. A strong ethical commitment and a distinctive aesthetic eye are specific features of his pictures.

His assignments and personal projects have taken him around the world, giving him the opportunity to carefully portray forgotten crises and relevant issues often disregarded by the mainstream media. In 2008 he founded 10b Photography (Rome, Italy), a multipurpose centre for digital photography promoting photography culture through exhibitions, workshops and lectures. He received several awards - including nine awards in World Press Photo contests and four Picture of the Year International awards (POYi) – and published seven books.

Francesco lives in Rome, Italy.


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