About Roberto Faidutti
Ironically, from a career that began in cinema and documentary video, I learned to love the still image, and now my camera and I have been on the road together for almost four decades. At the beginning, the attraction was travel in Africa, an anthropologist’s interest in meeting the people and photographing their traditions and ways of doing things. In the 1970s, Fiat sent me to Africa to create a book on how Africans re-used parts of abandoned truck in many parts of their lives – from turning ignition wires and radiator columns into jewelry or tires into shoes to using steering columns as muzzles for guns. In reality, the book, “Mutatzione” used photographs as a metaphor for how Africans adopt and adapt Western culture to meet their needs.
It became my springboard to the life of a photographer on the road. Travel has taken me to most countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe, from the heights of Nepal and Peru, to crisscrossing the Sahara countless times and onto Amazon boats, always aiming my camera in directions that will help demonstrate the needs for, or successes of, international development activities in areas such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food safety and above all, food security and natural resource conservation. This includes more than presenting photographs to clients.
I also create multimedia presentations for extension activities, undertaking in-depth research before starting missions and working in production upon return. I still maintain the anthropologist’s interest but when working for organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Italian Development Cooperation or the European Union, I also have the satisfaction that the work I do for them may in some way contribute to improving the lives of the people I photograph. My pleasure comes from spending time in villages, meeting villagers and photographing them in the act of being themselves, showing them as they are, not as they pose.