Title: Obiettivo Salvador
Photographer(s): Giovanni Palazzo
Writer(s): Giorgio Peruzio, Edo Prando
Publisher(s): Nuove Edizioni Internazionali, Milano, Italy
Size: 22x 24 cm
Print: Petrino, Torino, Italy
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: El - Salvador, 1979-1980
The Italian Giovanni Palazzo donated to the Museum of Word and Image (MUPI) part of his documentary photographic work taken in El Salvador during the civil war. It consists of six thousand colour photographs taken with film and a Nikon F2 that show the special humanistic perspective of this Italian adventurer.
Giovanni fell in love with El Salvador while travelling through Central America to document the turbulent historical events of the 1980s in this region. Surprisingly, Palazzo was neither a journalist nor a professional photographer, nor did he work for any media. Moreover, he did not try to earn money with his images or to gain international recognition with his images. On the contrary, Palazzo fell ill with malaria, lost money and almost lost his sight due to an eye infection that left him with lasting consequences to this day and kept him away from his passion for photography for several years.
He was an electronic technician who saved money from his job to pay for his documentary trips. To get into conflict zones, he slipped between groups of national reporters and foreign correspondents, where he went unnoticed. He then used photographs to publicise the plight of Salvadorans in his war-torn country and organised events to awaken solidarity with El Salvador among his compatriots. He travelled several times until 1989 when he was caught by the police and deported from El Salvador because he was considered a left-wing activist helping the guerrillas.