This story won the USA Overseas Press Club Award 1969 for the best reporting or interpretation abroad in a USA magazine or book.

Nigerian Civil War: Biafra
It was the first time, march 1969, in the history of London Times, the newspaper used a whole page of photographs.

The Nigerian Civil War. “A photograph is like a thousand words”, but for a freelance to tell the logistics of why, and how to get there to photograph it, would require a thousand pages.

From “The Camera at War” by Jeorge Lewinski, edited by W.H. Allen, London.
“[…]Such attempts at recording a war in depth where a growing feature of modern war coverage. Cagnoni is one of the earliest examples of the photographer’s increasing involvement with those he photographs[…]”

North Vietnam.
Since the fall of the French army ay Dien Bien Phu, the western press tried unsuccessfully to enter North Vietnam.
The distinguished journalist James Cameron and I where the first non.communist correspondents to obtain an entry-visa in November 1965. Photography was under heavy censorship.

At the presidential Palace in Hanoi, the legendary Ho Chi Minh refused to be photographed.
I said to the President that people sensitive to justice in the west would have loved to see him in such a good health.
He told me that I was an optimist, that optimists make good revolutionaries and I could photograph him.

Former Yugoslavia.
WAR PHOTOGRAPHED IN LARGE FORMAT
A war fought mainly with artillery was destroying a great deal of decent architecture, lovely old buildings and parts of well-preserved attractive towns.
I had to show the beauty and the history of the architecture to communicate even more the sorry state of its destruction.
Only with a large format camera would I obtain ultra sharp photographs, control the convergence of the lines etc…
The aim was to have technically perfect architecture photographs of war-damaged sites intending a disconcerting effect.
After publication in “Stern” I received the Art Director Club of Germany’s bronze medal.

On this page, two stories: Sarajevo children for “ Bunte” and 14 pages in “Epoca”. I would like to write a few notes about the refugees’ story in “Epoca”.
Successive visits improved my knowledge of the conflict; at a certain point Yugoslavia had about 3 million displaced persons, a great exodus with respect to the numbers reported in the evening news. Refugees are never given a precise identity. I had to find a way to show their individuality.
In their hour of flight, most of them take a blanket and a loaf of bread, but I went to look for the ones who took objects which they felt had spiritual significance for them, things for their minds, symbols to affirm their right to life, not only fugitive numbers.

A Studio on the Front Line. Jan. 1995
Few and badly armed Chechens were resisting the powerful Russian army and air force.
During the first attacks on Grozny, they destroyed about 200 Russian tanks by launching dynamite taped to hand grenades at them, conquering the world’s sympathy.
These were people who had suffered massive deportations by Stalin; great writers like Tolstoi, Lermentov, Puskin wrote enticing stories about them.
Patricia and I were fascinated by such men and decided to set up a mobile studio with flash lights in Grozny during the fighting.

The Red Army in Afghanistan
Clandestine photographs, Sunday Times text :”Photographer Romano Cagnoni took this picture of Russian armoured cars in Afghanistan through a bus windscreen.
Using a concealed camera in a country where western newsmen are banned, he has produced dramatic pictures wich reveal the tense reality of life high in the mountains and down on the city streets. Wherever the Afghans turn they are amidst the occupying forces.

The Red Army in Poland
Clandestine photographs (stealthy photographs)
The first time the Red Army was photographed during their long Polish occupation.
Polish security ordered me to leave the country. At the airport I was thoroughly searched; the police took all my films,
but what they didn’t know was that I had given the ones with the right photographs to a Swedish colleague who sent them to me in London from Stockholm. A few years later Time-Life asked the Poles for a visa for me to photograph the country for a book.
The authorities answered that they could send anyone but me, Romano Cagnoni.

Israel- Palestine
A Six Day War or a War Forever?
Since 1970 I have visited the “Land” many times. Once I photographed a story on the 50 th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel.
Another time I had an assignment from the Palestinian Authority for an editorial advertising Palestinian Entity to be published in “Newsweek”.
It is now gone almost 40 years and I feel peace, is biblical years away.

The photograph in the “Times” of the pregnant woman was later requested by the art historian R.H. Wilenski to be published it in his book “English Painting” edited by Faber&Faber.
It is the only photograph in a book illustrated with hundreds of reproductions of paintings; I expressed my surprise to Mr. Wilenski who wrote:….”the photograph where the foreground posts take on anthropomorphic meaning in relation to the pregnant woman, we can see why so many intelligent creative painters now recognize the enemy’s conquests
in the romantic and dramatic as well as the descriptive field and confine themselves to aesthetic rethinking and rebuilding”

London has been my base for more than 30 years.
I was a penniless emigrant when I got there and had a love-hate relationship with it.
Now I miss it.

For quite some years I contributed to different magazines. Photographing mainly cultural events,
I therefore met a good number of remarkable people. One of the most distinguished was my wife, seen here in “The Arts” of the “Sunday Times”. Berenice was a great painter, an excellent writer and a good critic of my work as well as great help.
An asthma attack took her way in 1983. The cutting of my photograph of Mark Rothko who looks towards her is meant to indicate her love for his work. Or vice versa, she would have said.

Different publications about many authors, interesting meetings for me as a photographer which enhanced my knowledge.

Look at Pablo Casals, he was 87 years old! Sviatoslav Richter on the piano, accompanying Fisher-Dieskau singing (here reading a Brahms score together).
I will never forget it. I don’t remember the music played by the rock singer on the page.

Theatre is a unique form of art; it unfolds simultaneously for the maker and for whoever might consume it.
I consider myself lucky to have spent a number of days photographing Joan Littlewood’s musical “Oh what a lovely war”.
I believe it to be a great innovative piece of theatre.I provided the photographs for a 24- page souvenir programme and about 40 enlargements mounted on aluminium which were exhibited on the front of the house.

The editor of the “Observer” magazine Dick Hall accepted my idea to make a series on the different immigrant
communities in England: Blacks, Asians, Chinese, Europeans. Several pages on each ethnic group in 4 issues to be published on following weeks.

The rich Arabs in London: on this page we only see two spreads in the ”Sunday Times “ magazine.
The story was printed in other European magazines as well; some are listed on the side. “Geo” of Germany printed several pages of the immigrants and the Arabs together.

I included my press credits from the “Observer” and “Corriere della Sera “for a press visa request to the apartheid South African Embassy.I had in mind to photograph prosperous white South Africans (with a large number of servants etc. which would have conveyed what sort of society it was). The visa was taking a long time to arrive, so I decided to go without it. After two months of satisfying work I returned to Europe to learn from the Embassy that the visa had been refused. The story was published in many countries. The “Corriere” magazine printed 36 pages.

The stories on this page are: Deforestation in the Sahel commissioned by “The Photographers Gallery” also printed by “Epoca”; Famine in Africa; 80th birthday of Emperor Haille Selasié of Ethiopia (thanks to writer Anthony Sampson who helped me with the access to the Emperor’s private life); U.S.A. electronic communications in Turkey, part of a story on the Kurds.

Magnum” Paris proposed that we work together; I accepted on a trial basis and allowed the New York office to distribute my Fidel Castro photographs in the States. These two pages of Castro in “Time” magazine earned me less than I expected; I decided that it wasn’t worth it to work with “Magnum”.

Fidel Castro with General Pinochet, a rare photograph of two extremists on the opposite political front seen together. Other dictators on the page: Paraguay General Alfred Stroessner and Argentina President Peron.

For ominous stories on drugs and emeralds which I shot in Columbia, friends started to call me “the adventurer”. It could be very dangerous, if one was lucky enough to find a good emerald but was unlucky enough to be seen, or talked too much about the drug dealers, etc. It was risky in very different ways to the war situations I had experienced; equally tough though, to crawl in long tunnels about 3 feet in diameter to reach a rock with the emerald’s vein.

It was an honour to publish with writer Graham Greene who ended his piece with some lines from a Shelley poem:
”…..to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it
Contemplates.”

Labour party political campaign 1964

Luxury Hotel

My Rocca of Monteggiori – Versilia
I have restored in the years 1995-2000