Lorenzo Meloni's work charts the crossborder fight against the Islamic State in an unprecedented curation debuting at Visa pour l'Image
Lorenzo Meloni is an Italian photographer known for his depictions of conflict and its consequences on people and landscapes.
Adopting a historicist’s approach towards his subjects, he aims to challenge the complex narratives around war by processing and reflecting both past and contemporary social, political and cultural contexts.
Meloni’s photographs invite us to reflect on the recurring self-destructive patterns of human behavior throughout history and its devastating consequences on both the environment and humanity. He spent over a decade working in the Middle East and North Africa, devoting himself to long-term projects, including charting Libya after the fall of Gaddafi — from the country’s democratization processes and the proliferation of militias to the people smuggling of migrants.
Meloni has covered 21st century conflicts of historic significance, including those in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, as well as the latter’s impact on neighboring Lebanon. He has recently been chronicling the ongoing war in Ukraine.
His monograph, We Don’t Say Goodbye, published by Gost in 2022, draws on years of work covering the rise, reign, fall and immediate aftermath of the Islamic State as a territorial entity. Meloni explores this period of recent history through a fragmented narrative, from the consequences of the Sykes-Picot Agreement — a 1916 British and French colonial treaty to divide former territories of the Ottoman Empire — to ongoing Western military and political intervention in the Middle East. The book was chosen as one of Time magazine’s Best Photo-books of the Year.
In 2022, he started work on a project entitled L’Arbre aux Papillons, named after an invasive flowering plant introduced to Europe after the industrial revolution. The project aims to capture the precarious balance between urban and technological development, and man’s relationship with nature.
Meloni’s photographs are held in prestigious public and private collections, including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Collection Banco Sabadell and The Incite Project. His work has been exhibited and shown at festivals worldwide, including the Venice Biennale, Visa pour l’Image and Les Rencontres d’Arles. His work has also been published in prominent international publications, including Time magazine, The Times, Le Monde, Vanity Fair and The Economist.
In 2020, Meloni became a full member of Magnum Photos.