2003 Infinity Award: Photojournalism
Alex Majoli’s history as a documentary photographer began at age 11 in Ravenna, Italy, where he began using a camera recreationally. Over the course of the next 10 years, his hobby evolved into a career. He worked with Daniele Casadio at the Ravenna studio f45 in 1986, and by 1990 was working full-time for the Grazia Neri Agency in Milan. He began a series of travels in the early 1990s that eventually took him to Yugoslavia, Greece, Brazil, Albania, India, and Somalia. In each place, Majoli documented severe crises, on both personal and national scales. These included images of the war in Yugoslavia and the Leros psychiatric hospital in Greece during its closing in 1995. Majoli became a full member of Magnum Photos in 2001.
In 2002, Majoli photographed AIDS victims and prostitutes in India and Somali Bantu refugees in Kenya. His work in India depicts sex-workers and their families, living in overcrowded dwellings and with limited or no access to effective health treatments at a time when the HIV virus is spreading rapidly through the population. His Kenyan photographs capture the plight of exiled refugees in search of stability. Several of the pictures from both locations were published in Newsweek in fall 2002.