Simona Ghizzoni was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1977.
She begun her career studying Music and Arts, an influence that continues to be present in her work. After gaining an MA in History of photography, she’s been selected for the Reflexions master class, held by the photographer Giorgia Fiorio and the curator Gabriel Bauret (2006), and in 2009 for the 16th World Press Photo - Joop Swart master class.
Since 2005 Ghizzoni has committed herself to long-term documentary projects concerning women’s condition; at the same time, she conducts a personal research titled Rayuela, which explores, almost in the form of a diary, her own feminine.
She uses the medium of photography, writing and video to capture people and places around the world, blurring the lines between documentary and personal research: many of her images are taken on socially-inspired assignments, but she employs compositions that impose a dramatic, at times even fantastical, narrative.
From 2006 until 2010 she worked on along-term project, “Odd Days”, concerning Eating Disorders and women’s long and hard path towards recovery, by living for long periods of time in a treatment centre in Italy.
With an image taken from this series she won the 3rd prize at World Press Photo 2008.
A selection of “Odd Days” has also been awarded with PhotoEspana Ojodepez Award for Human Values 2009.
In 2010 she received a commission to work on Iraqui female refugees in Jordan, where she produced her first short documentary “Lie in Wait” ( 8’ S.Ghizzoni/ 2010 / Ita-Jordan).
From then on, travel became a fundamental aspect of her practice, and she has produced several chapters of “Afterdark”, her latest work about the consequences of war on women’s psychological life in the Mediterranean area: Jordan, West Bank, the Gaza Strip, andWestern Sahara ( thanks to The Aftermath Project).
In 2013 she directed her first documentary, about female victims of forced disappearance in the Saharawi Occupied territories “Just to Let you know that I’m Alive” (64’ S. Ghizzoni/ E. Zuccalà. , 2013, production Zona - Rome/ Meriem Belala - Algiers).
Her work about the condition of female victims of Cast Lead operation in the Gaza Strip (2010-2013), was awarded with the 3rdprize Contemporary Isssues at World Press Photo 2012.
Since 2015 she workes on UNCUT, a documentary project about women’s alliances against Female Genital Mutilations in Africa and Europe, produced by the European Journalism Centre and ActionAid.
Ghizzoni is represented by Contrasto agency and founder member of Zona.org.
Her work has been published on the International New York Times, L’Espresso, Io Donna, il Corriere della Sera, El Paìs, among others.
AWARDS AND GRANTS
2007 Ist prize FNAC photo contest Italy
2008 3rd prize portrait single WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2008
2009 2ndprize Magazine Feature Pictures Story at POYI
2009 1st prize Photo Espana Ojodepez Award for Human Values 2009.
2009 Finalist at Burn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant
2010 Selected photographer for the European project SETSE ( Seeing Europe Through a stranger’s eye) – Les Rencontres d’Arles
2011 Winner The Aftermath Project Saharawi Grant
2012 3rd prize Contemporary Issues single WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2012
2012 2nd prize atBurn Magazine Emerging Photographer Grant
2013 European Photo Exhibition Award (EPEA 2014)
2014 Aan Korb: BBC Arabic Film and Documentary Festival (finalist), London
2014 Margaret Mead Film Festival, Juror's Special Award , New York
2014 Festival du Cinema Italien, Prix Spèciale Documentaire. Annecy.
2015 Journalism Grant / Uncut Project
2015 Leica Oskar Barnack Award, (finalist).
2016 SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD, 3rd prize Contemporary Issues.
2016 DWA Doc/it Women Award ( Venice), finalist
2016 Visioni dal Mondo ( Milan) honorable mention
2008 PARIS PHOTO (series “In Between”), Paris.
2009 PARIS PHOTO(series “A Minor Place”), Paris.
2010 PARIS PHOTO(series “Aftermath”), Paris
2010 PHOTOESPANA (series “Odd Days”), Madrid.
2011 FESTIVAL DELLA FOTOGRAFIA ETICA (series “Odd Days”), Milan.
2013 REPORTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL (series “Afterdark”), Sidney.
2013 AUDITORIUM ROME (series: “Tutto mi parla di te”) Rome.
2014 NOBEL PEACE CENTRE (series: “While you were sleeping”), Oslo.
2014 PHOTOMED FESTIVAL (series: “Tutto mi parla di te”) Sanary sur Mer.
2014 PALAZZO DELLE ESPOSIZIONI (series: “While you were sleeping”), Lucca.
2014 Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian (series: “While you were sleeping”), Paris.
2015 Athens Photo Festival (series: "Rayuela")