Orlando, Florida 2014
Paolo Patruno (b. 1972, Italy) is a freelance photographer and video maker. He traveled throughout Africa over the past ten years, documenting topics such as health care, education, human rights and sustainable development. Since 2011 he has ben working on a long term project called Birth is a Dream about the rising awareness of maternal health in Africa. The project has already been shot across Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe. His clients include Amref, Save the Children, United Methodist Women, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Paolo’s works have been awarded by MIFA, Pollux Awards, PhotoAnnualAwards and the Photo Philanthropy Activist Award.
About the Photograph:
“This image is from my documentary project called American Dream about maternal health for African-American women in the USA. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country in the world. And while the vast majority of countries have reduced their maternal mortality ratios, for the past 25 years the numbers of women lost during pregnancy, birth or postpartum have increased dramatically in the US. African-American women in the US are at especially high risk. They are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications compared to European woman. Last March, I traveled to Orlando, Florida and documented women’s maternity experiences. Joanne is 32 years old and mother of five children and pregnant with the sixth. I took this photo of her and her son Alfonzo at he end of a full day just when I had already started packing my gear. That seems to be the rule, the best photographs, the most intimate ones, arrive after having built a personal relationship with the people of the stories.”