Biography

Andrea (Andy) Rocchelli (27th September 1983 – 24th May 2014) was a freelance photoreporter, member and founder of the Cesura, an independent collective of photographers.

Soon after his graduation in design of the communication at the Politecnico of Milan in 2007, Andy Rocchelli started to work in the photography industry doing an apprenticeship at the Grazia Neri Agency. Then he became an assistant of the Magnum photographer Alex Majoli. In 2008, together with four other photographers, he founded Cesura, an independent collective aiming to producing photography projects free from commercial compromises.

Rocchelli’s photography portfolio is very varied. He documented the Italian phenomenon of “velinismo”, the Arab Spring in Libya and Tunisia, the violation of the human rights in Kyrgyzstan and Ingushetia, the emigrants’ life conditions in the Southern Italy and their mistreatment by criminality.

Eastern Europe and Russia were areas of particular interest for Rocchelli.

His pictures have been published by international newspapers like Le Monde, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Kommersant and Novaya Gazeta.

When he was killed, his first photography book, Russian Interiors was almost complete. It was then published posthumous by Cesura.

Rocchelli was killed on 24th May 2014 in Andreyevka, close by the city of Sloviansk, in the Eastern Ukraine, whilst documenting the life conditions of the civilians trapped in the Donbass conflict. Together with Rocchelli that afternoon was the human rights activist Andrej Mironov who was also killed in that same attack, and the French photoreporter William Roguelon and a local driver.

During a stop near an abandoned railway, the group was taken under the tenacious attack of both heavy artillery and weapons. The Italian investigating authorities recognized the shot that killed Mironov and Rocchelli, as well as seriously injured Roguelon, as not accidental, but intentional.

In May 2016 the last pictures shot by Rocchelli while under attack, before he was murdered, were found: they provide documentary evidence of the attack duration, the confirmation of the place where the victims were located and also their clothing of unarmed civilians.

Exhibitions

2014, September 4th-9th, Ukraine Revolution, curated by da Cesura and the Ilaria Alpi Association; Palazzo Graziani, San Marino, SM.

2014, September 20th – November 2nd, Evidence, curated by the photographer Gianluca Grossi and Cesura; Spazio Reale, Monte Carasso, Bellinzona, CH.

2015, June 5th – July 5th, Stories, curated by Cesura and Lucia Rocchelli; Palazzo del Broletto, Pavia, IT.

2015, September 30th – November 15th, Stories, curated by Cesura and 3/3; Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Roma, IT.

2017, May 3rd-7th, Dall’Ultimo Fronte: l’Ucraina di Rocchelli e Mironov, curated by Leonardo Brogioni; Triennale di Milano, IT. The exhibition was organized as part of the Festival dei Diritti Umani in Milano.

2017, November 23rd – January 14th, Andy Rocchelli: Letzte Front, curated by Miklos Klaus Rosza in collaboration with COOPI; Photobastei, Zurich, CH.

Publications

The photography book Russian Interiors is an intimate portrait of the feminine world in the ex-Soviet Countries: the book was published posthumous at the end of 2014. Appreciated by the international critics, it was mentioned by Martin Parr as one of the 10 best photography books of 2014, British Journal of Photography.

Prizes

2014, June 13th, Ponchielli photography prize 2014, dedicated to Andrea Rocchelli, Milan, IT.

2014, September 7th, Kamerton prize for the independent journalism, assigned to Andrea Rocchelli and Andrej Mironov. The prize is entitled to the memory of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Moscow, RU.

2014, December, San Siro prize to civil merit, assigned by the Municipality of Pavia, IT.

2015, April 25th, World Press Photo 2015, The Portraits section prize, Stories, assigned to the Russian Interiors series, Amsterdam, NL.

2015, June, the Committee for the defense and promotion of the human rights deputized by the Council at the OSCE dedicated a memorial plaque at the Parliament to Andy Rocchelli in commemoration to who fell in defense of the OSCE values in conflict areas, Rome, IT.

2018, December 2nd, Prize for the professional activity given by the Pavia Chamber of Commerce.