Franco Pagetti has covered the conflict in Iraq since January 2003, three months before the start of the war. Since then, he has almost constantly been based in Baghdad, mainly on assignment for TIME Magazine. His images have captured the horrors of war, the brief flowering of hope after the downfall of Saddam Hussein, the rise of insurgent and terrorist groups, and more recently, the inexorable descent into a bloody sectarian civil war.
Pagetti has been a news photographer since 1994, and most of his recent work has involved conflict situations: Afghanistan (1997, ‘98, 2001), Kosovo (1999), East Timor (1999), Kashmir (1998, 2000 and 2001), Palestine (2002), Sierrra Leone (2001) and South Sudan (1997).
Conflict situations attract Pagetti because they afford the opportunity to observe people and societies in extremis – under tremendous duress. This brings out the best and worst in people, and Pagetti’s lens has captured both incredible heroism as well as grisly brutality in war zones on three continents. Regardless of the geographic setting, Pagetti says, war and its aftermath seem to affect vastly different societies in almost exactly the same way.
His non-conflict news photography has included assignments in India, the Vatican City, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and his native Italy.
In addition to TIME Magazine, he has worked on assignment for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker and Stern. His work has been published in Le Figaro, Paris Match, The Times of London ,The Independent and DAYS Japan magazine .
When not on assignment, Pagetti lives between Milan and Tuscany, Italy, with his long-suffering companion, Gloria del Frate. In his “former life,” he was a fashion photographer for Italian VOGUE and taught chemistry at Milano’s University .
He occasionally lectures.