Antonio Cossa arrived in Prague from Mozambique eleven years ago. His journey to Europe led through Portugal, where he lived, worked, and also studied film school for three years. From the Czech Republic, however, he has worked all over the world, where he focuses mainly on social issues, climate change, and human stories.
The photographers’s new exhibit Dialog, which opened at Creative World Friday, showcases his rich career in photojournalism focused on Syria, the Greek-Turkish border, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and elsewhere. His work also focuses on the world of celebrity and politics which has allowed him as an independent journalist to secure funds for trips into conflict areas.
“This is my first exhibition after the corona period. I wanted it to be positively tuned and visitors to be able to relax in the creative environment in which my photos are set. I tried to keep the character of the place itself and use the given decorations and elements in the context of the exhibition and the focus of my photographs,” says Cossa of his exhibition.
Antonio began his professional career in photojournalism in 2004 but got his first analog at the age of 18 from National Geographic reporters. At that time, it was a small thank you for helping with the locations during a photoshoot in Mozambique. Antonio lived with his family for nearly sixteen years amid Civil War and at times lived in refugee camps.
Cossa says his photo documentation of refugee camps, from the Rohingya ethnic group on the border of Myanmar and Bangladesh, to the Greek islands of Chios, Lesbos, and Chamos near the Turkish border or Calais, give a human face to incredible stories and conflicts not often portrayed in the mainstream media.
The artist supports his travels by shooting show business personalities, including Richard Gere, Steven Spielberg, Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, William Dafoe, Marilyn Manson, and dozens of others who has posed for his camera. He is an official photographer for the Czech Republic at Cannes and Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
Among the exhibited photographs at Creative World is a tribute to Václav Havel, with whom Antonio met several times during his career. Thanks to his association with Havel, he gained access to the Czech underground and later to Karel Schwarzenberg, whose photographs are also on display during the two-month exhibition, as well as photographs of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Open daily through August 30, 2020 from 9 am to 6 pm
Creative World: Přívozní 3, Prague 7 – Holešovice
Cossa will also lead bilingual summer camp for kids on July 6 and July 20 at Creative World
This article originally appeared in Czech on Proti šedi.