Valerio Bispuri was born in Rome and has worked as a photoreporter since 2001. His work focuses on the stories of the marginalized and the invisibles. He produced reportages in Africa and Asia, but it is in Latin America that Valerio has spent most of his life, choosing Argentina as his second country. He also collaborates with several Italian and international magazines.
In his first work he followed the gypsy people and their world from Italy to the remote villages of Bosnia.
For 10 years he has been working on “Encerrados”, a photographic project on the living conditions of inmates in prisons across the South American continent. “Encerrados” was exhibited at the Visa pour l’Image festival in Perpignan (2011), at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome (2011) and at the Bronx Documentary Center of New York (2014). In 2015 “Encerrados” became a book published by Contrasto.
In 2017, after more than 14 years, Valerio completed another long-term project about the life cycle of a drug called “Paco”, widespread in some South America countries in the last twenty years. Paco. A drug Story” was exhibited in Istanbul by the International Green Cross (2014) and at the Visa pour l’Image festival in Perpignan (2016), where he reached the final of the Visa d’Or award. In 2017, “Paco” was published by Contrasto.
“Encerrados” and “Paco” have been awarded many international prizes, including the Sony World Photography Awards, the Picture of the Year prize, the Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards, and the Latin American Picture of the Year prize.
“Prigionieri”, his project about the Italian remand prisons was published in 2019 by Contrasto and exhibited at the Visa pour l’Image festival in Perpignan (2019), where it reached the final of the Visa d’Or award. In 2020 “Prigionieri” won the Story News First Prize of the Istanbul Photo Award.
After completing a project on the reality of the world of the deaf and having recounted the terrible situation of trafficking in women in Argentina, Valerio in 2022 finished the long project on mental illness in Italy and Africa: “The Forgotten“. This project was shown on the African side at the Visa in Perpignan in 2022, making it to the final for the third time at the Visa d’Or. While the Italian part was screened. “The Forgotten” will be a book in October 2023 for the publishing house Silvana Editore.