The Tenderness
of the World
Deserves Witnesses

Gabriele Micalizzi

Search for humanity

My main concern is to witness a story in order to reach, through my images, the observer who very often is outside the facts and miles away. This picture was taken in 2016 in Libya, during the great battle between the troops of Misrata and ISIS jihadists in the city of Sirte. I spent almost four months with the military of Misrata on the front. I slept, ate, ran, and escaped danger with them.

During this war, once a week there was a great advance, by now the jihadists were surrounded on all fronts. Each advance occupied new positions, and we settled in the houses they occupied just shortly before – sometimes filled with explosives and traps. They also used toys to hide traps. One day while I was walking around the camp I found this stuffed bear perched on a tank. Obviously, the contrast was very strong. But what I saw was a search for humanity by the soldiers, as the war tries to rob you of it. Being a photojournalist is a profession that also leads you to reflect in your emotional and personal sphere. Documenting a historical event is a job. But you often take pictures that you just keep to yourself. This is one of them.

The Tenderness of the World Deserves Witnesses

Search for humanity
Gabriele Micalizzi

I’m a photojournalist. Encouraged by my teacher Alex Majoli I began to tell stories that represent discomforting realities. I started working on crime news in Milan. With my scooter I snap the news scenes and then sent them to the editorial staff to cover the local news daily.


In 2008 with a group of people we opened a photographic collective: Cesura. Since that day, photography has become my reason for life. I started working in conflict areas. These territories became the places where I focused my gaze.

Leica : Practically indestructible

I’ve always wanted a camera that was practically indestructible. Leicas were always the camera of the great reporters... I work with a Leica Q2 and Leica SL2 with the APO-Summicron 35 mm lens and 24-90 mm zoom. In 2019 in Baghuz, Syria, I was hit by the explosion of an RPG rocket. I had shrapnel everywhere; a very critical situation in short. At that moment I remember having touched my right eye, my finger sinking inside the cavity. I thought I had completely lost my sight, but my Leica at the moment of impact somehow protected my eyes.