Marta Giaccone


Marta Giaccone studied English and Hispanic American Literatures at the University of Milan (BA Hons), Italy, followed by an MA in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales, Newport, in 2014. She had several internship positions with Magnum photograhers (Bruce Davidson, Mary Ellen Mark, Alessandra Sanguinetti) as well as at Magnum Photos in New York in 2008 and 2011. Her work is represented by the photographic agency Anzenberger, Vienna.


The System of Harmony

Systems of Harmony is a personal portrait of contemporary suburban America.
In the 19th century, a large number of Europeans and Americans went to great lengths to establish small utopian communities throughout North America. They were preachers, social reformers, industrialists, philosophers, anarchists, journalists and socialist thinkers who attracted large crowds to their intentional colonies. Nevertheless, they were exclusive establishments, some religious in character, that saw in the vastness of the American wilderness a favourable economic, political and social environment. They didn’t last long: some a few months, others a few years.
I travelled to many of these former utopias drawn by their often evocative and tenderly pretentious names such as Utopia, New Harmony or Modern Times, out of curiosity for what those places look like now and wondering where America is, 150 years later.


Return to Arturo's Island

I discovered the Isle of Procida thanks to its teenagers. First, through Italian author, Elsa Morante’s 1957 book “Arturo’s Island”, later with the youth who now inhabit it.

Inspired by Arturo, the boy-hero by the name of a star who leads, all alone, wild and magical life in Italy in the late ’30s, my project follows a group of teens to tell this delicate and tumultuous period of their lives.

I am interested to observe and understand how they go through adolescence on such a small island, of only 4 square kilometres, where they no doubt grow up freer than they would in a city, but perhaps more sheltered from the outside world and subjected to fewer stimuli. I like entering their lives, being accepted (almost) as their equal, getting to know their favourite spots and so I’ve discovered “a little spot of earth outside of time”.

As Elsa Morante writes, I too find that Procida casts a sort of enchantment over its inhabitants who, very attached to their isle, live on land far away from everyone and everything, on a citrusy microcosm. Their roots are deep, sometimes they dream of faraway places, but almost always with the idea of ultimately returning home.

(2015 - ongoing)


Be Still, My Heart

This is a documentary project about teenage mothers in the south of Wales. Britain has one of Europe's highest rates of teenage pregnancies and in the eyes of society this is still seen as a shame. I was interested to meet young girls and help them tell their stories through photos and interviews. From as early as 16 years old they are very brave mothers who fight to defend their dignity with a humbling maturity. Meeting them has given me a very positive insight into this "issue", seemingly perceived as such by everyone save the girls themselves. They are all proud mothers who have generally experienced domestic hardships but nonetheless decided to go through with their pregnancies, even though nearly always advised not to, and who now consider their children their saving grace.