Lou Dematteis


Photographs in Italy 1972-1980


dicember 6th 2023 / march 24th 2024

museo di Roma in Trastevere

A photographic exhibition, a book collecting its journey of images, a documentary film, screening evenings, meetings, workshops. But above all, a story to be told, the one that Lou Dematteis, a well-known and appreciated U.S. photojournalist of Italian origin, has built up through four trips to Italy, from 1972 to 1980, "return trips," as he himself called them, in search of his roots.

The author

Lou Dematteis

Louis (Lou) Frank Dematteis was born in Palo Alto (California) in 1948, member of an Italian-American family of five children, very proud of his origins. Lou grew up listening to the stories of immigrants or told by immigrants.
Influenced by the social photography of Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, by the experience of the Farm Security Administration, and by the photographers of Magnum Photo, in particular the poetics of the "decisive moment" of Henry Cartier-Bresson.

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The story of Lou Dematteis's
most famous photo.

During a reportage in Nicaragua Lou Dematteis documents the moment of the arrest of a mercenary in the pay of the C.I.A. captured by the local army. The photo becomes proof of the US government's involvement ins ecret practices aimed at overturning the results of the Sandinista revolution.