Diego Ibarra Sánchez, 1982, Spain
Diego Ibarra Sánchez, Co-founder of MeMo, is a documentary photographer based in Lebanon.
Diego assumes a very critical stance regarding the use of images in our own society, defining this historical moment as «lobotomized era of “tourism” on the other’s pain»: in his work he endeavors to ensure that photography is no longer merely a window allowing a view on what happens in the world, but becomes a means to raise questions and generate reflections. Diego Ibarra Sánchez’ gaze goes beyond the frontline, documenting and showing us all that is left behind after the bombings, the killings and the battles: a humanity that has nothing left beyond its life. He strongly believes in documentary photography as a catalyst, shaking consciences and showing the resilience and courage found in forgotten stories, always demonstrating a deep respect toward the story’s protagonist.
Diego is very self-motivated, working on his own body of works while publishing many of his stories in numerous newspapers and magazines, such as The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Al Jazeera and Diari ARA among others.
In 2006 several grants made it possible for Diego to spend a year in South America to improve his storytelling process. Upon returning to Spain he worked for two years for the Catalan newspaper Avui, while still continuing his own photography projects. In 2009 Diego decided to move to Pakistan where he developed a strong visual body of work focused on Pakistan. At the same time he continued travelling to several other countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. He left Pakistan in 2014 and he is currently based in Lebanon while he keeps traveling and working on his projects around Middle East.
He has been award with the Humanitarian award of AECID “Juan Bartolomé”, FINI´s Mexican University Photo Award, Aragón Journalism Association Award, Spanish Human Right Award with MeMo coop… His work has been exhibited in all around the world and his works has been highlighted during the screening nights of Visa pour L´image several times… among others mentions.
How could we define and demarcate the boundaries between documentary photography, visual storytelling and artistic photography when we are shooting from our heart? Life is personal: Photography is personal. We consume, we breathe, and we digest without reflection thousands of pictures everyday… Guttenberg ´s Galaxy has driven us into a lobotomized era of “tourism” on the other’s pain. As a photographer, my aim is to generate an influx point of reflection.
Photography is not anymore just only a tiny window to show this tumultuous world. It’s a personal statement that It’s coming as a part of years of personal experiences: Its not only to strive your work on telling stories that remains untold in a personal way-poetic form, but to raise questions, using a particular aesthetic sensibility instead of giving stereotyped answers to bring the viewer’s attention to the focal point of this tragedy