General News, third prize stories
Gaza City, Gaza
Al Mansura Street
Gaza’s only power station closed in November, after it ran out of diesel. For years, supply from the Israeli grid had been intermittent, and electricity cuts due to fuel shortages had long been a daily occurrence. Torrential rain and severe flooding in Gaza in December led to even longer blackouts than usual. Alternative diesel supplies had previously been smuggled into Gaza from Egypt, through tunnels running under the frontier. But earlier in the year, the Egyptian military—which had overthrown a Muslim Brotherhood government sympathetic to Gaza’s Hamas rule—had closed most of the tunnels. In response to the flooding, Israel temporarily lifted its blockade and permitted an emergency supply of 450,000 liters of fuel, paid for by Qatar, into Gaza. The power station gradually resumed operation, but Gaza’s infrastructure remains inadequate to meet its energy needs.
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KeywordsElectric power failures
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About the photographer
Gianluca Panella is an independent italian photojournalist focused on social reportage, current affairs, and portraits. He has traveled to the Balkans, Egypt, Haiti, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, the United States, Europe, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. His photography has been featured in a variety of Italian and international publications.
Following a background in political science, he began as a self-taught photographer. He studied photojournalism with Leonardo Brogioni in Milan before starting his career with local daily newspapers. In this same period, he met Romano Cagnoni who instilled in him the idea of photojournalism as a deep responsibility. From 2007 to 2011, Panella collaborated with the Massimo Sestini News Pictures agency, producing work for the mainstream Italian press.
Panella ended his collaboration with Sestini’s agency in order to dedicate himself to personal projects, among them “Tanit Project,” a documentary work on the Mediterranean Sea that retraces the routes of ancient Phoenicians. He is now collaborating with the Italian agency Parallelo Zero.
Among his works, “First Day” and “Parkour Strip,” won honorable mentions at the 2013 International Photography Awards, “Gjakmarrje” earned him two honorable mentions at the 2012 International Photo Awards, and “The Concordia Show” was awarded an honorable mention at the 2012 International Photo Awards and the Foto8 Summershow. He was a finalist for the Leica Award 2013 and the Leica Talent 2012. His exhibitions have included “Caliber 3” at the 2013 Festival of Ethical Photography and The “Concordia Show” at the “A World Elsewhere” with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He is a member of Italy’s National Order of Journalists since 2004.