KHODJELY CITY, UZBEKISTAN, MARE DI ARAL, OTTOBRE 1997
Khodjely City, Uzbekistan, taken in October 1997 in the Aral Sea, is one of Francesco Zizola’s most famous photographs. The photo shows the courtyard of a school for children with severe malformations The entire region is in dramatic conditions, plagued by a birth mortality rate and mortality rate of mothers of children ten times higher than in Europe. It is a medical emergency: nearly ninety percent of adolescents suffer from anemia, thirty percent from kidney disease. This photograph captures a particular moment of light and succeeds in blending the realistic with the ideal sense of beauty. In this image, moreover, Zizola conveys the strength and resilience of children marked at birth by a cruel fate. Their dignity and fortitude are evident despite the undeniable difficulties they face. This iconic shot, in the vein of the best reportage for which Zizola is famous, becomes a powerful tool for raising public awareness of the living conditions in this region of the world.