The photojournalist Mario Magajna (Maganja) was born in 1916 in Križ (Trieste), where he spent his childhood. He was a self-taught photographer with enormous natural talent. His private and professional life can be divided into three periods of non-formal learning. He acquired his first Kodak camera at the age of 14 and photographed extensively with it, developing a passion for photography and thereby laying the foundations for his future career. The second period – probably the most important of his whole career – began when he started working at the Foto-Radiottica shop in Trieste. The third period covers the experience he gained as a photojournalist working for the Primorski Dnevnik newspaper. His photographic oeuvre, comprising approximately 260,000 images, is preserved in the Slovene National and Study Library in Trieste.
Entirely dedicated to his photographic vocation, Magajna never saw himself as an artist, always as a photographer: both a witness to his own time and place and an active participant in them. Despite his lack of formal training, he constantly strove to improve his work, creating ever-better photographs. His quest for both aesthetic perfection and compositional excellence can be clearly seen in his works.
From the end of World War Two right up to his retirement, Magajna exhibited a clear preference for contemporary subjects. Yet, despite having been created over the course of fifty years, largely as photographic commentaries for the Primorski dnevnik newspaper, the messages conveyed by his photographs remain highly relevant today. Magajna’s photographs bear witness to his search for an expressive language of his own. The photographic medium enabled him to establish trusting, empathetic contact with people, and this, in turn, enabled him to get to know them better and present them in a more original way. It is this that gives Magajna’s photographs their special charm and lyrical quality.
Edited by Martina Kafol, Massimiliano Schiozzi
Text by G. Bajc, C. Domini, C. Ernè, M. Humar, R. Jakomin, D. Kalc, M. Krese, M. Lissiach
Language: Slovenian, Italian
Size: 20 x 20 cm, 177 pages
Publisher: Ztt-Est, 2017