Andrea Rocchelli and his city. “These memories are a heritage to cultivate”

The president of Ossigeno explains why the Observatory on Threatened Journalists has assembled in a video the testimonies of those who met the photo reporter killed in Ukraine in 2014

OSSIGENO 27thSeptember 2021 – It is admirable that the memory of Andrea Rocchelli is alive, present, in his city, not only in the thoughts of his family and people who loved him, but in the minds of many who – like me – did not get to know him. Only after his tragic end did we learn who he was.

The documentary “Hello Andy, a hug from Pavia” (see the trailer here), produced by Ossigeno per l’Informazione and premiered in Pavia, on the day he would have turned 38, demonstrates that, seven years after his death, more and more people learn of and remember his extraordinary human and professional qualities.
These memories are an important heritage, to be cultivated and together with his extraordinary photographs help us to think, to reflect.

Andrea had a short life. But he strewed widely and his seeds continue to sprout.
His story teaches many things. It shows that you can be born in Pavia and be a citizen of the world who defends the weak and it testifies to his civicengagement in exercising a highly professional role he passionately chose. Andrea’s work was photo-journalism in war zones and areas of crisis and it enabled him to produce images that moved the world.

This is why this collection of memories moves us also and at the same time teaches us something. It makes us reflect on many things: on life, on war, on the scant consideration that our society still today has for civilians – women, children, the elderly – who, because of wars, endure grief and enormous suffering. It makes us reflect on the lack of consideration for reporters such as Andrea, who go where war crimes are committed in order to let us and the whole world know what is happening and what we ought to prevent.

Andrea’s story makes us reflect above all on one thing. When a war reporter is killed, we and our institutions cannot get away with saying that the reporter was in the wrong place, saying that it is all his or her fault, or that it is nobody’s fault, that these deaths are collateral damage of war and are unavoidable.Unfortunately, this often happens. We want it tonever happen again, neither for Andrea Rocchelli nor for anyone else. ASP

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