Ornella Mazzola is born near Palermo in 1984 and grew up in the streets of this city, from which she inevitably inherited strength and fragility. She studied documentary cinema, photography and art history at University La Sapienza in Rome, taking a degree on visual anthropology, with a thesis written in collaboration with the director and documentary filmmaker Vittorio De Seta, who died recently.
She worked in the field of museum exhibits as multimedia image researcher and copywriter.
Few years ago she won a scholarship at the Roman School of Photography, getting input to deepen her self-taught passion for photography.
So she began to explore the world of social reportage and to interact with nonprofit organizations, Shoot4Change.
Occasionally she collaborates with the Palermo’s section of the newspaper La Repubblica.
In 2014 she took part in the circuit of European Photography-Reggio Emilia using shots of her project about Palermo.
A selection of the project Palermo Inside was published by Witness Journal in its editorial #71, 2015 and Fotographia Online.
She took part in a business trip and photographic documentation for the Center for Disabled S. Camillo Tbilisi in Georgia, Caucasus, supporting the photojournalist Guillermo Luna.
She participated to a workshop by the photojournalist Riccardo Venturi, from which she started a project about love in older ages.
A photograph of this project was selected by the WPO / World Photography Organisation inside the Sony World Photography Awards 2015 for the period of S. Valentine and was selected in the category Open Competition Commended images 2015 from the Sony World Photography Awards.
On the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of the photojournalist Letizia Battaglia, Ornella Mazzola joined the exhibition organized by the photographer at the Teatro Garibaldi in Palermo with one of her photos of the city. The exhibition has seen alongside the new generation and the historic Photographers of Palermo. The photographs shown there were included in the International Center of Photography’s archive in Palermo, a project that Letizia Battaglia is giving birth for her city.
In 2016 she began a collaboration with the non-profit organization Parada Onlus Romania in Bucarest.
April 2016 – Group exhibition EX-VOTE scratch by the circuit Friends of Sicilian Museums, Palermo.
June 2016 – Selected among the thirty participants at the portrait photographers Max & Douglas’s workshop, sponsored by the Foundation Exclusiva Roma. At the end of the workshop all the produced works were showed at “BReflected”, the exhibition of the two photographers with the patronage of ONU.
June 2016 – The project “Females” – the women in my family in Sicily, has been selected to be displayed within Fotoleggendo, the international photography festival in Rome promoted by Officine Fotografiche.
February 2017 – The Females project is selected by Slideluck Naples. The twenty winning projects have been showed at the Magazzini Fotografici of Naples.
May 2017 – A single picture from the Parada project is selected to be part of the Diritti Negati exhibition, as one of the Peppino Impastato Photo Contest’s ten winning photos. The jury, chaired by Tano D’Amico, also gives it a special mention.
Ornella Mazzola pursues several personal projects, exploring various aspects of photography, preferring a more intimate and human look.