Gonzalo Bell BIO
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I have gone through many stages in my professional life, from working in the corporate world after obtaining a Master in Business, to a career in non-profit organizations.
At the end of 2006, while working for UNICEF’s regional office in Panama, my life changed completely. I decided to focus 100% of my time on photography. At that time, as a personal initiative, I founded and coordinated a community base project for children in a marginal afro community in Panama City. This experience gave me access to the families of the community and started to make photographs more systematically.
Since then, I have worked as a freelance photographer covering humanitarian and development issues for more than 14 years. I’ve been commissioned in more than 25 countries in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Oceania. During this time I have worked extensively for UN Agencies as UNICEF, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, UNDP, IOM, OCHA, WHO, and local and international NGOs.
I am currently based in Prague, Czech Republic.
Most relevant commissions taken:
– UNFPA El Salvador 2019: Photo-reportage of women victims of violence by men. A national exposition was created that was initially in San Salvador, visiting other cities of the country.
– UNWOMEN Lebanon 2019: Coverage of training and other income generating initiatives for Syrian refugees.
– WHO Lebanon 2019: Coverage of WHO’s main projects implemented in Beirut.
– Anera NGO Lebanon 2019: Document two refugee camps, one of Syrian refuges close to the border of Syria, and one of Palestinian refugees in the city of Beirut.
– UNFPA Ghana 2019: Coverage an international seminar that took place in Accra and a photo-training for UNFPA staff.
– UNFPA Tanzania 2018, Photo-reportage and mounting a national photo exhibition about Female Genital mutilation & Child Marriage),
– UNICEF Romania 2018: Covering country program focuses on Roma and other minority groups.
– UNICEF Azerbaijan 2018: Covering country program focuses on children with disabilities.
– UNDP Malawi 2018: Document country program and deliver an Inter-Agency photography workshop for UN communication staff.
– UNICEF Papua new Guinea 2018: Three-week assignment covering country programs.
– Virlanie Philippines 2018: Coverage of street children conditions as well as their centres for children in Manila.
– UNICEF Rwanda 2017: 1) Coverage country programs travelling within the country, 2) Inter-Agency photography workshop for UN communication staff.
– UNICEF Romania 2017: Document country programs travelling throughout the country.
– CBM Bangladesh 2017: Coverage flood emergency in the north of the country. Visiting affected families and documenting the distribution of food and in-kind aid.
– ADRA Bangladesh 2017: Covering Cyclone Mora in Cox’s Bazar, south of Bangladesh. Distribution of food and in-kind materials.
– UN WOMEN Nepal 2017: Visited communities documenting their beneficiaries living conditions.
– I-India, India 2016: Local NGO working for street children in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
– Don Bosco, India 2016: Documented the work done with street children in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
– Malteser-International 2016: Documented the critical situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey, both in Istanbul and in different communities close to Syrian border.
– UNICEF CEE/CIS 2013: Document Disaster Risk Reduction programs run by UNICEF in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
– Slovakia 2012: Visited Roma people documenting their poor living conditions.
– Morocco 2012: Worked for a NGO in Marrakesh on street children.
– UN Resident coordinator Panama 2011: Coverage of all UN agencies programs in the country, used for the launch of the UN country website in Panama.
– UNICEF Bolivia 2011: Documented health and immunization programs. Visited hospital and health centres.
– IOM Haiti 2010: Documented a flood and mud emergency that seriously affected Gonaives.
– UNICEF Ecuador 2010: Coverage a flood emergency that affected the south of the country.
– SCIAF 2010: Field visit to El Salvador and Nicaragua.
– UNICEF Dominican Republic 2009: Coverage of Tropical Storm Noel.
– UNICEF Nicaragua 2008: Coverage of Hurricane Felix.
– UNICEF LACRO 2007: (Regional Office for Latin America & the Caribbean): Visited 6 countries in the region documenting the country programs (Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Dom. Republic and Cuba).
– Norwegian refugee Council Panama 2006: Photo-reportage of Colombian refugees seeking asylum in Panama.
– IOM Panama 2006: Coverage of the activities taken place in the Darien province with Colombian refugees
I have delivered photography training mainly for UN Agencies. They are designed for staff that needs to work on the “field” and bring compelling images of the visited projects. They can be either for the staff of a particular Agency in a specific country (the case of UNICEF in Romania, or UNFPA in Ghana), or an UN Interagency Training with the participation of most agencies (the case of Rwanda, and Malawi).
Since 2006 my images have appeared more than 200 times in different media, as annual reports, publications, country websites, online photo essays, and social media. Please visit the link below to find more, http://gonzalobell.com/publications/.