On March 11th 2011 a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the north east coast of Japan. It was the most powerful known earthquake to have hit Japan and one of the five most powerful in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered hugely destructive tsunami waves of up to 38 meters that struck Japan traveling up to 10km inland. Over 28 thousand people are dead or missing and over 125,000 buildings destroyed or severely damaged. In addition to loss of life and destruction of infrastructure the tsunami caused several nuclear incidents of which the ongoing level 7 one at Fukushima is the most serious.
Paolo Pellegrin was born in 1964 in Rome. He became a Magnum Photos nominee in 2001 and a full member in 2005. He is a contract photographer for Newsweek magazine.
Pellegrin is winner of many awards, including eight World Press Photo and numerous Photographer of the Year Awards, a Leica Medal of Excellence, an Olivier Rebbot Award, the Hansel-Meith Preis, and the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award. In 2006 he was assigned the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography.
He is one of the founding members of the touring exhibition and installation Off Broadway along with Thomas Dworzak, Alex Majoli and Ilkka Uimonen. He has published four books. He lives in New York and Rome.