Alessandra Meniconzi, The Swiss freelance photographer is fascinated by the lives and traditions of aboriginal people in remote areas of the world. The spotlight of her works is on the ancient heritage, customs, theology, and daily life of indigenous people who are strongly connected to the land and whose traditional cultures are disappearing due to pressure from the modern world. Her images express her love of boondocks. This Swiss Photographer has spent the last decade traveling along the over 2,000 year-old trade route that links East and West: the “Silk Route”. On her mountain bike, she followed the traces of the countless merchants that once transported valuable spices, fabrics and jewelry along this route from Turkey to Tibet, and from Pakistan over the Hindukush and on to China.
In her journey she traveled 1500 km in total of which more than half the distance through rough mountain tracks. On her travels, she covered the endless grasslands and some of the most impressive mountain ranges of the world and her love to nature allowed her to gain access to lives that often remain hidden to the photographer’s lens. Along the Silk Road there are many different ethnic groups. She spent time in the tents of Uzbek nomads and the kitchens of Tibetan monks. She spent time with the Kalash minority of Pakistan and was invited to the wedding celebrations of a Kazach couple. The photographs provide a comprehensive, personal insight into the original lives of the people who live along the Silk Route and are fighting for the survival of their traditions in modern Asia. After many years of working in Asia, she traveled in Iceland and became interested in the Arctic.
Alessandra Meniconzi was born in Lugano and she has studied as a graphic designer. Before she got into photography she was into traveling. Her main motivation was the desire to explore faraway places and different cultures and photography was simply a way to record her experiences. Her preferred lens is the 24-70mm f/2.8. She use filters quite a lot – polarizer, skylight and UV, Neutral Density and color correction 81A, 81B and 81C. Usually she carries the 540EZ Speedlite. She has a high regard for the following photographers: Olivier Föllmi; Eric Valli; Steve McCurry; Ami Vitale; Frans Lanting; Steve Bloom; Roland and Sabine Michaud; Pascal and Maria Marechaux and, in particular, Yann Arthus Bertrand.
Her photographs have been published in magazines such as Animan and Terra, and in cards and calendars. She is the sole photographer for the books Silk Road (2003), Mystisches Iceland (2007), Hidden China (2008). She has won numerous photograph contests, one of which is the Nature’s Best Photography contest. Her winning image, Arnastapi, is exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. She is currently working on the new books about Tibet and Arctic.