— President & Founder
The documentary photography of Manuel Rivera-Ortiz focuses on hardship and hope in some of the world's impoverished countries and is a testament to the life he experienced growing up in the barrios of Guayama, Puerto Rico. His work highlights the presence of hope in adversity and the dignity of people living in distress that he captures in many corners of the world.
After leaving Puerto Rico, Manuel Rivera-Ortiz moved with his family to Holyoke, Massachusetts, where he attended the Lawrence Elementary School of Journalism. While living there, he picked up the camera for the first time at Springfield College. In 2010, he opened the Foundation for Documentary Photography and Film.
Graduate of the École nationale supérieure de photographie d'Arles, Florent Basiletti has developed a curatorial work through various exhibitions such as Modernité des passions, WIP17, WIP19, and coordinates cultural actions such as La Kabine and Arles contemporain. In 2021, he takes up the artistic direction of the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for the Echos Système program.
In parallel, his artistic practice consists of studying the phenomenon of pteridomania or fern fever, an obsessive infatuation with ferns from the Victorian era. Florent Basiletti develops a research on our rapport with the image by exploring the idea of biophotography and the creation of living images, notably within the laboratory La Cellule.