About Gennaro Brooks-Church
Gennaro has extensive experience in different cultures. He is trilingual in French, Spanish and English with proficiency in various other languages. He has lived in over 34 countries.
His parents were political refugees and they traveled non-stop, giving him a respect for activism and global awareness and culture.
Gennaro’s ability to understand culture is illustrated by the vote his high school peers gave him at graduation, half jokingly labeling him “most likely to become Ambassador to the World.”
In 1990, after two years studying photography at the University of Santa Cruz, California, he started the Roma project.
Over the next decade he visited 17 countries living with and taking photos of Roma. He funded the project himself by working in various jobs.
The resulting 64,000 images are possibly the largest collection of Roma photos by one photographer in the world. A book is due out in 2008 and the pictures are regularly exhibited internationally.
In 1997 Gennaro moved to New York and met his partner Loretta Gendville with whom he has a daughter Saomi and another child on the way. He returned to college, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with a degree in Creative Writing and Comparative Religion.
During that time he also trained for three years in Cultural Understanding and Conflict Resolution at New York’s International House, furthering his ability to quickly understand people and culture, a useful skill when taking pictures.
While at International House he was their staff photographer, capturing global personalities such as Nelson Mandela, Walter Cronkite, Henry Kissinger, Tom Wolfe, Isaac Stern, and David Rockefeller.
In 2007 Gennaro decided it was time to start the Africa Project, where Gennaro photographs all 54 countries in Africa publishing a total of 54 books. The realization was powerful, requiring deep soul searching. It is now clear that this formidable project is Gennaro’s destiny over the next 11 years.