For eighteen days, Egyptian people truly believed a change was possible. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo to protest against former President Hosni Mubarakâ€™s regime. In January 2011, Egypt was at a crossroads and the square became established as a focal point and a symbol for the ongoing demonstrations and the Egyptian Revolution as a whole. In those eighteen days, people really trusted they could win the political battle, change the future and ensure a better one for subsequent generations. They believed their dream could come true. When Mubarak resigned in mid-February, a group of senior military officers pledged to move Egypt toward democracy. But it quickly became clear that the revolutionary spirit wouldnâ€™t survive much longer. Today, a year has passed, and Tahrir Square is still a theatre of violence, clashes and deaths. But the fierce hope and the conviction to make the difference have, somehow, disappeared.
Franco Pagetti, member of VII photoagency. has covered the conflict in Iraq since January 2003, three months before the start of the war. Since 2004, he has constantly been based in Baghdad on assignment for TIME Magazine. His images have captured the horrors of war, the brief flowering of hope after the downfall of Saddam Hussein, the rise of insurgent and terrorist groups, and more recently, the inexorable descent into a bloody sectarian civil war. Pagetti has been a news photographer since 1997, and most of his recent work has involved conflict situations: Afghanistan (1997, â€˜98, 2001), Kosovo (1999), East Timor (1999), Kashmir (1998, 2000 and 2001), Palestine (2002), Sierrra Leone (2001) and South Sudan (1997). He works on long term projects around war, conflict and social issues.