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Magnum Workshop Singapore
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August 28, 2014
by London Office
17-22 October 2014
The Magnum Workshop Singapore is an intensive five day program designed to guide and encourage photographers in refining visual narratives in the Magnum tradition of documentary storytelling.
The second initiative to be conceived by Magnum Photos and Singapore International Photography Festival, the Magnum Workshop Singapore follows on from the successes of the Magnum educational program hosted in 2012 by acclaimed photographers Stuart Franklin, Jacob Aue Sobol and Mark Power.
Intended for photographers wishing to broaden their visual perspective and push the boundaries of their personal development, the Magnum Workshop Singapore will elevate the professional standard of both regional and international photographers, under the guidance of Magnum’s contemporary practitioners; young members Jonas Bendiksen and Peter Van Agtmael.
The workshop provides an opportunity for photographers to shoot, polish and publish their work, with an emphasis on refining visual narratives.
The Magnum Mentorship program provides an opportunity for Magnum’s photographers to meet and have a continual dialogue with photographers from Southeast Asia, forming part of Magnum’s ongoing commitment to artists in emerging geographies.
An exclusive group of 24 photographers will be selected from an open call for submissions; 12 per individual workshop group. Participants will be expected to fully immerse themselves in the process; introducing & contextualizing their work to their mentor, engaging in the work of peers and defining longer-term goals for their practice.
The workshop will be taught in a variety of formats, as directed by the workshop tutor:
• Self-directed shooting
• Group reviews
• One to one critiques
• Editing & sequencing sessions
• Tutor lectures
• Mini assignments
By the end of the workshop, participants should:
• have a thoroughly planned and critically informed self directed body of photographic work
• be able to demonstrate creative, visual, intellectual and technical abilities
• have deeper understanding of the history of documentary photography and Magnum’s contribution to it
• Critically analyze photography within both historical and theoretical frameworks;
• Engage in informed, critical self-reflection and the ability to critique peers
• Demonstrate an understanding of editing photographs for different ouptuts (‘versioning’)
• Develop an understanding of the variety of ways in which photography can function as a means of personal expression and as a documentary record
• Demonstrate proficiency in the use of camera, equipment and the editing of photographic images
The workshop culminates in a public projection of students work in front of a professional audience, as part of the official program of the Singapore International Photography Festival.
Through a new partnership with the award-winning British Journal of Photography, one selected photographer (identified by the Magnum tutor) will enjoy an extensive feature of his/her work, published online to an international audience.
How to Apply
The workshop is open to international photographers with a good level of photographic aptitude.
Photographers who wish to participate in Magnum Workshop Singapore will need to submit at least one portfolio of 20 works (with artist statement), bio, CV, as well as a short paragraph on what is hoped to be achieved in this programme (via application form). The mentors will select participants based on their portfolio. Participants should state the Magnum photographer of their choice to receive tutelage under.
Produced in conjunction with Singapore International Photography Festival (
Cost: $1800 SGD / £870
Jonas Bendiksen is Norwegian and was born in 1977. He began his career at the age of 19 as an intern at Magnum’s London office, before leaving for Russia to pursue his own work as a photojournalist. Throughout the several years he spent there, Bendiksen photographed stories from the fringes of the former Soviet Union, a project that was published as the book Satellites (2006). Here and elsewhere, he often focuses on isolated communities and enclaves. In 2005, with a grant from the Alicia Patterson Foundation, he started working on The Places We Live, a project on the growth of urban slums across the world, which combines still photography, projections and voice recordings to create three-dimensional installations.
Bendiksen has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography, New York, and second place in the Daily Life Stories for World Press Photo, as well as first prize in the Pictures of the Year International Awards. His documentary of life in a Nairobi slum, Kibera, published in the Paris Review, won a National Magazine Award in 2007.
Peter Van Agtmael was born in Washington DC. He studied history at Yale, graduating with honors in 2003. Since 2006 he has primarily covered the 9/11 Wars and their consequences, working extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and the USA. He has won the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the Lumix Freelens Award, as well as awards from World Press Photo, American Photography Annual, The Pulitzer Center, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Photo District News. In 2008 he helped organize the book and exhibition Battlespace, a retrospective of largely unseen work of 22 photographers covering Iraq and Afghanistan. He has just published a new book, “Disco Night Sept. 11”, a chronicle of America's wars from 2006-2013. Peter joined Magnum in 2008 and became a full member in 2013.