The Photographers’ Selection: 2023
Cristina de Middel curates a selection of images shot over the past 12 months by Magnum photographers.
As 2023 draws to a close, we look back at a busy year for Magnum photographers. This month, they were asked to reflect on the new work made over the past 12 months and submit several of their best, or favorite, images. From the submissions received, Magnum president Cristina de Middel has now curated a unique selection to represent the year to date, featuring commissions from across the four corners of the globe as well as images from new and existing personal projects.
To start the selection, pictured below is an image shot by Martin Parr during his second Glastonbury Festival in June.
Rafał Milach documented the day of the Polish elections on Sunday, October 15. With a turnout of 72.9%, Milach reports that it was the highest participation rate since the collapse of communism.
Over the past few months, Myriam Boulos has been documenting protests in support of Palestine from her hometown of Beirut. In Southern Lebanon, three journalists have been killed by Israeli strikes since October 7.
This year, Ian Berry held a presentation and book signing at the Books on Photography Fair in Bristol, and as pictured below, also received a fine cup of coffee in a converted Airstream campervan.
From Steve McCurry, we see an image of two young Xhosa girls walking to school in South Africa, captured during a trip to the country in April.
Over in Honduras, Eli Reed shoots an image of Jessica Sarowitz, executive producer of the documentary film With This Light honoring the life and legacy of Sister Maria Rosa Leggol, who helped over 87,000 Honduran children escape poverty and violence during her 70 years as a nun.
In the image below from Alec Soth, we see the stage set from a production of Pictures From Home, a theatrical adaption of Larry Sultan’s iconic photo memoir. The play, written by Sharr White, opened on Broadway in February of this year.
Lúa Ribeira shoots American actor Paz de la Huerte in a park in Bristol.
One of Mark Power’s latest trips across the Atlantic for his Good Morning, America series led him to this particular property on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island. The penultimate volume of his series, Good Morning, America IV is set to be published in February 2024.
Zied Ben Romdhane captures a group of young people on the verge of leaping into the sea as part of his ongoing project around Tunisian youth and mental health, titled The Escape.
Below is a peaceful scene at a “plastic duck race” on the river Wye, near David Hurn’s home in the Welsh countryside.
The image from Kalvar is a nod to beloved Elliott Erwitt (1928–2023), as he captures a group partaking in a little out-of-the-ordinary viewing of Erwitt’s retrospective at the Musée Malliol, which took place from March to September in the French capital.
This scene from the Mount Wilson Observatory in California was shot by Bieke Depoorter on a trip to the USA earlier this year.
Alex Majoli, who in 2008 shot a series of portraits of Silvio Berlusconi at his home in Rome, traveled to Milan in June to capture scenes at his state funeral.
Stuart Franklin, whose latest photobook, Traces, was published by Dewi Lewis earlier this year, captures an eerie-looking mask from the large archaeological site of Kohunlich in Mexico, which dates back to the Mayan civilization.
Olivia Arthur’s image for this selection features one of her photographs for CRASH Magazine’s 99th issue, titled “New Paradigm” — one of several fashion shoots she shot for the magazine this year.
Over in Istanbul, Sabiha Çimen’s image shows an upside-down barber at work in his shop on the outskirts of the city.
On several occasions throughout the year, Bruce Gilden left the streets of New York to shoot a new series in Mexico. Pictured below is Frida in Mexico City.
Carolyn Drake’s self-portrait, seen below, is from the series Glorify Yourself, in which she explores, and satirizes, a “beauty and charm guide” for women, popular in the U.S. during the 1940s and 50s. It is one of the works exhibited during her solo show at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Men Untitled, in which she interrogates myths of men and masculinity.
On a trip to Israel in August, Moises Saman made this portrait of Ruth Mendel, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who emigrated to Israel from Los Angeles, and her pet parrots.
Below is part three of Mikhael Subotzky’s latest ‘Sticky-Tape Transfer’ series, in which he physically deconstructs images by gently lifting pigment from inkjet-print photographs, creating new arrangements that subvert their original presentations.
From Jim Goldberg is a collage of his rural home in California, taken from his photobook Coming and Going, which was published earlier this year by MACK.
Sohrab Hura contributes with a painting made earlier this year in India, titled “Far from the madding crowd” (Gouache on paper, 20x26cm).
In Patrick Zachmann’s collage, a photograph capturing the 1996 Malian baptism of Nama, the son of Astan Keita, from his series Malians Here and There, combines with a 2022 image portraying Nama at 26 years old, still living at his mother’s house. This composite work forms part of Zachmann’s BNF project titled Born in France – Malian of Origin.
Larry Towell’s selection is from the upcoming photobook The History War, which combines photographs, collages, and ephemera from Ukraine with a timeline that starts in the 5th century. The book is due to be published early next year.
In September and October, Thomas Dworzak revisited the Armenian capital of Yerevan and border town of Goris after Nagorno-Karabakh was seized by Azerbaijan. Below is an image from the “Mother Armenia” Military Museum in Yerevan.
William Keo traveled to Najaf and Karbala in Iraq to document the annual period of mourning around Ashura. Below, families attend a life-size play about the battle of Kerbala in 680.
Below, Peter van Agtmael captures civilians searching for loved ones and belongings from an apartment building in Syria, following the 7.8 and 7.7 magnitude earthquakes that struck central and southern Turkey, as well as northern Syria, in early February.
In Turkey, following the devastating earthquakes, Emin Özmen captured civilians searching for relatives after a building collapsed in the town of Kahramanmaraş.
Pictured below is a tank at the Be’eri Kibbutz near the blocked Gaza border by Jérôme Sessini, who traveled to the region following the unprecedented Hamas attacks on October 7.
In the days that followed the seizing of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan, Nanna Heitmann documented refugees fleeing to Armenia. Below, a group arrives at the border village of Kornidzor.
Paolo Pellegrin continued his documentation of life in Ukraine this year with several trips to the region. Below, he captures the moment an elderly woman boards a bus to leave the town of Kostyantynivka, in Donetsk Oblast.