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Past Square Print Sale

FREEDOM: The Magnum Square Print Sale

Inspired by the 50th anniversary of 1968, a tumultuous year of social and political upheaval, Magnum explores the meaning of freedom through classic and contemporary photographs by 78 Magnum photographers and estates

David Hurn Arizona, USA. 1980."'Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.' Friedrich SchillerI have spent many enjoyable days, months in Arizona: a place totally opposite in politics and (...)

The Magnum Square Print Sale, FREEDOM, is open from Monday, June 4, 9AM EST, to Friday, June 9, 6PM EST. For 5 days only, signed and estate-stamped prints are available at the exceptional price of $100, through the Magnum Shop. These images, editioned by time rather than quantity, will never be available at this price and format again.

The Spirit of 1968

1968 was a seismic year of deep societal and political shifts in the name of freedom. International issues of freedom from oppression, freedom of speech, political, sexual and religious freedom all came to the fore as student protests racked cities, declarations of independence were made, and in America particularly, the civil rights movement took hold, Martin Luther King was assassinated, whilst anti-Vietnam war protests concurrently emerged.

In Paris, the famous May 1968 student uprisings, photographed by Bruno Barbey, which immobilized the city, and were accompanied by general strikes across the country, to the chanting tune of “Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!”, are now widely regarded as the turning point of a social revolution, not a political one.

Fifty years on, the Magnum Square Print Sale examines this spirit of revolution, independence and freedom.

Bruno Barbey Students hurling objects at the police. Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th arrondissement, Paris, France. May 6, 1968."After a long trip in Southeast Asia (the Vietnam War was raging) and Japan, I (...)
Dennis Stock Venice Beach Rock Festival. California, USA. 1968."Fifteen years since my first trip West, I have some new thoughts about gloryville. Every idea that Western man explores in his pursuit of the (...)

When Magnum was founded, in 1947, one of its core principles was to enable photographers to take back control over the copyright to their work while simultaneously giving them freedom over the choice of stories they wanted to cover. Ever since, Magnum photographers’ work has been imbued with a sense of freedom, both in the personal approaches to their work and in the themes and subjects they explore.

Through this project, the Magnum Photos June 2018 Square Print Sale examines both the definition of freedom, and the legacy of this quest for it through the work of Magnum’s photographers. Inviting a wide interpretation of the theme, the project includes iconic images that have defined and documented humanity’s quest for freedom over the past 70 years, as well as the deeply personal images that symbolize creative and artistic freedom.

To view the full sale, please explore the slideshow below, or shop the sale here.

Abbas Freedom Betrayed. Tehran, Iran. 2001."During the Iranian Revolution, the walls of Tehran spoke: every major political event-and there were many during the year or so that the revolution lasted-w (...)
Antoine d’Agata Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. 1991."FREE WILL. Photography is considered a tool to convey diverse visual perspectives into the world; but it is, first of all, an adequate strategy to shape one's underst (...)
Peter van Agtmael Arizona, USA. 2012."The subject of the photograph, patrolling his land on the Mexico-United States border, has the freedom to bear his firearm, and the weight of the law on his side to protect h (...)
Christopher Anderson Untitled. New York, New York, USA. 2014.



"Free enough to take pictures of things that don't matter, like spilt cherries on a crosswalk, for instance. …"

- Christopher Anderson © Christopher Anderson | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold Bar girl in a brothel in the red-light district. Havana, Cuba. 1954."I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in p (...)
Olivia Arthur Watching TV at home. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 2009. (A print of this image has been re-photographed under reflective light to partially conceal identity.)"In Saudi Arabia, notions of privacy and (...)
Bruno Barbey Students hurling objects at the police. Boulevard Saint-Germain, 6th arrondissement, Paris, France. May 6, 1968."After a long trip in Southeast Asia (the Vietnam War was raging) and Japan, I (...)
Micha Bar Am High security prison in Beersheba. Israel. 1971."Prisons are not camera friendly, especially not high security ones. When I was finally granted permission to photograph inside the Beersheba p (...)
Werner Bischof Zebra woman. Zurich, Switzerland. 1942."It was pure chance that the camera and not the paintbrush became my companion. Since childhood I had liked painting. However, the commercial arts course a (...)
Jonas Bendiksen INRI Cristo's disciples rolling him around on the compound grounds on his rolling pedestal. Brasília, Brazil. 2014."'And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.' John 8:32 (...)
Ian Berry Two brothers meet during the Christmas season after having been separated by the Berlin Wall. 1963."I had heard the wall was being opened for the first time for a couple of days over Christm (...)
Matt Black Snowfall behind a shuttered K-Mart. Flint, Michigan, USA. 2016."America calls itself 'the land of the free,' but fewer and fewer people enjoy the reality of that ideal. This picture is from Fli (...)
Rene Burri Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Argentinian politician and minister of industry for Cuba (1961-1965), during an exclusive interview in his office. Havana, Cuba. 1963.“¡HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!”Ch (...)
Enri Canaj Boy on a swing. Tirana, Albania. 2005."During the 90s, when the communist regime collapsed, and for the years that followed, many families from northern villages and small towns migrated to the (...)
Cornell Capa © International Center of Photography Rural highway. USA. 1959."Images at their passionate and truthful best are as powerful as words can ever be. If they alone cannot bring change, they can at least provide an understanding mirror (...)
Robert Capa © International Center of Photography Crowds fill up the Champs-Élysées on August 26, 1944, to celebrate the liberation of Paris. Paris, France. 1944."I would say that the war correspondent gets more drinks, more girls, better pay, (...)
Chien-Chi Chang Chennai, India. 2015."A cyclone was approaching the coast off Chennai in India. We were in the midst of an intensive photo workshop, and most of the participants were dodging the howling rain (...)
Ernest Cole Handcuffed Blacks Arrested for being in a White Area Illegally. South Africa. Circa 1965."When I say that people can be fired or arrested or abused or whipped or banished for trifles, I am not d (...)
Bruce Davidson Alabama, USA. 1965."From 1961 to 1965, I bore witness to various demonstrations in the civil rights movement. In this photograph, a group of civil rights demonstrators march from Selma to Montg (...)
Raymond Depardon East 32nd Street, New York City, USA. 1981."I had been waiting for several minutesShe placed herself in the frame, on her ownFreelyAnd for just long enough to take a Polaroid"- Ray (...)
Bieke Depoorter Istanbul, Turkey. 2015."I used to think that I was a street photographer. I pushed myself to take photos on the streets, but in a way, it never felt comfortable. I always had the feeling that I w (...)
Carolyn Drake A preserved sea bream displayed in the history museum in Aralsk, a dried up Soviet fishing port on the shore of the former Aral Sea. Kazakhstan. 2009."We usually understand freedom through its o (...)
Thomas Dworzak An orphaned Chechen street kid hanging out by a Russian post. Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia. June 1996."Taken toward the end of the First Chechen War, in the outskirts of Grozny, this seeming (...)
Nikos Economopoulos Havana, Cuba. 2014."The carelessness of afternoon play in a Havana courtyard, near Cuatro Caminos: Where different paths intersect, and you can choose which one to take or not to take. At the ti (...)
Elliott Erwitt Buckpool Harbour, Moray, Scotland. 2011.

"A brief feeling of freedom is enjoyed by our Scottish jumper cooling off on a warm summer's day … as long as he lands in the water."

- Elliott Erwitt © Elliott Erwitt | Magnum Photos
Leonard Freed Baltimore, Maryland, October 31, 1964: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being greeted upon his return to Baltimore after receiving the Noble Peace Prize."Dr. MLKing Jr.: an icon of peace and freedo (...)
Paul Fusco Robert Kennedy funeral train. USA. 1968."The freedom to make pictures is essential to my being. When I boarded the train that carried RFK's body from New York to Washington for his burial in (...)
Stuart Franklin Tiananmen Square. Beijing, China. 1989."'Man is free, but men aren't. There are no limits to the freedom of one, there is no freedom for all. All is an empty room, a clumsy abstraction until one (...)
Jean Gaumy Saint-Martin-de-Ré Prison. France. August 21, 1978."There was an exhibitionism quite surprising in the prison courtyard: tattoos, bare chests, athletic activities. I then understand how detainee (...)
Bruce Gilden New York City, USA. 1984.



"Freedom to create and make the images I want."

- Bruce Gilden © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos
Burt Glinn Andy Warhol with Edie Sedgwick and Chuck Wein. New York City, USA. 1965."Including the photographer, all of the subjects of this photograph (Andy, Edie, Chuck) chose the route of freedom by def (...)
Guy Le Querrec Berlin Wall. Sunday, December 31, 1989."A few days after the fall of the Berlin Wall (the 9th of November, 1989), joy and enthusiasm were continuous. The euphoria grew even greater on New Year's (...)
Philip Jones Griffiths Invaded sports field. Grenada. 1983."Grenadians for generations had welcomed the only foreigners they encountered-tourists. So U.S. forces had the rare experience of being surrounded by polite (...)
Harry Gruyaert Los Angeles, California. 1981."At the time this image was taken, in 1981, and perhaps still today, Los Angeles was seen as the land of freedom and happiness, with its bright sunshine and roun (...)
David Alan Harvey Chile. 1987."On my right wrist is a small tattoo: a red balloon. Why? It's in honor of the '50s French classic short film The Red Balloon. Saw it when I was a kid. Watched it last week. The last (...)
Erich Hartmann Empire State Building. New York City, USA. 1949."When Erich took this picture, in 1949, the war was four years past. He and countless others had returned to civilian life, Magnum was two years ol (...)
Thomas Hoepker Muhammad Ali in the streets of Chicago. Illinois, USA. 1966."I followed Ali for days with my Leica on his route between his home and the gym. Whenever children saw him walking in the streets the (...)
Sohrab Hura Madhya Pradesh, India. 2006."'For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.' Nelson MandelaAn inside view of the (...)
David Hurn Arizona, USA. 1980."'Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.' Friedrich SchillerI have spent many enjoyable days, months in Arizona: a place totally opposite in politics and (...)
Richard Kalvar Foot, ice cream popsicle and guitar on West 3rd Street. New York, USA. 1970. © Richard Kalvar | Magnum Photos
Hiroji Kubota Wounded Knee, South Dakota, USA. 1990."December 1990 was the one hundredth anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre. In this image, Native Americans travel to a gravesite to honor members of the (...)
Erich Lessing Germany, 1958. "… I take mankind seriously in all its aspirations and desires and in whatever arises therefrom in religious, spiritual, artistic and political aspects. That was, and still is, the s (...)
Herbert List Female Slave I. London, Great Britain. 1936."Herbert left Nazi Germany in his quest for personal and artistic freedom. After a deliberating and carefree summer in Mediterranean Italy, he needed t (...)
Constantine Manos USA. Provincetown, MA. 2014. Herring Cove Beach. © Constantine Manos | Magnum Photos
Diana Markosian Doud, age 11. Wolfsburg, Germany. 2017."It was night when Doud boarded a small rubber boat. It was his first time seeing the ocean, and now he was amongst a group of refugees, escaping their home (...)
Peter Marlow Cowes, England. 2001."Peter was a sailor, more of a messing about on boats sailor than a pro, but his love for sailing was the same. He sailed a 1932 Jack Powles 32-foot Broads yacht, and jumped (...)
Steve McCurry Rabari shepherd. Rajasthan, India. 2009."A Rabari herdsman in Rajasthan, India, leads his livestock to the spot where they'll rest for the night. He carries an axe, which he uses for cutting fo (...)
Susan Meiselas Wall. Managua, Nicaragua. July 1979."Dear Parents: I'm sure you've noticed my odd behavior over the past months. I no longer go to parties. I appear and disappear. This is because I've become a (...)
Lorenzo Meloni A young boy working as a blacksmith. Kobanî (Ayn al-Arab), Syria. August 8, 2015."I don't believe in freedom applied to a collective society any longer, but I do still believe in a man alone wit (...)
Cristina de Middel Ouidah, Benin, Africa. January 2016."This image was shot on the beach of Ouidah in 2016, a small town in Benin, where most slaves were shipped from Africa to America. It is an outtake from the se (...)
Wayne Miller The Price of Freedom: USS Saratoga. South Pacific. November 1943."This photograph was taken on the USS Saratoga, the morning of the November 1943 attack on the island of Rabaul.Wayne was read (...)
Emin Özmen Children run in the wheat field and enjoy nice weather during the local traditional spring festival. Kirklareli, Turkey. 2017."The cold winter leaves the Thrace region of Turkey and welcomes sp (...)
Martin Parr England. 1994."Freedom comes in many shapes and sizes, but a classic interpretation is high speed travel, say skiing, or riding a bike downhill.Perhaps one of the most recognisable of this genr (...)
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen 15 nautical miles off the Libyan coast. July 27, 2015."In July of 2015, I was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine to photograph the migration crisis across the (...)
Gilles Peress Louisiana, USA. 2016.

"Over the course of the last few years, when not working abroad, I began working in Louisiana on the impact of global warming."

- Gilles Peress © Gilles Peress | Magnum Photos
Gueorgui Pinkhassov Discotheque. Moscow. 1993."As The New York Times correspondent in Moscow, I encountered all kinds of fascinating characters and subcultures, and felt the new powerful wave of youthful energy, vit (...)
Mark Power TYNE. Tuesday, 27 July 1993. South 3 veering southwesterly 4 or 5. Occasional rain. Moderate occasionally poor. (From "The Shipping Forecast" 1992-96.)"Although it was made 25 years ago, this ph (...)
Raghu Rai Trees. India. 2013-2015."Twenty years ago, my love for nature and all of its earthly delights drove me to purchase farm land near Delhi. The ravine-like ground was a challenge, as it needed both (...)
Eli Reed John Crump. Washington D.C., USA. 1992."In 1992, John Crump, then the executive director of the D.C.-based National Bar Association, was attending the group's 67th annual conference at a hotel (...)
Miguel Rio Branco Laura on the Adam and Eve Beach in Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. 1992."The ultimate notion of freedom for me is when a child, with his entire future in front of him, begins to walk an (...)
Cristina Garcia Rodero Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Florida, USA. 2007."Freedom is to fly, to dream, to imagine, to fulfill desires, to dare, to be yourself without limits, to think without barriers, without mand (...)
George Rodger Freedom in the Africa Bushlands. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. 1958."Seventy years ago, George and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel Africa's vast and empty bushlands in our lo (...)
Moises Saman A meeting room in an underground bunker used as a command center by Colonel Qaddafi's security forces. Tripoli, Libya. 2011."When I think about freedom, I think about revolution. And my thoughts (...)
Alessandra Sanguinetti Village of Jayyous, West Bank, Palestine. 2003."I made this picture on my first trip to Palestine. I remember how coming upon this scene felt like a mirage. All around it were checkpoints, barb (...)
Ferdinando Scianna Child with a flag in the field. Bagheria, Sicily, Italy. 2002.

"Freedom means to run behind one's dreams."

- Ferdinando Scianna © Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos
David Seymour Demonstration in memory of those who were killed during the 1871 Paris Commune. The group, "Mars," have climbed a small chapel of the Père Lachaise Cemetery. From left: Charles Dinerstein (died in (...)
Jérôme Sessini Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. July 17, 2009."On weekends in summer, the families of Ciudad Juárez come to relax on the edges of the Rio Bravo at the boundary of the border between Mexico and the United (...)
Marilyn Silverstone The Dalai Lama. India. 1959."Marilyn received an assignment from LIFE (I believe it was her first) to cover the Dalai Lama's escape from Lhasa, Tibet. He was en route to asylum in India, seeki (...)
Jacob Aue Sobol A hunter and his dogsled caught in a snowstorm on their way home. Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland. 2000."'Whoa, whoa!' Hans stops the dogs. I can feel it too; the ice below us is thin. Hans ceaselessly (...)
Alec Soth Cambridge, Minnesota. 2017."After the most recent U.S. election, I stopped traveling and stayed home in Minnesota. I also stopped photographing strangers. I preferred to drive into farm country w (...)
Chris Steele-Perkins Punishment cell in a prison. Leningrad, USSR. 1988."With the collapse of the Soviet Union, came a window of opportunity to explore Russia. I had a request in for about a year to photograph 'Law a (...)
Mikhael Subotzky Lindiwe Mutoma (Female Detective). Lusaka, Zambia. 2005."Detective Lindiwe Mutoma, 28, when photographed is a different kind of detective. Working in a male dominated profession, her successes (...)
Dennis Stock Venice Beach Rock Festival. California, USA. 1968."Fifteen years since my first trip West, I have some new thoughts about gloryville. Every idea that Western man explores in his pursuit of the (...)
Matt Stuart Discover Dogs, dog show. Earl's Court, London. 2000."This was one of the first photos I took when I had achieved my freedom as a photographer back in 2000. Up until then I had been a humble pho (...)
Newsha Tavakolian Iran. 2017."The young woman in red hesitates as she enters the water. Perhaps this is the first time she has seen the open sea. I did not ask her. I just watched. Her two female family members re (...)
Larry Towell West Bank. 2000.

"Freedom is something you must struggle for even if you don't achieve it in your lifetime."

- Larry Towell © Larry Towell | Magnum Photos
Alex Webb Miami Beach, Florida. 1989."In the late 1980s, I often found myself stuck in the Miami airport en route to Haiti, a vibrant and troubled Caribbean country I'd been photographing for a decade. F (...)
Patrick Zachmann Singer Jiang Xin in her car in Sanlitun. Beijing, China. 2001."I hesitated to choose a picture of the Tiananmen Square protests, which would have been a more obvious illustration of 'freedom.' W (...)

"The rallying cry for Chechen independence was 'freedom or death'"

- Thomas Dworzak
Stuart Franklin Tiananmen Square. Beijing, China. 1989."'Man is free, but men aren't. There are no limits to the freedom of one, there is no freedom for all. All is an empty room, a clumsy abstraction until one (...)

Revolution, Resistance and Insurrection

Magnum photographers have, since the early part of the 20th century, witnessed the insurrections and declarations of independence that have engendered deep social and political shifts, and continue to shape the world we live in today.  David ‘Chim’ Seymour’s 1934 photograph of Parisians commemorating the Paris Commune of 1871 is a celebration of the spirit of insurgency and protest against hegemonic rule, while, a couple of decades later, Robert Capa’s photograph of the Liberation of Paris marks the end of Nazi Germany’s grip on Europe.

From Philip Jones Griffiths’s documentation of the “underdog”, Grenada, during the U.S. invasion of 1983, to Susan Meiselas’s unflinching work with the insurgents in Nicaragua, the role of photography in documenting events and the lives of those oppressed or seeking relief from dominion often comes with a political and social commitment to telling stories that matter.

Robert Capa © International Center of Photography Crowds fill up the Champs-Élysées on August 26, 1944, to celebrate the liberation of Paris. Paris, France. 1944."I would say that the war correspondent gets more drinks, more girls, better pay, (...)
David Seymour Demonstration in memory of those who were killed during the 1871 Paris Commune. The group, "Mars," have climbed a small chapel of the Père Lachaise Cemetery. From left: Charles Dinerstein (died in (...)
Larry Towell West Bank. 2000.

"Freedom is something you must struggle for even if you don't achieve it in your lifetime."

- Larry Towell © Larry Towell | Magnum Photos
Philip Jones Griffiths Invaded sports field. Grenada. 1983."Grenadians for generations had welcomed the only foreigners they encountered-tourists. So U.S. forces had the rare experience of being surrounded by polite (...)
Susan Meiselas Wall. Managua, Nicaragua. July 1979."Dear Parents: I'm sure you've noticed my odd behavior over the past months. I no longer go to parties. I appear and disappear. This is because I've become a (...)

"When I think about freedom, I think about revolution. And my thoughts drift, with much admiration and respect, to those selfless individuals that continue to risk their lives in search of freedom, or in the struggle to take it by force"

- Moises Saman
Rene Burri Ernesto "Che" Guevara, Argentinian politician and minister of industry for Cuba (1961-1965), during an exclusive interview in his office. Havana, Cuba. 1963.“¡HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!”Ch (...)
Moises Saman A meeting room in an underground bunker used as a command center by Colonel Qaddafi's security forces. Tripoli, Libya. 2011."When I think about freedom, I think about revolution. And my thoughts (...)
Thomas Dworzak An orphaned Chechen street kid hanging out by a Russian post. Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia. June 1996."Taken toward the end of the First Chechen War, in the outskirts of Grozny, this seeming (...)
Guy Le Querrec Berlin Wall. Sunday, December 31, 1989."A few days after the fall of the Berlin Wall (the 9th of November, 1989), joy and enthusiasm were continuous. The euphoria grew even greater on New Year's (...)
Ian Berry Two brothers meet during the Christmas season after having been separated by the Berlin Wall. 1963."I had heard the wall was being opened for the first time for a couple of days over Christm (...)

In the caption to her print, Susan Meiselas writes, “Watching from afar as events rapidly unfold in Nicaragua today, I can’t help but think of the dreams that propelled the Nicaraguan people nearly 40 years ago, and what they continue to demand and deserve as they struggle again for their future.” Her sentiment reminds us of how a struggle for freedom echoes through the years, and while each conflict is particular and specific to its context, freedom is a value that continues to drive humanity.

Perhaps this is part of the reason why so many photographs of liberation, such as Stuart Franklin’s Tiananmen Square image from 1989 or pictures from the fall of the Berlin Wall, become so well-known, often reproduced and published time and again, their meaning becoming more than the documentation of a specific set of circumstances, and taking on symbolic value.

Of course, more recently, images from the migrant crisis have contributed to our understanding of the changes wrought by conflict, climate change, and socio-political upheaval. The free movement of people is far from a reality, and the impact of man on the landscape will inevitably impinge upon the freedom of many.

Diana Markosian Doud, age 11. Wolfsburg, Germany. 2017."It was night when Doud boarded a small rubber boat. It was his first time seeing the ocean, and now he was amongst a group of refugees, escaping their home (...)
Paolo Pellegrin Eritrean migrants are seen 15 nautical miles off the Libyan coast. July 27, 2015."In July of 2015, I was commissioned by The New York Times Magazine to photograph the migration crisis across the (...)

"Freedom is often described with big words, but we encounter it every day in the little things we do"

- Newsha Tavakolian
Newsha Tavakolian Iran. 2017."The young woman in red hesitates as she enters the water. Perhaps this is the first time she has seen the open sea. I did not ask her. I just watched. Her two female family members re (...)

Liberty and Photography

Newsha Tavakolian muses poetically on the notion of freedom: “Freedom is often described with big words, but we encounter it every day in the little things we do.”

Indeed, the work presented in the Magnum Square Print Sale is a testament to the differences in experience across the collective, differences which have inspired the photographers to produce diverse bodies of work, that can range from the engaged to the personal, the political to the poetic.

Propelled by her own experience, Eve Arnold immersed herself in documenting poverty, politics and the female condition:  “I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in politics and I wanted to know how it affected our lives; I am a woman and I wanted to know about women.”

While Olivia Arthur photographed women in their homes in Saudi Arabia, she that found that “notions of privacy and freedom have an intertwined and complex relationship. For some, privacy is a requirement to feel relaxed and be free; others consider the privacy they are forced to keep under a hijab as an inhibitor to their freedom, and there are those who simply want to be out of sight from their families or people that know them. … As a woman, in the company of only women, I was able to see scenes that were not to be shared. But as a photographer, this became a huge problem; I was close enough to enable these women to be open with me, with themselves, and they would forget my role as a professional photographer. I ended up unwittingly taking a lot of photographs that they didn’t want me to use, and had to find a way to obscure faces and identities.”

The role of the photographer, in this space, is not that of an outsider, but rather one who can empathize, and create work that stems from the restrictions at play. This role as both participant and creator of the image, the collapse between outside and inside experience, is deeply felt in Enri Canaj’s work. He writes, poignantly, of the experience of being an immigrant. “When you are an immigrant you feel that nothing belongs to you. Your freedom to dream and to imagine is the only thing you have. Photography is the only freedom I have.”

Eve Arnold Bar girl in a brothel in the red-light district. Havana, Cuba. 1954."I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in p (...)
Olivia Arthur Watching TV at home. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 2009. (A print of this image has been re-photographed under reflective light to partially conceal identity.)"In Saudi Arabia, notions of privacy and (...)
Mark Power TYNE. Tuesday, 27 July 1993. South 3 veering southwesterly 4 or 5. Occasional rain. Moderate occasionally poor. (From "The Shipping Forecast" 1992-96.)"Although it was made 25 years ago, this ph (...)
Enri Canaj Boy on a swing. Tirana, Albania. 2005."During the 90s, when the communist regime collapsed, and for the years that followed, many families from northern villages and small towns migrated to the (...)

In this Square Print Sale, we welcome, for the first time, the work of Ernest Cole (1940-1990), a South African photographer who documented apartheid from within. His historically-important archive is now represented by Magnum, and his image, “Handcuffed Blacks Arrested for being in a White Area Illegally” resonates universally. Cole was South Africa’s first black freelance photographer, and his words speak of the specific bias that institutionalises discrimination: “The essential cruelty of the situation is not that all blacks are virtuous and all whites villainous, but that the whites are conditioned not to see anything wrong in the injustices they impose on their black neighbors.”

Being able to create work that highlights injustices is at the heart of many photographers’ practices, yet the position of photographer as outsider can be problematic. Bieke Depoorter sums this dilemma up from a personal point of view in her text, highlighting how taking pictures in the street made her feel as if she were ‘stealing’ pictures, yet, when she turned to making images in the intimacy of people’s homes, she felt “both connected and at ease with the medium, as well as toward the people I was photographing. Although I may have been physically ‘trapped’ inside the house, for the first time I felt free. The relationships I built with the people I photographed was crucial to this evolution. I now see photography as a conversation, even though we don’t often share the same language.”

Photographers can immerse themselves entirely in their subjects, like Jonas Bendiksen who spent years searching for and befriending men who claim to be Jesus Christ’s second coming. In turn, his images put the responsibility of interpretation on the viewer, asking questions about identity and religion, which the photographer does not seek to resolve, but rather to present as areas for discussion and reflection.

Ernest Cole Handcuffed Blacks Arrested for being in a White Area Illegally. South Africa. Circa 1965."When I say that people can be fired or arrested or abused or whipped or banished for trifles, I am not d (...)
Mikhael Subotzky Lindiwe Mutoma (Female Detective). Lusaka, Zambia. 2005."Detective Lindiwe Mutoma, 28, when photographed is a different kind of detective. Working in a male dominated profession, her successes (...)
Cristina de Middel Ouidah, Benin, Africa. January 2016."This image was shot on the beach of Ouidah in 2016, a small town in Benin, where most slaves were shipped from Africa to America. It is an outtake from the se (...)
Bieke Depoorter Istanbul, Turkey. 2015."I used to think that I was a street photographer. I pushed myself to take photos on the streets, but in a way, it never felt comfortable. I always had the feeling that I w (...)
Gueorgui Pinkhassov Discotheque. Moscow. 1993."As The New York Times correspondent in Moscow, I encountered all kinds of fascinating characters and subcultures, and felt the new powerful wave of youthful energy, vit (...)
Jonas Bendiksen INRI Cristo's disciples rolling him around on the compound grounds on his rolling pedestal. Brasília, Brazil. 2014."'And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.' John 8:32 (...)
Peter van Agtmael Arizona, USA. 2012."The subject of the photograph, patrolling his land on the Mexico-United States border, has the freedom to bear his firearm, and the weight of the law on his side to protect h (...)

America, Land of the Free

The poetry of the open road has come to represent a certain kind of freedom, one that we associate with the American dream, and a highly mythologized, free-wheeling kind of identity and creativity.  The U.S. Declaration of Independence outlines the principles of freedom, and highlights freedom as a value to be celebrated and upheld, and the national anthem glorifies it further.

Yet, America’s history demonstrates a complex relationship with freedom, one that is multi-layered, controversial, and deeply personal. Punctuated by events that have shaped the discourse of liberty, the U.S is the site of weighty debates around the meaning, implication, and limitations around freedom, often pitting factions against each other in heated, sometimes violent, controversy, and spanning diverse themes, from slavery and discrimination ,to indigenous rights, gender equality, the right to bear arms, LGBTQIA rights, sexual freedom, freedom of speech and of the press, of religion, and all forms of social and political freedoms, including freedom of movement and free trade.

Bruce Davidson and Leonard Freed, documented the civil rights movement, which sought to free Americans from racial discrimination – a fight which continues today. As Davidson aptly notes, “Freedom was then, as it remains today, something that had to be fought for.”

Matt Black, in his ongoing work documenting poverty in the U.S., questions the validity of freedom and of the American dream: “America calls itself ‘the land of the free,’ but fewer and fewer people enjoy the reality of that ideal.. When your town is collapsing, and you can’t afford to change your circumstances, then what does freedom mean?”

Highlighting the limits and contradictions inherent in the idea of freedom, Peter van Agtmael analyzes the complex relationship between the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, the freedom of movement and its restrictions, while pointing at the weight of artistic freedom and representation:

“The subject of the photograph, patrolling his land on the Mexico-United States border, has the freedom to bear his firearm, and the weight of the law on his side to protect his property. The migrants crossing his land are largely seeking economic freedom and take massive risks to achieve it by illegally crossing a partially-militarized border. As photographers, we have the freedom to choose what to photograph, and in what manner. That freedom is a weighty one. How do aesthetics line up with beliefs, and how do beliefs align with attempts to render events with complexity and thoughtfulness? Freedom and responsibility are close bedfellows, and never seem to fully reconcile. This photograph is no exception.”

Bruce Davidson Alabama, USA. 1965."From 1961 to 1965, I bore witness to various demonstrations in the civil rights movement. In this photograph, a group of civil rights demonstrators march from Selma to Montg (...)
Leonard Freed Baltimore, Maryland, October 31, 1964: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being greeted upon his return to Baltimore after receiving the Noble Peace Prize."Dr. MLKing Jr.: an icon of peace and freedo (...)
Matt Black Snowfall behind a shuttered K-Mart. Flint, Michigan, USA. 2016."America calls itself 'the land of the free,' but fewer and fewer people enjoy the reality of that ideal. This picture is from Fli (...)

"America calls itself 'the land of the free,' but fewer and fewer people enjoy the reality of that ideal... When your town is collapsing, and you can't afford to change your circumstances, then what does freedom mean?
"

- Matt Black
Constantine Manos USA. Provincetown, MA. 2014. Herring Cove Beach. © Constantine Manos | Magnum Photos
Gilles Peress Louisiana, USA. 2016.

"Over the course of the last few years, when not working abroad, I began working in Louisiana on the impact of global warming."

- Gilles Peress © Gilles Peress | Magnum Photos
Raymond Depardon East 32nd Street, New York City, USA. 1981."I had been waiting for several minutesShe placed herself in the frame, on her ownFreelyAnd for just long enough to take a Polaroid"- Ray (...)

"Free enough to take pictures of things that don't matter, like spilt cherries on a crosswalk..."

- Christopher Anderson
Christopher Anderson Untitled. New York, New York, USA. 2014.



"Free enough to take pictures of things that don't matter, like spilt cherries on a crosswalk, for instance. …"

- Christopher Anderson © Christopher Anderson | Magnum Photos

Photography and Creativity

Indeed, if artists are “free enough to take pictures of things that don’t matter,” as Christopher Anderson quips, this hints at the self-realization that many image-makers have found through their practice. David Alan Harvey, on the significance of the balloon tattoo he wears on his wrist, elucidates further: “There are all kinds of freedom. Creative freedom being one of the most rewarding.”

And while freedom to create can indeed be perceived as a luxury, something the privileged few can exercise, many artists equate personal and artistic freedom as one and the same. Herbert List, who had fled Nazi Germany and found work as a fashion photographer in London, created the image in this selection at the end of a studio session. He called it ‘Female Slave.’ “It reflects his attitude toward the creative freedom of staged studio work and the unfree role of a model in a traditional fashion shoot,” writes Peer-Olaf Richter.

While the work may indeed be personal, it is also necessary, and it remains political, a statement, a declaration of intent. Erich Lessing, writing from Germany in 1958, takes a more serious approach: “… I take mankind seriously in all its aspirations and desires and in whatever arises therefrom in religious, spiritual, artistic and political aspects. That was, and still is, the starting point for my photographic themes …”

As Ferdinando Scianna writes, “Freedom means to run behind one’s dreams.”

The full curation of FREEDOM, Magnum’s June 2018 Square Print Sale, is on view here.

For five days only, these images are available as museum-quality, signed or estate-stamped, 6×6″ prints, at the exceptional price of $100.

Herbert List Female Slave I. London, Great Britain. 1936."Herbert left Nazi Germany in his quest for personal and artistic freedom. After a deliberating and carefree summer in Mediterranean Italy, he needed t (...)
Elliott Erwitt Buckpool Harbour, Moray, Scotland. 2011.

"A brief feeling of freedom is enjoyed by our Scottish jumper cooling off on a warm summer's day … as long as he lands in the water."

- Elliott Erwitt © Elliott Erwitt | Magnum Photos
Ferdinando Scianna Child with a flag in the field. Bagheria, Sicily, Italy. 2002.

"Freedom means to run behind one's dreams."

- Ferdinando Scianna © Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos
Erich Lessing Germany, 1958. "… I take mankind seriously in all its aspirations and desires and in whatever arises therefrom in religious, spiritual, artistic and political aspects. That was, and still is, the s (...)
David Alan Harvey Chile. 1987."On my right wrist is a small tattoo: a red balloon. Why? It's in honor of the '50s French classic short film The Red Balloon. Saw it when I was a kid. Watched it last week. The last (...)
Erich Hartmann Empire State Building. New York City, USA. 1949."When Erich took this picture, in 1949, the war was four years past. He and countless others had returned to civilian life, Magnum was two years ol (...)
Burt Glinn Andy Warhol with Edie Sedgwick and Chuck Wein. New York City, USA. 1965."Including the photographer, all of the subjects of this photograph (Andy, Edie, Chuck) chose the route of freedom by def (...)
Raghu Rai Trees. India. 2013-2015."Twenty years ago, my love for nature and all of its earthly delights drove me to purchase farm land near Delhi. The ravine-like ground was a challenge, as it needed both (...)
Emin Özmen Children run in the wheat field and enjoy nice weather during the local traditional spring festival. Kirklareli, Turkey. 2017."The cold winter leaves the Thrace region of Turkey and welcomes sp (...)
Richard Kalvar Foot, ice cream popsicle and guitar on West 3rd Street. New York, USA. 1970. © Richard Kalvar | Magnum Photos
David Hurn Arizona, USA. 1980."'Grace is the beauty of form under the influence of freedom.' Friedrich SchillerI have spent many enjoyable days, months in Arizona: a place totally opposite in politics and (...)
Carolyn Drake A preserved sea bream displayed in the history museum in Aralsk, a dried up Soviet fishing port on the shore of the former Aral Sea. Kazakhstan. 2009."We usually understand freedom through its o (...)
Alec Soth Cambridge, Minnesota. 2017."After the most recent U.S. election, I stopped traveling and stayed home in Minnesota. I also stopped photographing strangers. I preferred to drive into farm country w (...)