Past Artist Talk
Magnum Photos Now: On Empathy & Photography
A discussion on the role of photography in relation to empathy with photographer Olivia Arthur
What compels photographers to record historic events? Why do they choose to engage in dangerous, difficult work? How do they stay emotionally involved, and what is their legacy today?
Join Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur, Jess Crombie, Director of Creative Content at Save the Children, and writer and photographer Colin Pantall, as they reflect on the role of photography in relation to empathy. In association with an exhibition of David Seymour’s work in the Magnum Print Room, speakers will explore the emotions at the heart of documentary photography.
Magnum co-founder David Seymour (1911-1956) was known for his empathetic relationship to photography, which led him to engage deeply with the consequences of WW2 in Europe. In particular he became well-known for his work with the war orphans he photographed for UNICEF. He said of his work:
“We are only trying to tell a story. Let the 17th-century painters worry about the effects. We’ve got to tell it now, let the news in, show the hungry face, the broken land, anything so that those who are comfortable may be moved a little.”