Past Workshop

Tokyo Workshop: Finding Emotion in Narrative with Susan Meiselas & Newsha Tavakolian

Join Susan Meiselas and Newsha Tavakolian for a unique and in-depth joint workshop designed to deepen your storytelling ability

Susan Meiselas Dee and Lisa on Mott Street. Little Italy. New York City. USA. 1976. © Susan Meiselas | Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is proud to announce a joint workshop with two of Magnum’s female photographers Susan Meiselas and Newsha Tavakolian, which takes place in Tokyo from 7 – 11 August.

Apply now for this five-day intensive workshop hosted by Magnum Tokyo that will push participants to find the “emotion in narrative” and deepen their storytelling ability.

This workshop will encourage you to examine your photographic practice through in-depth portfolio critiques with Meiselas or Tavakolian and through lively peer-to-peer discussions. You will also be challenged to produce new work through practical assignments.

Newsha Tavakolian Iranian paramilitary Baseej forces reenact the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) in the south of Tehran. © Newsha Tavakolian | Magnum Photos
Newsha Tavakolian A sick woman who is suspected of having contracted a bout of malaria in a lot of pain at the Kakuma refugee camp hospital. Kenya. 2016. © Newsha Tavakolian | Magnum Photos

I am a self-taught photographer and I will help you develop your own story ideas and stop you from doubting yourself while trying to execute them. The way we tell stories is changing and boundaries between journalism, documentary and art are shifting. I will help you explore idea’s that go beyond the labels photographers often use to describe their work, without losing your message.” Newsha Tavakolian

Susan Meiselas joined Magnum in 1976, and has served as President of the Magnum Foundation since its founding in 2007. Magnum Foundation was founded in 2007, by the photographers of the Magnum Photos collective. The organization was conceived as an initiative to support independent, long-form visual storytelling on social issues. As the market was disrupted and a new landscape for photography projects emerged, Magnum Foundation has been at the forefront of creating experimental new models for projects that pave the way for an expansive, diverse, and creative future for documentary photography.

Newsha Tavakolian, is an associate Magnum member, who first became a nominee in 2015. Her work has been displayed in dozens of international art exhibitions and has been on show in museums such as the Victoria & Albert, LACMA in and the British Museum, and the Boston Museum of Fine Art.

Attendees will benefit from lectures on different modes and approaches to photographic storytelling and participate in editing sessions with Susan Meiselas or Newsha Tavakolian. The group will work collectively toward a final group edit of the work produced during the workshop which will be showcased at a public event.

For students, workshops are an opportunity to explore new directions and for me, it is a way to discover diverse voices.” Susan Meiselas

Aimed at photographers wishing to broaden their perspectives and push the boundaries of their personal development, this workshop aims to elevate the standard of both regional and international photographers.

Newsha Tavakolian © Newsha Tavakolian | Magnum Photos

Where & When

Nippon Photography Institute
Sakuragaokacho, 4-16, Shibuya,
150-0031 Tokyo, Japan

Tuesday 7th August until Saturday 11th August


This workshop will be taught in English.

Fees and Policies

Tuition for the workshop is 150,000 Yen (including tax).


Click here to apply for this workshop

The first deadline for acceptance is Monday 9 July 2018. Qualified applicants will be selected through a combination of the merit of their work and their personal statement, and in the order of the application received. All applications received after Monday 9 July 2018 will be reviewed, space permitting.

The final deadline for application is 30 July 2018.

Susan Meiselas Wedding reception in the countryside. Santiago Nonualco. El Salvador. 1983. © Susan Meiselas | Magnum Photos

Selection and Requirements

Due to the fast pace of the workshop, Magnum highly recommends that participants produce and edit their work digitally, using their own laptops. We also recommend participants to arrive with one realistic project idea they wish to develop during the workshop, and that preliminary research should be conducted before the workshop begins.

This workshop is not about learning new technical skills, but rather improving each student’s own unique photographic vision. Candidates will be expected to arrive comfortable with their equipment, ready to work.

Travel & Accommodation

Participants are expected to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation; a list of suitable accommodation options will be provided to successful candidates.

Please ensure you have the necessary travel documents & relevant visas in order to attend the event. Magnum Photos can provide letters of support where necessary.

Susan Meiselas "Mano blanca," signature of the death squads left on the door of a slain peasant organizer. Chalatenango province, Arcatao. EL Salvador. 1980. © Susan Meiselas | Magnum Photos

Terms and Conditions

Please note: Magnum Photos reserves the right to cancel groups with less than 8 participants. Students will be given a full refund. In the event of a cancellation, students will be given 10 days in advance notice.

Magnum Photos reserves the right to change or alter the program advertised
If a participant decides to cancel for whatever reason, this must be confirmed in writing
Magnum Photos will reimburse all the registration costs except for a 10,000 Yen administration fee.

If the participant informs Magnum Photos of cancellation at least 3 weeks before the first day of the workshop. Beyond this time limit, Magnum Photos will charge the following: 50% of the cost if cancelled between 6 and 20 days before the workshop commences. 100% of the cost if cancelled less than 5 days before the workshop starts.

All workshops that are commenced but not completed through the fault of either the contractor/or participant need to be paid in full.

Magnum Photos is not responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case a workshop is cancelled. We highly recommend that you buy refundable air tickets and/or travel insurance.


For any queries please feel free to contact Chloe Jafe in Tokyo:

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