Magnum Digest

The Magnum Digest: December 4, 2020

Magnum photographers’ images selected as Best Portraits of 2020, Carolyn Drake reports on police killing in California, the latest look at Matt Black’s American Geography project, plus more this week

Lorenzo Meloni Don Renzo, the parson of the chapel of the Hospital. Ospedali Riuniti Padova Sud. Monselice, Province of Padua. Italy. March 16, 2020. © Lorenzo Meloni | Magnum Photos

Magnum images feature in TIME’s Best Portraits of 2020

This week, photographs by Newsha Tavakolian, Matt Black and Lorenzo Meloni appeared in TIME’s list of best portraits from the past year. Tavakolian took a portrait of a shoe-store owner in Tehran following the death of Qasem Soleimani in January, Black depicted 90-year-old Nellie Yellowhorse, from a region of the Navajo Nation in the USA which has no access to running water, and Meloni portrayed the parson of a church in Monselice in Northern Italy during the height of coronavirus’ devastating impact on the region. See the full list here.

Matt Black Elderly woman at home. Gap, Arizona. USA. 2019. © Matt Black | Magnum Photos
Newsha Tavakolian Ali (29) sells shoes near the Shah Abdol Azim shrine, in the south of Tehran. He has hung up a poster of Lieutenant-General Qasem Soleimani "out of respect for what he did for Iran." Tehran. Iran. (...)

Carolyn Drake on police killing in California for The New York Times

The New York Times has published a feature following the story of Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by police in Vallejo, California, in June. The article examines the lethal results of the power that the city’s police department exercises over its communities. Carolyn Drake, who resides in the city, photographed Monterrosa’s family and the geographical locations which relate to his death. Read more here.

Carolyn Drake The sisters of Sean Monterrosa, who was killed by the police, hold his portrait. The police department in Vallejo, California has, for many years, controlled city politics, threatened the city’s pe (...)

Matt Black’s images in 6Mois magazine

6Mois magazine has published a feature exploring Matt Black’s project, American Geography, a body of work made over 6 years, across 28 US states, which highlights the widespread violence and subjugation enacted by America on the communities which live there. Find the 20-page feature in its Autumn 2020/Winter 2021 print issue, and follow @revue6mois on Instagram as they share images from the story every week until late January.

Matt Black Downtown. Keokuk, Iowa. USA. 2017. © Matt Black | Magnum Photos

Obituaries for Bruno Barbey in The Times and on

Tributes to the Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey, who died last month aged 79, have appeared in The Times and on the website of Swiss broadcaster SRG this week. Read a biography of the photographer on The Times here, and see a gallery of his images on here — which is accompanied by information in English, Portuguese, Chinese and Arabic.

Bruno Barbey Ganesh festival. The birthday of Ganesh Chaturthi, the elephant headed God who was the son of Shiva and Parvati, is one of the most popular annual religious festivals of Bombay. It takes place at t (...)

Magnum’s street photography book recommended by The Times

The Times has cited Magnum Streetwise in its list of the best photography books of the year. A compendium of street photography works by photographers from across the collective, the book is described by the newspaper as “a sensory blast with surprise along the way.” Read the full list here.

Christopher Anderson Cherries spilled on crosswalk.New York City, NY. USA. 2014. © Christopher Anderson | Magnum Photos

Magnum Artists and Alec Soth’s The Parameters of Our Cage selected in Buzzfeed’s photobooks list

Buzzfeed has nominated Magnum Artists, and Alec Soth’s new book, The Parameters of Our Cage, in its list of “20 Photo Books That Brought Us Joy In The Very Exhausting Year Of 2020”. Find the full list of books here.

Alex Majoli Artist and writer Yayoi Kusama in her Shinjuku studio. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, scat sculpture, performance art, and environment (...)

Magnum’s The Body Observed exhibition is reviewed in El Pais

Spanish newspaper El Pais last week reviewed the Magnum group exhibition, The Body Observed, as it went on show in Madrid. The show includes work by Tim Hetherington, Herbert List, Eve Arnold, Cristina Garcia Rodero, and more. Find the article in Spanish here.

Cristina Garcia Rodero El boteiro. Vilariño de Conso. Galicia. Spain. 1992. © Cristina Garcia Rodero | Magnum Photos

Sim Chi Yin wins Discovery Award at Jimei x Arles festival

The 2020 Jimei x Arles Discover Award winner has been announced as Sim Chi Yin. The photographer was nominated for her two projects, ‘Most People Were Silent’, documenting nuclear weaponry in China and North Korea, and ‘Shifting Sands’, a project reporting on the harms perpetuated by the burgeoning industry of land reclamation. Sim will exhibit work at Les Rencontres d’Arles festival in 2021. Read information about the prize here. You can read features on ‘Most People Were Silent’ and ‘Shifting Sands’ here, and here respectively.

Sim Chi Yin Malaysia. 2017. From "Shifting Sands", 2017- on-going. A family takes a walk and goes fishing in an area in southern Malaysia now covered with giant sand dunes. The Danga Bay area is earmarked for (...)

Khalik Allah wins Special Jury Prize at Montreal International Documentary Festival

IWOW: I Walk On Water, the latest film by 2020 Magnum nominee Khalik Allah, has been selected for the Special Jury Prize for International Feature at RIDM, the Montreal International Documentary Festival. The festival described the work as “an intimate and transcendent portrait of events both inside and outside the frame”. See the full list of winners here.

Khalik Allah From the series, "125th & Lexington" © Khalik Allah | Magnum Photos

Yael Martínez shortlisted for Aperture photobook prize

La Casa Que Sangra (The House That Bleeds), the book by 2020 Magnum nominee Yael Martínez, has been selected for the shortlist of the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, in the First PhotoBook category. The project traces the impact of organized-crime-related violence on communities in Mexico, and includes depictions of the experiences of the photographer and his own family. Read the full list of nominations here, and read an interview with Martinez that dwells on the work, here.

Yael Martínez Shadow of a person on a wall in the comunity of Metlatonoc. The Mountain of Guerrero has been a territory without law. Dozens of people have moved to other places to live. Located on Mexico’s south (...)
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