Bruno Barbey • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

Magnum Pro

Editorial Cultural Creative Search Image Archive

Would you like to:

Explore the award winning storytelling work of Magnum Photographers


Commission a photographer for Commercial or Editorial work


Licence an image for Commercial or Editorial use


"Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world"

- Bruno Barbey

b. 1941

French Swiss

Based in Paris, France


Available for commissions
& assignments

Bruno Barbey, born in Morocco, has dual nationality – French and Swiss. He studied photography and graphic arts at the École des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. From 1961 to 1964 he photographed the Italians, considering them as protagonists of a small ‘theatrical world’, with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation.

Bruno Barbey began his relationship with Magnum Photos in 1964. He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978/1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 to 1995.

Over five decades Bruno Barbey has worked in all five continents and covered wars and conflicts in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in the world’s major magazines and he has published over 30 books.­­­­­

In 1999 the Petit Palais, Paris, organized a large solo exhibition of photographs that Bruno Barbey had taken in Morocco over a period of three decades.

In 2015/2016, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, presented his retrospective exhibition which is currently circulating internationally. He published simultaneously his retrospective book Passages.

He has received numerous awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit. His photographs are exhibited worldwide, and feature in numerous museum collections.

In 2016, Bruno Barbey became a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts, Institut de France.

Today he is working on a new project and photographing extensively in China.


2018 Au coeur de Mai 68, Text by Philippe Tesson, photographs by Bruno Barbey, Editions du Pacifique
2016 PASSAGES, Chinese version, Beijing, Post Wave Publishing
2016 PASSAGES, published by Edition de La Martiniere
2015 Photopoche, Acte Sud
2015 China, from Mao to Modernity, published by Editions Didier Millet
2014 Chine, published by Les éditions du Pacifique
2012 Bruno Barbey , Fotocep,published by Fotografevi
2012 China in Kodachrome 1973 – 1980, Beaugeste photo Gallery, Shanghai, China
2011 Oman 1971, The Empty Quarter Gallery
2010 Shanghai, boxed set
2008 1968, published by Fotografei, Istanbul, Turkey
2008 68 and May 68, Bruno Barbey’s notebook (with of 15″ film by Caroline Thienot Barbey), Creaphis, France
2003-2004 Maroc, Editions de la Martinière, France / My Morocco, Thames & Hudson, UK / Marokko, Knesebeck, Germany
2002 Les Italiens, Editions de la Martinière, France; The Italians, Abrams, USA
2001 Le Paris de Sartre et Beauvoir,photographie du Paris d’aujourd’hui by Bruno Barbey, published by Edition du Chene.
2000 Essaouira, Editions du Chêne, France
1999 Photo Poche, Editions Nathan, France
1998 Mai 68, Editions de la Différence, France
1997 Gens des nuages, with JMG Le Clézio, Editions Stock, France
1996 Fès, immobile, immortelle, Editions Imprimerie Nationale, France
1988 Portugal, Hoffmann & Campe, Germany
1984 Le Gabon, Editions du Chêne, France
1982 Pologne, Editions Arthaud, France / Poland, Thames & Hudson, UK / Polen, Hoffmann & Campe, Germany
1979 Bombay, Time & Life Books, Netherlands
1978 Nigeria, Editions Jeune Afrique, France
1976 Iran, Editions Jeune Afrique
1974 Ceylan, Editions André Barret, France
1968 Ecosse, Editions Rencontre, Switzerland
1967 Koweït, Editions Rencontre, Switzerland
1966 Kenya, Editions Rencontre, Switzerland
1966 Portugal, Editions Rencontre, Switzerland
1964 Camargue, Editions Rencontre, Switzerland
1964 Naples, Editions Rencontre, Switzerland

2015 Maroc éternel, Caroline Thiénot-Barbey (28 min)
2015 Pologne, foi de l’impossible, 2015 , Caroline Thiénot-Barbey (20 min)
2015 Passages , Caroline Thiénot-Barbey (26 min)
2014 Apocalypse Koweït, Caroline Thiénot-Barbey (5 min)
2012 China en Kodachrome, Caroline Thiénot-Barbey (18 min)
2008 Mai 68 vu par Bruno Barbey, Caroline Thiénot
2005 Grand Angle, 2M, Maroc
2003 Panoramiques Maroc, Caroline Thiénot (betanum, 12 min)
2002 Les Italiens, directed by Caroline Thiénot (betanum, 10 min)
1996 Maroc sans Frontière, directed by Mostafa Bouazzaoui for Moroccan television
1988 Assignment in Morocco, BBC, directed by Clem Vallance (in conjunction with centenary of National Geographic)
1979 3 Jours, 3 Photographes, directed by F. Moscovitz (about Bruno Barbey, Jean Loup Sieff and Robert Doisneau)
1968 Mai 68 (16mm, B&W)

Read More

Selected works



Bruno Barbey

Bruno Barbey's career-spanning book reflects his insatiable thirst for the unknown

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Morocco. 2002.

Bruno Barbey

Meknes, Morocco. 1985.

Bruno Barbey

Essaouira, Morocco. 1987.

Bruno Barbey

Rome, Italy. 1962.

Bruno Barbey

Genoa, Liguria, Italy. 1962.

Bruno Barbey