Bruno Barbey • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

Magnum Pro

Editorial Cultural Commercial Search Image Archive

Welcome to the New Magnum Photos Site

Explore the award-winning storytelling work of Magnum photographers here, or head to Magnum Pro to search and license photos from Magnum’s acclaimed image archive.


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

- Bruno Barbey

b. 1941


Based in Paris, France


Available for commissions
& assignments

French photographer Bruno Barbey was born in Morocco, and studied photography and graphic arts at the École des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. Between 1961 and 1964 he photographed the Italians, approaching them as protagonists of a small “theatrical world”, with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation. During the 1960s, he was commissioned by Éditions Rencontre in Lausanne to report from European and African countries. He also contributed regularly to Vogue.

Barbey began his relationship with Magnum in 1964, becoming a full member in 1968, the year he documented the political unrest and student riots in Paris. A decade later, between 1979 and 1981, he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history, publishing his work in the widely acclaimed book Poland. He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 – 1995.

Over four decades Barbey has journeyed across five continents and into numerous military conflicts. Although he rejects the label of ‘war photographer’, he has covered civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in most of the world’s major magazines. Barbey is particularly known for his free and harmonious use of color, and he has frequently worked in Morocco, the country of his childhood.

In 1999 the Petit Palais, Paris, organized a large exhibition of photographs that Barbey had taken in Morocco during the previous three decades. He has received many awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit; his photographs have been exhibited internationally and are in numerous museum collections. In 2016, was elected as a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts.

Bruno’s full bibliography can be found at

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