© Sohrab Hura

Beyond Magnum

A series of online events throughout June 2021.

Magnum Photos is excited to launch Beyond Magnum, an in-depth talks programme created to address and explore some of the challenges facing our industry today. Through a series of free talks in chapters addressing Archives, Representation and the Future of Photography, speakers will share thoughts and engage in debate across a range of issues. Each section will be led by respected figures from the world of photography and speakers will range from practitioners to academics to subjects of photographs. 

In August 2020, concerns were raised about certain images and keywords that were publicly accessible in Magnum’s archive online. Magnum photographers and team members agreed that they needed to look not only at these images, but at the entire archive: hundreds of thousands of images spanning from the 1930s to today, material that had accumulated there over the agency's nearly 75 year history. 

In having conversations about the archive, its role and purpose, and the right way to handle historic images, we realised that this was an opportunity to address many core and sometimes difficult subjects: power dynamics in photography, issues such as race, sexuality, childhood, vulnerability, consent, and political sensitivity. We reached the conclusion that a full-scale review of Magnum’s historic archive was necessary.

Through this process, we have given a lot of thought to and continue to assess the best way to present these historic and contemporary images. As well as our internal discussions, we also felt the need to be more present in current conversations happening within the photographic community about these issues, and to engage publicly with some of the important questions being  asked of us and our industry

Chris Steele-Perkins

The events will be live, free, and accessible on our online platforms. Recordings of these talks will later be made available on the Magnum website, and transcripts will be available as a downloadable pdf as well as a self-published reader this Fall.

By opening up a debate between the generations, cultures, and disciplines of our collective, we intend to take a deeper look into Magnum’s archive and diverse photographic approaches, past and present, and share this debate, its challenges, and lessons, with our audience and critics.

With this upcoming series of talks, we also want to use our platform to bring other voices into the conversation that will help us analyse the challenges that the photography world at large is facing. By engaging industry figures and thinkers from other fields, as well as the subjects of the photographs, or those reading them, this forum seeks to engage critically, and to contribute crucial perspectives around issues impacting our industry, for both individuals and institutions.

Biographies:

Azu Nwagbogu is the Founder and Director of African Artists’ Foundation (AAF), a non-profit organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria. Nwagbogu was elected as the Interim Director/ Head Curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art in South Africa from June 2018 to August 2019. He also serves as Founder and Director of LagosPhoto Festival, an annual international arts festival of photography held in Lagos. He is the creator of Art Base Africa, a virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary African Art. Azu Nwagbogu served as a juror for the Dutch Doc, POPCAP Photography Awards, the World press Photo, Prisma Photography Award (2015), Greenpeace Photo Award (2016), New York Times Portfolio Review (2017-2018), W. Eugene Smith Award (2018), Photo Espana (2018), Foam Paul Huf Award (2019), Wellcome photography prize (2019) and is a regular juror for organisations such as Lensculture and Magnum. For the past 20 years, he has curated private collections for various prominent individuals and corporate organisations in Africa. Nwagbogu obtained a Masters in Public Health from The University of Cambridge. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

Asya Yaghmurian is a curator who lives in Berlin. She holds an MA in Journalism and is currently pursuing a Masters in Curatorial Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. In 2016, she co-founded and curated Armenia’s first Design Pavilion. She has worked for international media and on art projects such as the Dilijan Arts Observatory 2016, and “Portable Homelands. From Field to Factory” for the exhibition “Hello World. Revising a Collection” at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, 2018. More recently Yaghmurian was part of the curatorial team of the 33rd edition of the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. She curated the “Pickle Bar” with Slavs & Tatars in collaboration with KW Institute for Contemporary Art and was a guest curator of homemuseum.net for the LagosPhoto20. She also works as an editor of art publications.

Noelle Flores Théard is senior digital photo editor at The New Yorker. She is also part-time faculty in photography at Parsons, and co-founder and the board chair of FotoKonbit, a non-profit organization created in 2010 to support Haitians in telling their own stories through photography. From 2016-2021, Noelle was program officer at Magnum Foundation, a non-profit that expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography. In addition to her day-to-day support of global fellows and grantees, she served as a juror for the Alexia Foundation, World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass, Overseas Press Club, Photoville, and the New Jersey Council of the Arts, and as a mentor in the Women Photograph program. She was a reviewer at the New York Times portfolio review, FotoFest Houston, the Bronx Documentary Center portfolio review, Chobi Mela in Bangladesh, and Photo Kathmandu. She also moderated public talks with photographers, which included Jamel Shabazz and Joseph Rodriguez at the Brooklyn Museum, Clayton Patterson at Overthrow, Alex Harsley and Eli Reed at the Magnum Foundation, and Devin Allen and Ruddy Roye at the Open Society Foundations.

Anthony Luvera is an Australian artist, writer and educator based in London. His photographic work has been exhibited widely in galleries, public spaces and festivals, including Tate Liverpool, The Gallery at Foyles, the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland, Malmö Fotobiennal, Goa International Photography Festival, and Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie. His writing appears regularly in a wide range of publications including Photoworks, Source and Photographies. Anthony is Associate Professor of Photography in the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities at Coventry University, and editor of Photography For Whom?, a periodical about socially engaged photography. Anthony is Chair of the Education Committee at the Royal Photographic Society. He has designed education and mentorship programmes, facilitated workshops, and given lectures for the public education departments of National Portrait Gallery, Tate, Magnum, Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers’ Gallery, Photofusion, Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK.

Fred Ritchin is Dean Emeritus of the International Center of Photography (ICP) School, serving more than 3,500 students annually in graduate, certificate, continuing education, and youth photography programs. Previously Ritchin had founded the Documentary Photography and Visual Journalism Program at the ICP School and directed it from 1983–86. He was appointed Dean in 2014 and Dean Emeritus in 2017. Immediately prior to joining ICP, Fred Ritchin was professor of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts from 1991–2014, where he co-directed the NYU/Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights educational program. Ritchin has been picture editor of the New York Times Magazine (1978–82) and executive editor of Camera Arts magazine (1982–83). In 1999 he co-founded and directed PixelPress, an online publication and a collaborator on human rights initiatives with organizations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, Rotary International, Crimes of War, and UNFPA. Ritchin has written and lectured internationally about the challenges and possibilities of the digital media revolution. He has published three books on the future of imaging: In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture, 1990); After Photography (W. W. Norton, 2008); and Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (Aperture, 2013). In 2016 he co-authored with Carole Naggar the Magnum Photobook: The Catalogue Raisonné. He has also been curator of numerous exhibitions on subjects ranging from Latin American photography to alternative image strategies for social change. He created the first multimedia version of the New York Times in 1994–95, and the website “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace” that Ritchin made with photographer Gilles Peress for the New York Times in 1996 was subsequently nominated by the Times for a Pulitzer Prize in public service. More recently he created the Four Corners Project (fourcornersproject.org), an innovative open-source strategy to provide more context and ethical grounding for the photograph online. In 2012 he was presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Argentinian Documentary Photography Festival in Tucumán, and in 2017 he received the John Long Ethics Award from the National Press Photographers Association. In 2020 he helped to create the online publication Fotodemic.org, and at the end of that year launched TheFifthCorner.org, a resource for photographers.

Zahra Rasool is an Emmy-nominated producer, writer and media entrepreneur whose journalism, storytelling and innovation centers marginalized communities and people of color. Still Here, her most recent work about incarceration and gentrification in Harlem premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Zahra’s past experiences bear testament to her commitment to innovation and community-centered storytelling. In 2015, she founded “Gistory”, an interactive map and social platform to deliver news summaries to millennials globally. In 2016, she joined RYOT as Managing Editor and later the Huffington Post to build one of the first companies to use immersive technologies for editorial storytelling. She was recognized as a Global Media Gamechanger at the International Broadcasting Convention (2018), nominated for the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership (2019) and the American Express Nextgen Leadership Award (2020). In May 2017, Zahra created and launched AJ Contrast; part of Al Jazeera Media Network – one of the largest, most diverse, global operations broadcasting news to over 400 million households in more than 150 countries. Since 2017, Zahra and her team have been nominated for 31 media and film awards and have won 15 including an NABJ Award, an RTDNA Award, two Online Journalism Awards (OJA), two Webbys and one Shorty among others. Her documentaries have been screened at over 40 international film festivals including at Sundance, Sheffield DocFest and Berlinale. Outside of her homes in NYC and Mumbai, Zahra has lived in Doha, London and Chonnam in South Korea.