It was in the wake of the official visit of President Pompidou in 1973 that Bruno Barbey discovered China in flux, but still under the influence of the Cultural Revolution. A few years later, the photographer returned and already saw the effects of the invitation of the Chinese people, by Deng Xiaoping: “Enrich yourselves.” Bruno Barbey visited China many times over the next 40 years, documenting a country constantly moving.

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

Bruno Barbey
© Bruno Barbey | Magnum Photos

Bruno Barbey was born in Morocco and 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, with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation and covered the riots in Paris in May, 1968. 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, as well as personal projects in Morocco and China.

His work has appeared in the world’s major magazines and he has published over 30 books.­­­­­ He became a full Magnum member in 1968.

© Bruno Barbey | Magnum Photos

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