Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas and visual artist Sunil Shah will be in conversation discussing how they use archival research and oral history in their photographic practice. Sign up to join this free lecture following this link

This free keynote lecture is part of Magnum Photos’ Emerging Writers in Residence programme. Throughout the 5-week free online course 6 participants, who are interested in photography writing and underrepresented in the field, will develop an idea, research images in the Magnum archive, produce their own text, receive editing support from guest experts, and have the work published on a website with a viewership of over 2 million

The course makes a case for the importance of quality photographic writing and visual literacy for the photography industry from voices which have traditionally, and at present, had limited access. A varied forum that allows the consideration, appreciation, and criticism of images is crucial to the survival of a photography organisation that aims to question what it means to be “excellent” in its field. The course takes the photographic archive as its principal focus, but encourages a broad definition of what constitutes the archive.

Date and Time: 

Monday, January 25th.
6-7pm GMT


Susan Meiselas received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. in visual education from Harvard University. Her first major photographic essay, Carnival Strippers, focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. She photographed the carnivals during three consecutive summers while teaching photography in the New York public schools. Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America, which were published widely throughout the world. In 1997, she completed a six-year project curating a 100-year photographic history of Kurdistan, and integrating her own work into the book entitled Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (Random House, 1997; reprinted by the University of Chicago Press, 2008). Meiselas then created the website,, an online archive of collective memory; as well as an exhibition that launched at the Menil Collection in Houston, and traveled for eight years to several venues in the United States and Europe.

Sunil Shah is an artist, curator and writer based in Oxford, UK. He is Associate Editor of American Suburb X Photography and Visual Culture Platform and PhD candidate at Central St Martins, London.

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