Harry Gruyaert was born in Belgium in 1941 and later studied photography and film-making. He made a few films as director of photography for Flemish television before turning to color photographs in his adopted Paris in the early 1960s.
By the end of the 1970s he had travelled to the United States, India, Egypt, Japan and Morocco. The latter was a revelation to Gruyaert whose images of the country were later published in two different books. In the early 1970s, while he was living in London, he worked on a series of color television screen shots later to become the TV Shots now part of the Centre Pompidou collections. Around the same period he also photographed his homeland and produced two books, Made in Belgium and Roots.
In 1982, he joined Magnum Photos. Among other importants works, the two editions of Rivages (Edges), published in 2003 and 2008, are the testimony of how Gruyaert likes to work in different environments, with contrasting lights and colours. He had a retrospective of his work in Paris in 2015 and is currently working on a major show due to open at the FOMU in Antwerp in 2018. He is currently based in Paris.
Alex Majoli joined the F45 Studio in Ravenna at the age of 15, working alongside Daniele Casadio. While studying at the Art Institute in Ravenna, he joined Grazia Neri Agency and traveled to Yugoslavia to document the conflict. He returned many times over the next few years, covering all major events in Kosovo and Albania.
Majoli graduated from art school in 1991. Three years later, he made an intimate portrayal of the closing of an asylum for the insane on the island of Leros, Greece, a project that became the subject of his first book, Leros.
In 1995 Majoli went to South America for several months, photographing a variety of subjects for his ongoing personal project, Requiem in Samba. He started the project Hotel Marinum in 1998, on life in harbour cities around the world, the final goal of which was to perform a theatrical multimedia show. That same year he began making a series of short films and documentaries.
After becoming a full member of Magnum Photos in 2001, Majoli covered the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later the invasion of Iraq. He continues to document various conflicts worldwide for Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Granta and National Geographic.
Majoli, in collaboration with Thomas Dworzak, Paolo Pellegrin, and Ilkka Uimonen, had an extremely successful exhibition and installation Off Broadway in New York in 2004, which travelled to France and Germany. He then became involved in a project for the French Ministry of Culture entitled BPS, or Bio-Position System, about the social transformation of the city of Marseilles. His project, Libera Me, is a reflection on the human condition.