Description

Images by Sim Chi Yin

A statement by our Co-chairs Azu Nwagbogu and Asya Yaghmurian:

“This first chapter aims to explore the potentiality of the photographic archive through a series of case studies around and beyond the Magnum Archive. Through case studies aiming to identify and reflect on the common problematics linked to the nature of archives, each presentation will be followed by a discussion between the presenter and moderator. These case studies will include a personal photographic archive found in the suitcase of a Nigerian artist; the analysis of photographic documents relating to the anti-colonial Malayan Emergency; and the transition of Ernest Cole’s archive to Magnum Photos. All these discussions will unveil a number of sensitive questions related to the archives: issues of ethics, ownership, presentation and access. In each case, we will seek answers from the perspectives of both vulnerability and strength. We will ask: how can we use storytelling as a strategy of working with archives? How can found photographs become the testimonial of a looted legacy? How can the relocation or the destruction of an archive repurpose its meaning? What learnings can we share with artists and institutions creating the archives of the future today. And what can be learned from the artists when we look beyond the archive?”

Schedule: 

DAY 1 – Wednesday, 9th June 2021

19:00-19:45 BST

Welcome and Opening of the Beyond Magnum programme
Speakers: Olivia Arthur, President, Magnum Photos
Framing of Chapter 1
Speakers: Azu Nwagbogu, Asya Yaghmurian

19:45-20:45 BST

CASE STUDY 1 – Unpacking the Suitcase: The Journey of Prince Emmanuel Adewale Oyenuga
Speakers: Ana Briongos, Dr. Carmen Perez Gonzalez, Moritz Neumuller, Azu Nwagbogu, Asya Yaghmurian
Q&A

DAY 2 – Thursday, 10th June 2021

14:00-15:00 BST

CASE STUDY 2 – Writing the History of the Malayan Emergency
Speaker: Sim Chi Yin
Moderation: Wayne Modest, Azu Nwagbogu, Asya Yaghmurian
Q&A

DAY 3 – Friday, 11th June 2021

14:00-15:00 BST

CASE STUDY 3 – Rediscovering Ernest Cole’s Archive
Speakers: Pauline Vermare, Leslie Maltaisane, James Sanders, Mark Sanders, Hamish Crooks
Moderation: Azu Nwagbogu, Asya Yaghmurian
Q&A

15:00 – 16:00 BST

CASE STUDY 4 – Archives and Legacy: The enduring life of Inge Morath
Speakers: Sana Manzoor and Olivia Arthur
Moderation: Pauline Vermare
Q&A

19:00 – 20:00 BST

CASE STUDY 5 – Working with Archives – Past, Present, Future
Speakers: Rafal Milach and Cristina de Middel
Moderation: Azu Nwagbogu, Asya Yaghmurian, Moritz Neumuller
Q&A

20:00 – 20:30 BST

Archives: Final Comments by Azu Nwagbogu and Asya Yaghmurian
Q&A

*Times subject to change

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.

Olivia Arthur is known for her in-depth photography examining people and their personal and cultural identities. Much of her work has illuminated the daily lives of women living in countries as varied as Saudi Arabia, India and across Europe. A more recent focus on large format portraiture has brought her work back to the UK. “For me, part of the power of still photography is the ambiguousness of pictures, the ability to give a hint about a scene or event without being too absolute,” says Arthur of her work.

Arthur was born in London and grew up in the UK. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi and was based in India for two and a half years. In 2006, she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and cultural divides. Representation and the way we see ourselves are also areas of interest for Arthur. She explored these themes in her project In Private/Mumbai (2016-2018) about sexuality in India and through her ‘Portrait of a City’ commission about young people for Hull, City of Culture (2017).

Ana M Briongos, (Barcelona, Spain, 1946) I have a university degree in Physics but I'm primarily a writer and well-seasoned traveller. I studied literature at Tehran University in Iran, and worked in Iran and Afghanistan as a consultant and interpreter for nearly ten years. Between 1982 and 1992, I worked at Interway, an international student exchange organisation. Now, I live in Barcelona and spend my time writing and giving lectures on the countries I know best, Iran, Afghanistan and India. I also work as a volunteer teacher at Bayt Al Thaqafa, a non-profit organization for immigrants. Being a former professor, I have a comprehensive knowledge of the Islamic world and also I have a passion for adobe architecture, Persian poetry, bazaars, deserts, the Hindu Kush mountains, the plains of Central Asia, and above all, the people who inhabit these places.

Sim Chi Yin’s work combines deep research with intimate storytelling. She explores history, memory, conflict and migration using photography, film, sound, text and archival material, in a multidisciplinary practice. Chi Yin was commissioned as the Nobel Peace Prize photographer in 2017 and created a solo show for the Nobel Peace Centre museum in Oslo on nuclear weapons, combining video installation and still photography. Other notable projects include One Day We’ll Understand, an ongoing excavation of histories from the anti-colonial resistance movement in British Malaya during the early Cold War, Dying to Breathe which chronicled the slow death of a Chinese gold miner from “Black Lung” disease and Shifting Sands, an on-going visual investigation into world’s dependence on a non-renewable resource.

Hamish Crooks was the Global Licensing Director at Magnum Photos (2014 to 2019). His previous roles include Product Manager, Head of Picture Products, Sport books picture editor (2005 to 2014: Reuters News Agency), Sub-Editor: Sport, Journalist: Sport & Politics, Rugby Union, Olympics and World Cup specials (1996 to 2000: The Telegraph Online), Archive Director, Online Director and Deputy Bureau Chief (1993 to 2005: Magnum Photos). He is the head of the Abbas Foundation.

Shannon Ghannam is the Global Education Director at Magnum Photos, responsible for the celebrated agency’s educational programming globally, including the recently launched online learning platform Magnum Learn learn.magnumphotos.com. Shannon sits on the Senior Management team at Magnum and is also responsible for Learning and Development within the organisation. Previously she managed Content Strategy and Development at Reuters, working to showcase on multiple platforms the agency’s multimedia content. Shannon has collaborated on numerous photographic books, international exhibitions and multimedia projects including the Emmy award winning photojournalism app Reuters The Wider Image. Shannon has worked in various roles during a 20 year career including Screen Labs, Night Contact photography and multimedia festival, Australian Associated Press (AAP), The Australian Photojournalist Journal, The National Archives of Australia as well as developing a year long collaborative portraiture project with refugee communities for the Australian Red Cross. She studied at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia where she graduated with First Class Honours in Photography.

Carmen Pérez González is a free-lance photo-historian, lecturer, and curator based in Germany. After finishing her studies in Astrophysics at Barcelona University (1993), she undertook a 2 year and half long trip overland through Asia (from Turkey to China), and published afterwards several photographic portfolios and the catalogue of a solo exhibition with her photographs of women workers in Asia (Museum Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, 2001). She has worked as exhibition manager and curator at the Science Museum in Barcelona (2001-2004), at the Museum for East Asian Art in Cologne (2009-2014, for the exhibition and catalogue From Istanbul to Yokohama, the Camera Meets Asia, 1836-1900, Walther König Verlag), and as guess curator for different museums in Asia and the USA. She wrote her PhD Thesis on 19th century local Iranian photography (Leiden University, 2010, Best PhD Thesis ICAS Prize in Humanities, Asia), and published the book Local Portraiture Through the Lens of the 19th Century Iranian Photographers (Leiden University Press, 2012). She worked as post-doc researcher and lecturer at Wuppertal University (2014-2019), and edited a book on moon cartography and photography entitled Selene’s Two Faces. From 17th Century Drawings to Spacecraft Imaging (BRILL, 2018).

Sana Manzoor is the Project Manager and Estate Representative for (late) Photographer, Inge Morath. She supported the acquisition of Inge’s Photographs and Papers to the permanent collection at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, in Connecticut. She is also the Programs Associate at Magnum Foundation and a graduate of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography. Previously as an Expert at Apple, Sana mentored team-members and trained end-users on products and technology. Outside of work, she volunteers with organizations focused on environment, sustainability, health and deeply cares about animal welfare. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan; she now lives and works in New York.

Leslie Matlaisane was born on 9 June 1960 in Mamelodi Township, about 20 kilometres east of Pretoria, Transvaal (now Gauteng). He is the fifth of six children born to Obed Matlaisane and Magdaline Matlaisane. Leslie completed his high school education at Vlakfontein Technical High School. In 1981 he enrolled for a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree at the University of South Africa. In the fourth and final year of his studies he failed one of the major subjects (auditing 2) and the following year he dropped out of University after getting an offer to work as a trainee costing clerk at South African Micro Electronic Systems (S.A.M.E.S) costing department responsible for interacting daily with human resource, marketing, stores and buying, logistics, maintenance, data processing and production departments in order to determine standard cost of materials, products bill of quantities, cost of goods to be sold, work in process inventory, generation of periodic forecast, and annual budgets. After spending three years at S.A.M.E.S, he joined Get Ahead Foundation as Finance Accountant and a few years later was promoted to Finance Manager responsible for managing financial reporting and portfolio quality reports of business loans and group lending programme funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for township based businesses and rural based self-employed women. At the end of May 1994 Leslie left Get Ahead Foundation and co-founded Grand Finance (which ended as a subsidiary of Corpcapital – JSE listed entity) as Chief Financial Officer responsible primarily for preparation and submission of monthly financial reports and portfolio quality reports to the holding company within 6 working days after month end cut-off period as well as cash flow management, financing activities, management information systems and annual budgets.  In 2003 Leslie joined Blue Dot Finance as Finance Director responsible for financial reporting – management accounts and audited financial statements, generation of portfolio quality reports, cash flow management, management information systems, financing activities, annual budgets, and developing and implementing adequate policies, procedures and systems. In 2008 he moved on and joined Vengrow Capital as Finance Director responsible for same functions as at Blue Dot Finance. After a short stint at Vengrow Capital, Leslie decided to work as an external project manager at Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) responsible for assessment of beneficiaries and co-operatives (capacity gap analysis), capacity building for co-operatives (training and development), capital and operational funding for co-operatives, market access and linkages, monitoring and mentoring, communication and marketing of the programme and continuous awareness, and project close-out report. Currently Leslie works as the executive director of Topweb; a consulting company focused on serving the comprehensive needs of business enterprises, small medium enterprises and co-operatives in the full range of the business cycle. He also serves as a Trustee of the Ernest Cole Family Trust responsible for rebuilding the reputation and legacy of Ernest Cole.

Cristina de Middel investigates photography’s ambiguous relationship to truth. Blending documentary and conceptual photographic practices, she plays with reconstructions and archetypes in order to build a more layered understanding of the subjects she approaches. Working from the premise that mass media is reducing our real understanding of the world we live in, De Middel responds to an urgency to re-imagine tired aesthetic tropes and insert opinion in place of facts. Her impulse for an unconventional angle developed after a 10-year career as a photojournalist when De Middel stepped outside of straight documentary and produced the acclaimed series The Afronauts (2012). It explored the history of a failed space program in Zambia in the 1960s through staged reenactments of obscure narratives, challenging the traditional depiction of the African continent.

Rafal Milach’s work explores themes of history and transformation—particularly within the former Soviet bloc—using a myriad of mediums such as photography, conceptual art, books, video and curation. Though he initially tackled subjects through a traditional documentary perspective, his later projects draw on a more conceptual approach. Milach was born in 1978 in Poland and grew up during the collapse of the Soviet bloc. He studied graphic design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland, before ‘falling in love’ with photography the first time he picked up a camera. He later studied at the ITF Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic, where he is currently a lecturer.

Wayne Modest is the Director of Content for the National Museum of Worldcultures and the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam and head of the Research Center of Material Culture. He is also professor of Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies (by special appointment) in the faculty of humanities at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (VU). Modest was previously, head of the curatorial department at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam; Keeper of Anthropology at the Horniman Museum in London, and Director of the Museums of History and Ethnography in Kingston, Jamaica. He has held visiting scholar positions at the Yale Centre for British Art, Yale University and the School for Museums Studies, New York University. Wayne Modest’s work is driven by a concern for more historically contingent ways of understanding the present, especially in relation to material culture/museum collections. His research interests include issues of belonging and displacement; material mobilities; histories of (ethnographic) collecting and exhibitionary practices; difficult/contested heritage (with a special focus on slavery, colonialism and post-colonialism); Caribbean Thought. More recently Modest has been researching and publishing on heritage and citizenship in Europe with special attention for urban life, and on ethnographic museums and questions of redress/repair.

Moritz Neumüller, Ph.D. (b. Linz, Austria, 1972) is a curator, educator and writer in the field of Photography and New Media. He has worked in research and management positions for international institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, La Fábrica in Madrid and PhotoIreland, in Dublin. He is currently chief curator of the Photobookweek Aarhus, Denmark. Since 2010, he runs The Curator Ship, a platform that provides useful information for visual artists. At the same time, he started the project ArteConTacto, to improve the access to arts and culture. From 2016-19, Neumüller was the Communication Manager of the award-winning EU-project ARCHES.

James Sanders has written about South African politics and culture for the last 25 years. His PhD (1997) addressed media coverage of South Africa in the 1970s. He was the senior researcher on Nelson Mandela’s authorised biography (1999) and is one of the world’s leading specialists on both Nelson and Winnie Mandela. In 2006, he wrote a history of the South African intelligence services. He has edited magazines in South Africa, written a number of front page stories for global newspapers and contributed to many documentary films. Between 2009 and 2016, he engaged in extensive research for a history of South African photography that remains uncompleted

Mark Sanders was a founding member and acting Arts Editor for the popular style and arts magazine Dazed & Confused throughout the 1990s graduating to the Senior Editor of the Dazed Publishing Groups flagship title Another Magazine from 2000 until 2006. In the late 1990s he was active in other areas of publishing, editing a number of books on Art and Fashion as the Commissioning Editor for Contemporary Culture for Phaidon Press as well as for other publishers in Europe and the United States. In 2001 he formed the arts commissioning agency RS&A Ltd that launched in 2003 the internationally renowned arts project The Art of Chess, followed by specially commissioned projects by a number of the world’s leading contemporary artists including Yayoi Kusama, Damien Hirst, Barbara Kruger and Maurizio Cattelan. From 2009 until 2013 he was the Director for the All Visual Arts Gallery based in London and was responsible for the day-to-day curatorial programming of the gallery including the critically acclaimed show Vanitas staged in 2010 and followed in 2011 by Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Being. Alongside his passion for contemporary art he is also a recognised curator and historian in reportage photography and has built museum quality collections on the Cuban Revolution, Apartheid South Africa and the Student Protest Movements of the 1960s. His exhibition Cuba in Revolution, has been exhibited in leading institutions including the International Center of Photography in New York and the Garage Center of Contemporary Culture in Moscow. He currently heads up his own art consultancy business Mark Sanders Arts Consultancy Ltd, which looks after the interests of a series of emerging contemporary artists alongside a select international collector client list.

Pauline Vermare is the cultural director of Magnum Photos, New York. She was formerly a curator at the International Center of Photography (ICP), The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris. Pauline holds a Masters in Japanese from Langues' O, a Masters in Art History from the Sorbonne, and a Masters in International Relations from Sciences Po. She is currently finalizing a Ph.D. on the visual representation of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. She sits on the boards of the Saul Leiter Foundation and of the Catherine Leroy Fund.

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