About the speakers
Cristina de Middel
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.
De Middel’s ongoing project Gentleman’s Club (which began in Rio de Janeiro in 2015 and has now expanded to every continent around the globe bar Australasia) focuses on prostitution’s less documented side: the male clients. Her intimate portraits of these men subvert the paradigms of the status quo to provide new sources of insight and understanding. As well as her acclaimed personal projects, De Middel has worked on commission for clients including The Nobel Peace Foundation, Christian Dior, Vanity Fair USA, Vogue USA and FC Barcelona.
De Middel was born in Spain and is based between Mexico and Brazil.
Marc Prüst is active as visual story editor and photography curator. He collaborates with photographers to help them develop their concepts, prepare the creation and editing of their work. He produces visual stories in a variety of formats: books, exhibitions, or other projects. He is also a teacher and organizes workshops and masterclasses as well as lecturing and writing on photography.
His research into sustainable business models for documentary photographers was published in January 2020 in ‘Tell your story - A new role for photography in a changing market’.
In September 2018, he organized and art directed the first Nuku Photo Festival Ghana in several cities in Ghana, with the main venues in Accra and Tamale.
He was the Artistic Director of the Photoreporter Festival in Saint Brieuc, France, from 2014 to 2016. He curated several exhibitions including 'ALEPPO' on view at the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam from March 2017 tillMarch 2018, ‘North Korean Perspectives’ on show in 2015 at the Drents Museum in the Netherlands and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. He was one of three curators for the FotoGrafia festival in Rome (2010 – 2012), and the Creative Director of LagosPhoto, Nigeria in 2010 and 2011.
Marc has worked for the World Press Photo Foundation from 2001 to 2007, where he organized and installed exhibitions all over the world. In 2005 he was responsible for the exhibition and award winning publication ‘Things As They Are, Photojournalism in Context since 1955’, for which he worked in close cooperation with curator Christian Caujolle and editor Chris Boot. In 2007 he moved on to Agence VU’ where he was mainly responsible for the international cultural activities of the agency. In 2009 he left the agency to start working as freelance curator, consultant, and educator.
In her previous life, Sonia Jeunet was a librarian and archivist. A month spent in Afghanistan in 2008 working on Aina’s agency’s digital photography archive convinced her she wanted to work in photography and with photographers. She is now the Education Manager at Magnum Photos where she oversees the organisation of photography workshops. Since joining Magnum in May 2018, she has produced more than 20 workshops in the UK and abroad. She has worked with leading industry professionals and institutions and has engaged with more than 300 emerging photographers. Sonia has more than 12 years’ experience working in the photography industry. Prior to Magnum, she worked as photo editor and creative producer for Panos Pictures (London) and NOOR (Amsterdam).