In partnership with Vacheron Constantin

Magnum Ke Tasveer

 

Abbas

Abbas

French, b. 1944

“Born a photographer”, Abbas, an Iranian transplanted to Paris, has dedicated his work to the political and social coverage of the developing South. Since 1970, his major work, published in world magazines, includes wars and revolutions in Biafra, Bangladesh, Ulster, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa.

From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, to which he returned in 1997 after seventeen years of voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 (Autrement 2002) is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and written as a personal diary.

From 1983 and 1986 he travelled in Mexico, photographing the country as if writing a novel. An exhibition and a book, Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask (W.W. Norton 1992), which includes his travel diaries, helped him define his aesthetics in photography.

From 1987 to 1994, from the Xinjiang to Morocco, he photographed the resurgence of Islam. His book and exhibit Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam (Phaidon 1994) exposes the internal tensions within Muslim societies, torn between a mythical past and a desire for modernisation and democracy.

When the year 2000 became a landmark in the universal calendar, Christianity was the symbol of the strength of Western civilization. As such Abbas’s publication Faces Of Chritianity, A Photographic Journey (A. Abrams 2000) and a touring exhibit, explores the religion as a political, a ritual and a spiritual phenomenon.

From 2000 to 2002 he works on Animism. His book Sur la route des Esprits (Delpire 2005) explores the reasons for the come-back of irrational rituals in our world defined by science ans technology.

His book In Whose Name? The Islamic World after 9/11 (Thames and Hudson 2009) is a seven years quest within 16 countries : opposed by governments who hunt them mercilessly, the jihadists lose many battles, but are they not winning the war to control the mind of the people, with the “creeping islamisation” of all Muslim societies?

From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye for his book Les Enfants du Lotus, voyage chez les Bouddhistes. In 2011 he started a similar long term project on Hinduism.

A member of Sipa from 1971 to 1973, then of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, Abbas joined Magnum Photos in 1981 and became a member in 1985.

 

Raghu Rai

Indian, b. 1942

Raghu Rai was born in the small village of Jhhang, now part of Pakistan. He took up photography in 1965, and the following year joined The Statesman newspaper as its chief photographer. Impressed by an exhibit of his work in Paris in 1971, Henri Cartier-Bresson nominated Rai to join Magnum Photos in 1977.

Rai left The Statesman in 1976 to work as picture editor for Sunday, a weekly news magazine published in Calcutta. He left in 1980 and worked as Picture Editor/Visualizer/ Photographer of India Today, India’s leading news magazine, during its formative years. From 1982 to 1991, he worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes, many of which became the talking point of the magazine.

In the last 18 years, Rai has specialized in extensive coverage of India. He has produced more than 18 books, including Raghu Rai’s Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa.

For Greenpeace, he has completed an in-depth documentary project on the chemical disaster at Bhopal in 1984, and on its ongoing effects on the lives of gas victims. This work resulted in a book and three exhibitions that have been touring Europe, America, India and southeast Asia since 2004, the 20th anniversary of the disaster. Rai hopes that the exhibition can support the many survivors through creating greater awareness, both about the tragedy, and about the victims – many of whom are still uncompensated – who continue to live in the contaminated environment around Bhopal.

Rai was awarded the ‘Padmashree’ in 1971, one of India’s highest civilian awards ever given to a photographer. In 1992, his National Geographic cover story “Human Management of Wildlife in India” won him widespread critical acclaim for the piece. Besides winning many national and international awards, Rai has exhibited his works in London, Paris, New York, Hamburg, Prague, Tokyo, Zurich and Sydney. His photo essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers including Time, Life, GEO, The New York Times, Sunday Times, Newsweek, The Independent, and the New Yorker.

He has served three times on the jury of the World Press Photo and twice on the jury of UNESCO’s International Photo Contest.

 

Olivia Arthur

British, b. 1980

Olivia 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.

In 2003 she moved to Delhi to work as a freelance photographer covering assignments around the Indian Subcontinent. In 2006 she was invited for a one year residency with Fabrica in Italy, where she began work on ‘the middle-distance’, a project about the lives of young women along the border between Europe and Asia. This work was exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of a Fabrica group show and later travelled to the Milan Triennial, the Shanghai Art Museum and the Shiodomeitalia Creative Center in Tokyo.

Since 2009 she has continued to work on a long-term project about women and the east-west cultural divide. This work has been supported by the Inge Morath Award from Magnum, a Bursary from the National Media Museum and the Ojode Pez-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values.

 

Bruno Barbey

French, b. 1941

Bruno Barbey is a Frenchman born in Morocco. He studied photography and graphic arts at the École des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. Between 1961 and 1964 he photographed the Italians, treating them as protagonists of a small ‘theatrical world’, with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation.

During the 1960s, he was commissioned by Éditions Rencontre in Lausanne to report from European and African countries. He also contributed regularly to Vogue. Barbey began his relationship with Magnum in 1964, becoming a full member in 1968, the year he documented the political unrest and student riots in Paris. A decade later, between 1979 and 1981, he photographed Poland at a turning point in its history, publishing his work in the widely acclaimed book Poland.

He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978 and 1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 - 1995.

Over five decades Barbey has journeyed across five continents and into numerous military conflicts. Although he rejects the label of ‘war photographer’, he has covered civil wars in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in most of the world’s major magazines.

Barbey is known particularly for his free and harmonious use of colour. He has frequently worked in Morocco, the country of his childhood. In 1999 the Petit Palais, Paris, organized a large exhibition of photographs that Barbey had taken in Morocco during the previous three decades. He has received many awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit; his photographs have been exhibited internationally and are in numerous museum collections.

 

Wener Bischof

Swiss, b. 1916 - d. Peru, 1954

Werner Bischof was born in Switzerland. He studied photography with Hans Finsler in his native Zurich at the School for Arts and Crafts, then opened a photography and advertising studio. In 1942 he became a freelancer for Du magazine, which published his first major photo essays in 1943. Bischof received international recognition after the publication of his 1945 reportage on the devastation caused by the Second World War.

In the years that followed, Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. In 1948 he photographed the Winter Olympics in St Moritz for Life magazine. After trips to Eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, he worked for Picture Post, The Observer, Illustrated and Epoca. He was the first photographer to join Magnum with the founding members in 1949.

Disliking the ‘superficiality and sensationalism’ of the magazine business, he devoted much of his working life to looking for order and tranquility in traditional culture, something that did not endear him to picture editors looking for hot topical material. Nonetheless, he found himself sent to report on famine in India by Life magazine (1951), and he went on to work in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. The images from these reportages were used in major picture magazines throughout the world.

In the autumn of 1953 Bischof created a series of expansively composed colour photographs of the USA. The following year he traveled through Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954, only nine days before Magnum founder Robert Capa lost his life in Indochina.

 

Steve McCurry

American, b. 1950

Born in Philadelphia, Pennesylvania, McCurry studied cinematography and theatre arts at Pennesylvania State University, before going on to work for a newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India.

His career was launched when, wearing native clothing, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes that contained some of the world’s first images of the conflict. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad Showing Courage and Enterprise. He has won numerous awards including the National Press Photographers’ Association award for Magazine Photographer of the Year and an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo contest.

McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War and continuing coverage of Afghanistan. His work has been featured in magazines around the globe. His reportage for National Geographic has included Tibet, Afghanistan, Burma, India, Iraq, Yemen, Buddhism, and the temples of Angkor Wat.

A high point in his career was finding Sharbat Gula, the previously unidentified Afghan refugee girl, whose picture has been described as one of the most recognizable photographs in the world.

 

Ferdinando Scianna

Italian, b. 1943

Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically. Feste Religiose in Sicilia (1965) included an essay by the Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia, and it was the first of many collaborations with famous writers.

Scianna moved to Milan in 1966. The following year he started working for the weekly magazine L’Europeo, first as a photographer, then from 1973 as a journalist. He also wrote on politics for Le Monde Diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire.

In 1977 he published Les Siciliens in France and La Villa Dei Mostri in Italy. During this period Scianna met Henri Cartier-Bresson, and in 1982 he joined Magnum Photos. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s. At the end of the decade he published a retrospective, Le Forme del Caos (1989).

Scianna returned to exploring the meaning of religious rituals with Viaggio a Lourdes (1995), then two years later he published a collection of images of sleepers - Dormire Forse Sognare (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream). His portraits of the Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges were published in 1999, and in the same year the exhibition Niños del Mundo displayed Scianna’s images of children from around the world.

In 2002 Scianna completed Quelli di Bagheria, a book on his home town in Sicily, in which he tries to reconstruct the atmosphere of his youth through writings and photographs of Bagheria and the people who live there.

 

Marilyn Silverstone

American, b. London 1929 - d. Nepal 1999

Born in London in 1929, Marilyn Silverstone graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, then worked as an associate editor for Art News, Industrial Design and Interiors during the 1950s. She also served as an associate producer and historical researcher for an Academy Award-winning series of films on painters.

In 1955 she began to photograph professionally as a freelancer (with the Nancy Palmer Agency, New York), working in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America and the Soviet Union. In 1959 she was sent on a three-month assignment to India, but ended up moving to New Delhi and was based there until 1973. During that time she produced the books Bala Child of India (1962) and Ghurkas and Ghosts (1964), and later The Black Hat Dances (1987), and Ocean of Life (1985), a journey of discovery that aims to take the reader to the heart of a complex and compassionate Buddhist culture. Kashmir in Winter, a film made from her photographs, won an award at the London Film Festival in 1971.

Silverstone became an associate member of Magnum in 1964, a full member in 1967, and a contributor in 1975.

Silverstone, whose photographs have appeared in many major magazines, including Newsweek, Life, Look, Vogue and National Geographic, became an ordained Buddhist nun in 1977. She lived in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she practiced Buddhism and researched the vanishing customs of the Rajasthani and Himalayan kingdoms. She died in October 1999 at the Shechen monastery, near Kathmandu, which she had helped to finance.

Silverstone’s photographic estate is managed by Magnum Photos under the direction of James A. Fox, a former Magnum Editor-in-Chief and present Curator.