Magnum Photos Home


A personal chronicle of post-9/11 America, at war and at home, through the lens of one of Magnum Photos' leading photographers, Peter Van Agtmael, is a compelling and revealing photographic critique.

Through reportage and memoir, in photographs and words, "Look at the U.S.A" documents the major fault lines that have defined this era, beginning with the war in Iraq and ending with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Fueled by ideology, insecurity, ambition, and a deep fascination with war, Van Agtmael began documenting America’s war in Iraq in 2005. So began a photographic odyssey that would span more than two decades generating work that grew from a deep need to understand and peel back the layers of his troubled society.

Confronting the mythologizing of war and seductive nature of conflict on the American psyche, "Look at the U.S.A." explores the disconnect between the intergenerational wars and the home front, juxtaposing American troops in combat with their grieving families at home and the recovery of the wounded. As the book’s narrative progresses, the gaze begins to widen, to the imprints of nationalism, the election of Donald Trump, militarism, and race and class on American society.

Layered with van Agtmael’s personal accounts, observations, and interviews with those he has encountered on his journey, "Look at the U.S.A." is a damning, sometimes ironic critique that will make it one of the seminal photo books on war.

Thames & Hudson
May 2024
352 pp | 190 illustrations
ISBN: 9780500027028


Look at the U.S.A.: A Diary of... 

Several sources report that the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza is being increasingly hampered. 
Israel denies blocking aid, but humanitarian organisations are reporting obstacles in the supply process, leading to widespread food shortages in Gaza and the collapse of the medical system. 
The United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, reports that a quarter of Gaza's population is "one step away from starvation". 
It was against this backdrop that photographer Moises Saman boarded a Jordanian Air Force C-130 aircraft on a mission to drop humanitarian supplies more than 10,000 metres above Gaza.


Airdrop Over Gaza Strip 

Famed American football player O.J. Simpson, who became the central figure in a well publicized 1994 murder case, has died at the age of 76.


O.J. Simpson: 1947-2024 

Seven World Central Kitchen workers were killed in an Israeli strike in Gaza on Monday, March 31st. The attack has pushed WCK to pause aid operations as famine looms over Gaza, and pressure mounts on Israel over the rising Palestinian civilian death toll. In 2022, Magnum Photographer Chien-Chi Chang captured the activities of World Central Kitchen in Ukraine, marking the organization's first encounter with war.

"In 2022, I had the honor of capturing the remarkable humanitarian initiatives of the World Central Kitchen (WCK) and its visionary founder, José Andrés. WCK exemplifies unwavering commitment, unparalleled effectiveness, and exceptional courage in its humanitarian endeavors. Setting itself apart from conventional organizations, WCK sidesteps bureaucratic hurdles to deliver food directly to those in need across Ukraine, even in the most challenging frontline areas. With resolute determination, its skilled drivers and staff, equipped with armored vests and night-vision goggles, fearlessly navigate through perilous conditions to ensure vital aid reaches its destination. Through this firsthand experience, my admiration for World Central Kitchen's profound impact and unwavering dedication has only deepened." - Chien-Chi Chang

For the previous 12 years that World Central Kitchen has been providing meals in the wake of natural and humanitarian disasters, they have never been to war. Despite this, World Central Kitchen has committed itself to helping Ukrainians facing a food crisis created by the war with Russia, while also supporting local cooks and organizers to provide and prepare free and hot meals.

While on assignment for the Wall Street Journal in 2022, photographer Chien-Chi Chang visited Ukraine, documenting the efforts of World Central Kitchen and its founder José Andrés in the country amidst the ongoing war.


World Central Kitchen 

On Friday 22 March 2024, the attack at Crocus City Hall in the suburbs of Moscow, quickly claimed by the Islamic State, killed more than 137 people.
The next morning, Russians showed their solidarity, with hundreds of people gathering in front of the Crocus City Hall, as well as at blood donation centres, to help and pay tribute to the victims.


Crocus City Hall Attack 

On Sunday, March 31st 2024, municipal elections were held in Turkey. Dozens of towns, including the country's five largest cities (Istanbul, Ankara, Ismir, Bursa and Antalya), changed hands in favour of Erdogan's opposition party, the CHP (Republican Peoples Party). The CHP won 51% of the vote against 39% for the AKP (Justice and Development Party), which has been in power in the country since 2002.

Emin Ozmen was in Turkey to captured the atmosphere after the announcement.


Turkey's Local Elections, 2024 

On 17 March 2024, Russian President Vladimir Putin was re-elected until 2030. His presidential election was widely criticised for its lack of genuine competition and its organisation, which was guided by propaganda that supported the powers that be. Despite some attempts at protest, including symbolic queues outside voting stations, Putin's landslide victory was declared by the Kremlin, claiming he had won 87% of the vote. Meanwhile, Ukraine expressed its disapproval by launching drone attacks on Moscow and other targets.


Russian Election 2024 


Mikhael Subotzky 

Magnum's David Hurn (born 1934) is one of Britain's most influential documentary photographers, noted for his portrayal of ordinary people in their everyday lives. In 2016, Hurn started an Instagram account to share photography tidbits: technical tips, book recommendations, exhibitions and work that he found interesting. His engagement with the app has become progressively intimate, as evinced in his reflections on photographs from his 60-year career and his own mortality. On his feed, scrollers can find photographs from the Hungarian revolution in 1956, the set of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night in 1964, trips to Arizona in the 1970s and '90s as well as Halloween celebrations in his local Welsh village during the pandemic.
This compendium collates these individual posts from the past seven years, underscoring Hurn's generosity as a teacher and his willingness to authentically share his course as a photographer.

Reel Art Press
April 2024
ISBN : 9781909526940
272 pages


On Instagram 

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman has died at the age of 82. An independent Democrat during his latter political career, Lieberman ran as Al Gore's running-mate in the 2000 presidential election.


Joe Lieberman: 1942 - 2024 

Moises Saman, on assignment for Die Zeit magazine, journeyed to meet the indigenous Nuba peoples of Sudan, who have been notably photographed through the lens of Leni Riefenstahl in the 1970s. Riefenstahl, a German director and photographer known for producing Nazi propaganda, was largely influenced by Magnum photographer George Rodger's iconic imagery of Nuba wrestlers in the early 1950s. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the photographs portray the Nuba people with Western stereotypes of exoticism, depicting them through a lens tinted with a romanticized vision of the "other."

Today, the existence of the Nuba unfolds amidst mountain slopes and elevated plateaus, accessible solely by foot. Over 50 distinct languages echo through this terrain, often with no linguistic overlap. The Nuba attribute the diversity of their ethnic groups to the migration of Africans seeking refuge from Arab colonizers and slave traders from all directions. Despite enduring certain economic hardships, the Nuba people dwell in a state of relative peace, security, and enduring democratic governance at the local level—a stark contrast to Sudan's broader circumstances.


The Nuba Mountains of Sudan 

Nanna Heitmann covers the increase of Russian nationalism on display in Moscow. 

Masses gathered for a patriotic concert rally at Luzhniki Stadium in February of 2023, honoring the so called "Defender of the Fatherland Day". President Putin and Russian singer-songwriter, Shaman, shared the stage as Russian flags flew high in the crowd. 

Beyond the walls of the stadium, patriotic murals around Moscow aim to demonize Ukraine by tapping into Russia's victory over the Nazis in WWII. This pride echoes into the classroom, as students tour the "Victory Museum", which is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War and includes exhibitions on "Ukrainian fascism" from WWII to the Present.


Russian Nationalism on Display 

On February 7th, Russia unleashed missile and drone strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities during the morning rush hour, killing five people, wounding more than 30, and damaging residential buildings and energy infrastructure. Four people were killed when debris from a missile hit an 18-story residential building in Golosiivskyi district in the southwest of Kyiv, causing a fire and smashing windows. 

Two years have passed since Russia's full-scale invasion into Ukraine, though the conflict between the two countries severely heightened 10 years ago after the Euromaidan Revolution in Kyiv, February 2014. 

Rafal Milach returns to Kyiv to capture the cities' traces of the conflict over the last 10 years.


Traces of Russia's War on Kyiv 

"In spite of a McCarthy-era suppression resulting in job suspensions of arts administrators, doctors, professors and warnings to aid workers working anywhere in the world for speaking, people continue to take to the streets with hand-made signs. In the small city of London, Ontario, students and adults from many walks of life show their support for a cease-fire and an independent Palestine. Many rallies are attended by Jewish groups in agreement, including Independent Jewish Voices Canada with its strong commitment to social justice and universal human rights. " 

Larry Towell, 2023


Signs of Palestine 

"I left the United States as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the country’s first cases of Covid-19. That was in February 2020 and not long afterwards we published Good Morning, America (Volume III), which obliquely referred to the events as they unfolded, albeit from a distance. Almost two years passed before I was able to take my first post-pandemic flight back. By then my lust for travel seemed to have deserted me, but after landing in Denver I went back to work with a vengeance… ‘I knew a post-Covid landscape wouldn’t look any different; it certainly didn’t in Britain, and the US was likely to be much the same. The world had moved on and it was remarkable how soon I’d forgotten about life during the pandemic."

Power moved slowly through Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming before heading back to Colorado. In a later trip he travelled to Alaska and then another lengthy trip to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and upstate New York. This new book includes some of these new images alongside those taken on previous trips. Power has described the process to be like ‘assembling a large and complicated jigsaw puzzle with little idea of what the final picture will be.’

Each book in the series has represented a shift in mood or tone. This latest book has seen the human presence subtly move from the peripheries or the incidental in the landscape to being a more integral part of some images. The tone of the book is more optimistic than previously, and the human presence diminishes a sense of isolation so often present in the vast landscape.

In the background on his recent trips the political landscape had shifted with the election of Joe Biden as 46th President. Power was aware that although domestic US politics seemed less dramatic and eventful under the new president, that the country remained divided with the next election around the corner.

Published by GOST 
February 2024
317 x 245 mm
166pp, 73 full colour images, 15 foldout pages
ISBN 978-1-915423-03-0


Good Morning, America (Volume IV)... 

On the outskirts of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan’s most influential city and capital, there are the camps of the armed Iranian-Kurdish militia group known as Kurdistan Freedom Party (KAP). These peshmerga, or Kurdish militants, have 1/3 of women in its party, which aims for an independent Kurdish state. Closer to the Iranian border in Sulaymaniya is also the base of Komala, an anti-imperialist Iranian-Kurdish nationalist party founded in 1969. It’s base has been attacked by missiles and drones from the Iranian regime after uprisings began in Iran following the killing of Mahsa Jina Amini.  

On September 6, 2022, Mahsa Jina Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman, was beaten by the Iranian morality police for not wearing her hijab correctly and shortly later died in the custody of the state-backed police. Since then, more Iranian-Kurdish women have fled Iran, some joining the freedom fight of the peshmerga groups. In Iran, Kurdish flags, names and symbols are forbidden. 

A year after the protests following the death of Amini, Iranian parliament has strengthened enforcement of its headscarf laws, aiming for harsher consequences for young and adult women found in violation of the nation’s restrictions on clothing. Violators could face up to 10 years in prison if an offense occurs in an organized way. Iran also demanded and entered in an agreement with Iraq to disarm and relocate Iranian Kurdish opposition groups in Iraq's Kurdistan region. 

“Our movement hasn’t been crushed, even by severe repression. All revolutions take time; they don't happen overnight.” 
-Kawsar Fattahi, peshmerga Komala Commander

Peter van Agtmael traveled to Northern Iraq to document the lives and the fight of female commanders, members and recruits of the peshmerga KAP and Komala freedom fighting groups.


Kurdish Peshmerga Female Fighters... 

From December 13th to January 28th 2024, MUDEC hosted the photographic exhibition “And They Laughed At Me” by Magnum photographer Newsha Tavakolian, winner of the prestigious Deloitte’s Photo Grant. 

“And They Laughed At Me” is Tavakolian's reflection of her archival material dating back to the early stages of her career, spanning from 1996 to 1999, a period marked by significant hope in Iran. By revisiting her archive, she has undertaken a profound visual exploration aimed at understanding the past, in order to move forward into the future.

Tavakolian's images use visual language to counteract the repressive terrorism of a political body aimed at suppress individual self-determination in favor of totalitarian ends. The exhibition presents a series of images, from the past and present, depicting the dystopian measures implemented by Iran to hinder the population from spreading information and awareness of contemporary events.


And They Laughed At Me 

Last month Hamas launched an unexpected assault on Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing over a thousand civilians and capturing hostages. 

In response, Israel has declared a state of war and emergency in the region, launching a counteroffensive involving intense airstrikes on Gaza, and most recently, a ground invasion. Calls for an immediate ceasefire have resounded globally, as the death toll in Gaza has surged beyond 10,000 according to BBC reports.

Magnum Photographers are on the ground providing visual updates from the region.


Visual Updates from Israel and... 

On Saturday, October 7th, Israel was taken by surprise in an unexpected and severe cross-border assault by Hamas from Gaza, resulting in the initial deaths of 900 people. The BBC reported that  included in this number were 260 individuals attending a music festival. With many still missing or abducted by Hamas in Israel, families are left desperately seeking information as the conflict unfolds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared war on Hamas, vowing to use “enormous force” by launching strikes in Gaza and imposing a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip, freezing the flow of essential supplies. According to the BBC, as of October 9th approximately 690 people in Gaza had lost their lives and more than 120,000 had been displaced from their homes.

The result of this has triggered the latest outbreak of fighting in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, drawing in outside powers and echoing across the broader Arab region.


Israel and Palestine from the Archives... 

Ukrainian President Vicktor Yanukovych’s cabinet abandoned an agreement on closer trade ties in the EU, favoring closer cooperation with Russia. What began as small protests escalated to the Revolution of Dignity, also known as the Maidan Revolution, a violent protest with at least 88 deaths. Following the Euromaidan protests and removal of Yanukovych, partnered with pro-Russia unrest in Ukraine, Russian annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.

Demonstrations in the Donbas area of Ukraine escalated into a war between the Ukrainian Government and Russian-backed separatist forces. Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast, which is believed to be responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September of 2014. In November, Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of Russian combat troops into separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine.

In October 2021, Russia reignited concerns of a potential invasion after moving troops and military equipment to the shared border with Ukraine. The buildup continued until Russia launched a full-scale invasion in February, 2022.


Russo-Ukrainian Conflict