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On February 6, 2023, Turkey was violently shaken by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, followed a few hours later by a second one, equally devastating. These earthquakes are now considered to be of the largest and deadliest in the region in the past hundred years. Occurring in the middle of the night, it took the population by surprise, causing the death of over 53,000 citizens and the destruction of the city's landscape.

Photographer Emin Özmen, on assignment for the New York Times, followed the convalescence of Pinar and Ibrahim. The couple lost two of their four children when their six-story apartment building collapsed in southern Turkey.


Turkey's Earthquake Survivors 

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.

The photographs carry strong expressive power, laden with questions, highlighting the conflict between the imposed society and the desire for individual change.


And They Laughed At Me 

February 2024, Ukraine have withdrawn its troops from Avdiivka - a key eastern town besieged by Russian forces for months.
Avdiivka has been engulfed in fierce fighting and a battlefield town since 2014, when Russian-backed fighters seized large swathes of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.The fall of Avdiivka marks the biggest change on the more than 1,000km-long (620-mile) front line since Russian troops seized the nearby town of Bakhmut in May 2023.


The Town of Avdiivka : Ten years... 

On Friday, February 16, 2024, Russian agencies announced the death of Alexei Navalny, who was serving a 19-year sentence for "extremism" in the IK-3 penal colony, known as "Polar Wolf", a former Soviet gulag to which he had been transferred in December, 2023. 

Considered "Vladimir Putin's public enemy number one", Alexei Navalny has been one of Russia's most determined opponents in recent years.

Making a name for himself on the Internet, Navalny published investigations denouncing the corruption of Russian elites. He also led numerous protests against the Russian government, and in 2018, he stood as a candidate in the presidential election to rival Vladimir Putin, but was eventually banned from standing.

Navalny came close to death in 2020 following an attempted poisoning, and once recovered decided to return to Russia, where he has been arrested and incarcerated ever since.


Alexeï Navalny: 1976-2024 


David Seymour 

On February 20 and 21, 2024, Julian Assange will face a court hearing on what may be his final bid to appeal the United States' order to extradite him. 

Julian Assange faces 18 charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents, largely in result of a leak by the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. In 2010, WikiLeaks, linked to a consortium of international media organizations, released thousands of documents exposing details of the conditions and deteriorating mental and physical health of Guantanamo Bay’s detainees; details of hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. Army, including shedding new light on the deaths of two Reuters journalists via the shocking Collateral Murder video; and much more.

Manning was released after President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017. Under Obama, the Department of Justice decided they could not prosecute Assange without threatening U.S. journalists and their First Amendment protections — given that the 2010 charges relate to the handling and publication of classified documents in conjunction with reporters and organizations including The New York Times and other major outlets. But under Donald Trump's presidency and later Joe Biden's, the department has reversed itself.
If convicted, Assange faces a combined total sentence of up to 175 years in U.S. prison.

“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” wrote the editors and publishers of The Washington Post, The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pais. “Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of the free press in a democracy.”

For 7 years, from 2012 to 2019, Assange lived "under protection" in the Ecuador Embassy in London thanks to the Asylum status, until when he's been confined in HM Prison Belmarsh in London, as the United States government's extradition effort is contested in the British courts. Today, Julian Assange is “dangerously close” to being extradited to the US after losing his latest legal appeal, his family and observers of his long-running legal challenge say.

Magnum Photographer, Gueorgui Pinkhassov, documented Assange's wife, Stella, and their children for several days between the UK and France, during the following weeks of Assange's lost appeal in June 2023. As a family they are fighting for Julien Assange's life and the family's future.

Sara Gonzalez Devant, Stella's birth name, first met Assange at a property where Assange initially lived when under house arrest. An expert in international law, she was hired as part of Assange’s legal team to help fight his case against extradition to Sweden. She officially changed her name to Stella Moris in 2012 to protect herself and her family while working with Assange. Before even meeting him she was convinced he was the victim of an elaborate sting. “I had read all the documents and it was clear that this was a political case and that he was innocent.” Since 2012, Stella has been traveling alone or with their kids around the world to find support for her husband's case. 

Continuously under pressure, tracked and living a parallel life, Stella and the children try to cope with a family privation. The current situation seems to be getting closer to Julian Assange extradition to the U.S. , which may likely lead to an incarceration there.

The threat to the work of international investigative journalism that has been in place for over 10 years via this case has to be addressed.


The Assange Family 

Abbas takes us on a retrospective journey into his homeland but his photographs and text also present us with an introspective logbook kept for more than thirty years. In this book, Abbas has structured his images around three words/series:
“Revolutions” shows an Iran of the Shah and the murmuring street, the cortège of ministers, and the insane stack of their cadavers at the morgue once the revolutionary spirit subsided.

“Exiles” evokes the war in Irak and the impossibility for him to return. He takes the occasion to ponder Khomeini’s confiscation of the revolution and investigates his position within this history.

Lastly, “Returns” describes and decrypts the Iran of today, which is surprisingly schizophrenic, where beards and chadors are wearisome flags of a cause on the glistening faces of stylish, westernized young people.

Format: Softcover
Pages: 240
Size: 9 3/4 x 7 2/5"
Publishers: Editions Autrement, Collection Monde/Photographie (Paris, 2002); "IranDiario: 1971-2005", Saggiatiore (Milano, 2005)


Iran Diary 1971-2002 

The battle to preserve the Aubervilliers allotments, vegetable gardens cultivated by the working class, continues.

These century-old gardens in Seine-Saint-Denis are to make way for an aquatic center planned for the Paris 2024 Games, as well as the construction site for the future station on line 15 of the Grand Paris Express.

The town of Aubervilliers, already poor in green spaces, sees this destruction as irreversible ecocide. Massive investment in Olympic infrastructure is criticized in the face of urgent ecological, health and social needs.

In 1994, photographer Patrick Zachmann met those who have helped bring these gardens to life, in particular the "Les Vertus" company, which has been on the land since 1935, and which today is directly threatened by the construction of the Olympic swimming pools.


The Aubervilliers Allotment Gardens... 

Robert Badinter was a French lawyer, politician, and author best known for his work on the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981 and his position of Minister of Justice under François Mitterrand. He also served in high-level appointed positions with national and international bodies working for justice and the rule of law. He died on February 9th, 2024, at age 95.


Robert Badinter: 1928-2024 

"In 2015, I photographed on the southern Mexico border with the International Committee Of The Red Cross which was assisting migrants with accommodation, medical care, security, and education. Many had suffered extortion, rape, and kidnapping. Some, migrants, thrown from the roof of trains for non-payment to gang members, were undergoing prosthetic treatment having lost their legs under train wheels. In the fall of 2018, I returned to Mexico City and accompanied the 5,000 member caravan on the remaining 1,800 mile trip to the U.S. border. They moved in a large mass as a form of protection. In May 2019, I returned to investigate what had become of them. Most had been disbursed into local Tijuana shelters.
In 2019, Mexico suffered the largest cartel-ravaged murder rate in the world with 33,345 killings. In October 2019, I travelled to Sonora, Mexico, to document the drug and human trafficking cartels that silently shadow the migrants."


Mexico Cartel Land 

Having grown up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, chef Sean Sherman studied his Sioux ancestors’ food culture in order to safeguard their Indigenous flavors dating before the European and American colonization and reintegrate them into the cuisine of modern-day communities. 

On commission with The Food & Environment Reporting Network, Alec Soth photographs the Sioux chef in the world-renowned "political" restaurant, Owamni, which serves "decolonized food" and is based in Minnesota, the land of the largest and oldest Native American tribe in North America.


Sean Sherman, the "Sioux Chef" 

In 1967, Danny Lyon received unrestricted permission to capture the life of convicts in Texas. Adhering to the tenets of New Journalism, which advocated for photographers to immerse themselves in the living conditions of death row inmates, Lyon spent fourteen months freely navigating six prison units. During this time, he established friendships with prisoners, documenting his experiences through a combination of photography and writing. The outcome of this immersive passage is a collection of images that bear witness to the artist's desire to depart from an objective photojournalistic approach, as his photographs exhibit a profound emotional and subjective quality- a testament to the close interaction between the artist and inmates.
Lyons empathetic exploration of life behind bars produces an unbiased portrait of real individuals whom society often overlooks.


Conversations With the Dead. 

The concept at the heart of this book is how Magnum photographers look at and critique each other’s work – a process that is core to the idea of Magnum, being a group that collectively elects its new members. It is both intimidating and important to be judged by your peers, and to know the opinions of the people whom you most respect in your field. We are chosen for the agency by each other, and that is something that is key to what makes Magnum so strong and to what also makes us disagree most emotionally; we often talk about ourselves as a family.

Putting oneself forward for election means embracing a certain level of risk and uncertainty, and this has been in the agency’s DNA since Magnum was founded. As Stuart Franklin, who was president of Magnum at the time, noted in his preface to the original 2007 edition of this book:

‘I am a gambler’, wrote Robert Capa in a famous quotation from his 1947 memoir-novel Slightly Out of Focus. In context the quote, from one of Magnum’s founders, explains his decision to travel with Company E on the first wave of the D-Day landings: a decision that led to several of his iconic World War II photographs. Sixty years on we took another gamble: to invite photographers to select each other’s pictures. This idea from Martin Parr came up in the course of discussion at a Magnum meeting.

When I asked Jean Gaumy what it felt like being edited by others he said: ‘Russian roulette.’ He and fellow-photographers in Paris thought it highly dangerous to be exposing a lifetime’s work to the curatorial gaze of their peers.

Setting the tone for what would be the next fifteen years in the agency, and turning our love for taking risk into a fundamental ingredient for the agency’s survival, Franklin concluded:

In France, if a gambler wins more than the chips on the table, he is said to ‘faire sauter la banque’. A black shroud is placed over the table until more chips can be brought. I think we have sautéed the bank, tombéed amorously beside the camp-fire and proved once more the old adage that risk-takers – among whom are gamblers – who take creative, emotional, and intellectual chances will inherit the future.

Fifteen years on, we are writing this new foreword during Magnum’s 75th anniversary year and for a new edition of Magnum Magnum. The world now is very different from the one in which the first edition of the book was created. Neither of us were Magnum members at that time, and it is remarkable for the two of us to look back at and consider all that has changed within the agency and in the world since 2007.

Magnum photographers don’t all agree on what good photography is – for some of us, even the idea of ‘good photography’ can feel outdated – but what is important is that we have something to say, and we believe that photography is the best way to say it. We also all agree that Magnum can keep on evolving only if it keeps two doors open: the one that leads to our archive and legacy, and allows for its protection and care; and the one that welcomes the next generation. The air flowing between these two doors will keep on refreshing the constant questioning that keeps Magnum relevant.

We also have to understand that our Magnum family is now a hugely extended one. With the rise of social media, it exists in an environment where there is a direct connection with global photographic communities and audiences in ways and with a speed unimaginable in 2007, let alone 1947. So, in parallel with other practitioners, institutions and publications, we at Magnum have taken time to reflect on what photography stands for, the nature of representation, the impact that photographic images can have on the people in the images and how they are interpreted by others. In 2020 we embarked on a complex process of reviewing our archive. Essentially, we went back over the 800,000 images in our database and made considered decisions about which images could or could not be used in certain ways and contexts in the future. We invited people from outside of Magnum to provide their own perspectives and advice on misrepresentation and awareness of new sensitivities. Ambiguity is inherent to photography, and images can have vastly different meanings depending on how they are editorialized. We have become acutely aware of that in this period, and of the power and potential of still imagery in a constantly changing 

While we need to think harder about the way we make and share images, it is equally important for us to keep on reporting and telling stories, and to stand up for the many forms of documentary photography that are seeing their longer and more in-depth approach challenged by an insatiable market. In times when we should be reflecting on the causes and consequences of photography, we are asked to act fast; in times when we should be looking at expanding the range of voices that describe the world we live in, we are asked to generate content. The world, photography, and our idea of what information is, have all changed fundamentally since Magnum was born, and they will hopefully keep changing, as proof of our constructive questioning.

As the first two female presidents of Magnum, one outgoing and one incoming, we are aware that we represent a step of change that we hope will continue to grow inside the agency. We are excited to see the work that is made by the next generation of Magnum photographers, and all the potential of how the agency can expand and see the world in new ways. In this edition, we have 88 photographers, among whom 15 are women, and we have an increasingly diverse range of voices and cultures within the membership. This is all a work in progress, and one which fits with Magnum’s constant need to evolve and to be ready to take the next risk on the list.

Olivia Arthur, President, 2020–2022
Cristina De Middel, President, 2022–


Magnum Magnum. 2023. 

The first publication of Ernest Cole’s photographs depicting Black lives in the United States during the turbulent and eventful late 1960s and early 1970s. After the publication of his landmark 1967 book House of Bondage on the horrors of apartheid, Ernest Cole moved to New York and received a grant from the Ford Foundation to document Black communities in cities and rural areas of the United States. He released very few images from this body of work while he was alive. Thought to be lost entirely, the negatives of Cole’s American pictures resurfaced in Sweden in 2017. Ernest Cole photographed extensively in New York City, documenting the lively community of Harlem, including a thrilling series of color photographs, as he turned his talent to street photography across Manhattan. In 1968 Cole traveled to Chicago, Cleveland, Memphis, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, as well as rural areas of the South, capturing the mood of different Black communities in the months leading up to and just after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The pictures both reflect a newfound hope and freedom that Cole felt in America, and an incisive eye for inequality as he became increasingly disillusioned by the systemic racism he witnessed. This treasure trove of rediscovered work provides an important window into American society and redefines Cole’s oeuvre, presenting a fuller picture of the life and work of a man who fled South Africa and exposed life under apartheid to the world.

Aperture, 2023
Number of pages: 304
Number of images: 275
Publication date: 2024-01-16
Measurements: 8.4 x 11.5 inches
ISBN: 9781597115346


Ernest Cole: The True America 

On Assignment for The New York Times Style Magazine, William Keo traveled to Najaf and Karbala in Iraq during the annual period of mourning around Ashura, which commemorates the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein in 680 AD. The Shiite outpourings of passion during Ashura and Arbaeen — the commemoration of Hussein’s martyrdom that occurs 40 days later and entails a 50-mile walk from Najaf to Karbala — were banned under the rule of Saddam Hussein.
This year, the Arbaeen welcome as many as 25 million people, making it the largest annual pilgrimage in the world.


Ashura in Iraq 

The global Palestinian diaspora has surpassed six million individuals, with Jordan hosting the largest population of over 2.3 million registered refugees. Despite some obtaining citizenship, many reside in UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) refugee camps. Originally established after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the Nakba, during which 700,000 Arabs were expelled, these camps have evolved over time and transformed into cities. The 1967 Arab-Israeli war prompted another wave of Palestinian displacement, and in 1988, Jordan surrendered its claim to the West Bank, impacting the citizenship status of its inhabitants.

On assignment for the New York Times, Moises Saman explored these camps, meeting with families who had fled the war, leaving their homeland behind.


Palestinians in Jordan 

As 2023 draws to a close, we look back at a busy year for Magnum photographers. This month, they were asked to reflect on the new work made over the past 12 months and submit several of their best, or favorite, images. From the submissions received, Magnum president Cristina de Middel has now curated a unique selection to represent the year to date, featuring commissions from across the four corners of the globe as well as images from new and existing personal projects.


Photographers' Best from 2023 

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