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Magnum Workshop in Rome
July 31, 2012
by Magnum Photographers
The Magnum Workshop in Rome is a four day practice focused photography workshop led by three experienced Magnum photographers; Richard Kalvar, Moises Saman and Peter Van Agtmael. Each photographer will guide intimate groups of 12 participants who will have the opportunity to shoot, polish and publish their work under the guidance of these experienced practitioners.
The Magnum Workshops in Rome is a headlining event of Fotografia, the Festival Internazionale di Roma XI edition:
Aimed at photographers with a good understanding of photographic practice, each Magnum photographer will lead their groups through a daily program of shooting, reviews, group critiques, mentoring, editing sessions and the opportunity to learn amongst peers. Candidates will spend the five days alongside their selected photographer developing visual language, photographic identity, practical, technical and conceptual skills and the expertise required to compete in a changing marketplace.
Participants will be asked to approach a photographic story in Rome or the surrounding area, in some cases relating to previous photographic work or interests and in others providing an opportunity to work under a new discipline. Workshops will be held in English and each class will be assigned an assistant who will facilitate the workshop and guide students with technical or logistical questions and orientate students with the local area.
The workshop will culminate in a public projection of student’s work at the MACRO Testaccio Meeting Room – Contemporary Art Museum of Rome.
Candidates will be provided with free Fotografia festival passes as part of the workshop, and be actively encouraged to participate in the diverse schedule of the festival events. Forming part of this extensive programming, each Magnum photographer will introduce their work & career histories through audiovisual presentations. For information about the activities during Fotografia, visit
Moises Saman (Spanish/American)
Moises Saman was born in Lima, Peru and spent most of his youth in Spain. It was during his last year in the United States at California State University that Moises first became interested in becoming a photographer, influenced by the work of a number of photojournalists that had been covering the wars in the Balkans.
Moises interned at several small newspapers in California, and after graduating from university he moved to New York City to complete a summer internship at New York Newsday newspaper. That fall, upon completion of the internship, Moises spent a month travelling in Kosovo photographing the immediate aftermath of the last Balkan war.
In 2000 Moises joined Newsday as a Staff Photographer, a position he held until 2007. During his 7 years at Newsday Moises' work focused on covering the fallout of the 9/11 attacks, spending most of his time travelling between Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries. In the fall of 2007 Moises left Newsday to become a freelance photographer represented by Panos Pictures. During that time he becomes a regular contributor for The New York Times, Human Rights Watch, Newsweek, and TIME Magazine, among other international publications.
Over the years Moises' work has received awards from the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year and the Overseas Press Club and his photographs have been shown in a several exhibitions worldwide.
In 2010 Moises was invited to join Magnum Photos as a Nominee and an associate in 2012. He now lives between Cairo and New York City.
Richard Kalvar (American)
After studying literature at Cornell University, Richard Kalvar worked in New York as an assistant to fashion photographer Jerôme Ducrot. It was the extended trip with a camera in
Europe in 1966 that made him decide to become a photographer. Kalvar moved from New York to Paris where he joined Vu photo agency. He then co-found the Viva agency in 1972, and five years later became a Member of Magnum Photos. He has subsequently served as vice-president and president.
Kalvar has done an extensive personal work in America, Europe and Asia, notably in France, Italy England, Japan and the United States, supporting himself with journalistic and commercial assignments. He has a long-term unfinished project in Rome.
In 1980 Kalvar had a one-man show at Agathe Gaillard gallery in Paris, and has participated in many group shows. A major retrospective of his work was shown at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in 2007, accompanied by his book Earhlings.
Kalvar’s photographs are marked by a strong homogeneity of aesthetic and theme. His images frequently play on a discrepancy between the banality of a real situation and a feeling of strangeness that emerges from a particular choice of timing and framing. The result is a state of tension between two levels of interpretation, attenuated by a touch of humour.
Peter Van Agtmael (American/Dutch)
Peter was born in Washington DC. He studied history at Yale, graduating with honors in 2003.
Since 2006 he has primarily covered the 9/11 Wars and their consequences, working extensively in Iraq, Afghanistan and the USA.
His work from night raids in Iraq won a World Press Photo Award and in 2011 he was won the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer.
In 2008 he helped organize the book and exhibition Battlespace, a retrospective of largely unseen work of 22 photographers covering Iraq and Afghanistan.
Peter became a Nominee at Magnum in 2008 and an associate in 2011.
Workshop participants should be able to show a good level of photographic aptitude. Candidates will be expected to arrive comfortable with their equipment and ready to photograph. Each workshop is limited to just 12 participants and photographers will be subject to online applications.
We recommend participants arrive with at least one realistic project idea they wish to develop during the workshop, and that preliminary research be conducted before the workshop begins. This should include contact liaison, access information and even early shooting – Please refer to your teacher’s specific requirements.
On the first day participants will have the opportunity to present their existing work and discuss project ideas. The workshop structure is self-directed and participants will be responsible for their own coordination and time management. Candidates are encouraged to be realistic about what is achievable in four days.
Due to the fast pace of the workshop, Magnum highly recommends that participants produce and edit their work digitally, using their own laptops. Individuals wishing to use film may do so, but at their own cost and during the time imposed. Lab services will be recommended.
650€ (does not include travel, accommodations or on the ground expenses). All fees must be paid within 7 days of acceptance or you will forfeit your space. Refund policies will be emailed with acceptance letter.
Please note: Magnum Photos reserves the right to cancel groups with less than 7 participants. Students will be given either a full refund or offered a place with an alternative photographer. In the event of a cancellation, students will be given at least 2 weeks advance notice. Magnum Photos reserves the right to change or alter the program advertised.
- If a participant decides to cancel for whatever reason, this must be confirmed in writing:
. Magnum Photos will reimburse all the registration costs except for €100 administrative fee, if the participant informs Magnum Photos of cancellation at least 3 weeks before the first day of the workshop. Beyond this time limit, Magnum Photos will charge the following:
. 50% of the cost if cancelled between 6 and 20 days before the workshop commences.
. 100% of the cost if cancelled less than 5 days before the workshop commences.
. All workshops that are commenced but not completed through the fault of either the contractor/or participant need to be paid in full.
- Magnum Photos is not responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case a workshop is cancelled. We recommend that you buy refundable air tickets and/or travel insurance.
Travel & Accommodation
Participants are expected to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation; a list of suitable accommodation options will be provided to successful candidates. International visitors can travel to Rome from most major terminals.
Please ensure you have the necessary travel documents & relevant visas in order to attend the event. Magnum Photos and Fotografia can provide letters of support where necessary.
Click here to apply
The first deadline for acceptance is September 16, and qualified applicants will be selected through a combination of the merit of their work and their personal statement, and the order of their application's receipt. All applications received after September 1st will be reviewed, space permitting.
For queries please contact: Marine Mérindol – firstname.lastname@example.org
MACRO Testaccio – Contemporary Art Museum of Rome
Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4