Jérôme Sessini initially found documentary photography through books and photographing people around his hometown in eastern France. He won his spurs out of digging below the news to capture scenes that are representative of wider issues. Ever since he started photographing conflicts, his lens always seemed to spin toward people and their relationship with their environment.
From the rubble-covered streets of Aleppo to the barricades of Kiev, Jérôme Sessini has covered many of the major conflicts of the last decades: The Iraq war (2003 to 2008), fall of Haitian president Aristide (2004); seizure of Mogadishu by Islamic militias and the war in Lebanon (2006), wars in Libya (2011) and Syria (2012-2013); as well as the Ukrainian crisis.
After fifteen years at the heart of current affairs he slowly took distance from the event to focus on its context and issues, developing a photographic signature heading towards long-term projects and introspective stories.
In 2008, he photographed the impact of violence resulting from drug cartels war in Mexico, the project received a number of awards and was published in the book “The Wrong Side” (Contrasto, 2012).
In 2018, he began a long term project on the opioid crisis in America where he tries to understand the landscapes and context shaping one of the greatest crisis the country has ever known. This ongoing work was already awarded the Pierre & Alexandre Boulat Grant.
Jérôme Sessini joined Magnum Photos in 2012 and became a full member in 2016. His work has been widely acknowledged. It is published by the most prestigious newspapers and magazines from Time Magazine to De Standaart and exhibited in many festivals and museums such as Les Rencontres d’Arles or the Barbican Museum in London, and ICP in New York.
2010 F AWARD - Fondazione FORMA
2011 Getty Grant Award for the Wrong Side
2013 World Press Photo: Aleppo: 1st prize for multimedia category short online
2014 World Press Photo: Final fight for Maidan: 2nd Prize Story Spot News
2014 World Press Photo: Ukraine, Crime without Punishment: 1st Prize Story Spot News
2014 Olivier Rebbot Award for Ukraine, Crime without Punishment
2015 American Society of Magazine editors, Crime without Punishment
2018 Pierre & Alexandre Boulat grant for his ongoing work in the US
2012 Fondazione FORMA per la Fotografia, Milan: The Wrong Side
2013 Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Mannheim: Odyssey Europe
2013 Magnum Gallery Paris: Opening Night
2013 Barbican Museum London: Theatre of WAR
2013 Paris Photo: Cuba
2014 Paris Photo: Ukraine
2015 Camera, Centro per la fotografia.Torino Leica Store: Inner Disorder
2016 Musée de l’Arsenal Metz, France
2016 Medphoto Festival. Greece
2017 Paris Metro Magnum Exhibition
2017 ICP New York. Magnum Manifesto curated by Clement Cheroux
2019 Les rencontres d’ARLES. Walls of Power