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Magnum Workshop Toronto at CONTACT 2013
March 4, 2013
by Magnum Photographers
May 13-17, 2013 Workshop Days
May 18, 2013 Workshop Wrap Party and Screening

The Festival

The Magnum Workshop Toronto at CONTACT is a five day practice focused photography workshop led by three Magnum photographers each with a unique photographic style and vision and who represent the next generation of Magnum Photographers; Moises Saman, Zoe Strauss, and Peter van Agtmael. Each photographer will guide intimate groups of no more than 12 participants who will have the opportunity to shoot, polish and publish their work under the guidance of these experienced and renowned practitioners.

The Workshop

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. Each applicant will be able to choose the photographer that they would like to work with and all efforts will be made to accommodate each choice. Students 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 Toronto or the surrounding area. Upon acceptance, students will be emailed a welcome package with directives from their instructor as well as pertinent details about the workshop and information on traveling to, and working in, Toronto.

The workshop will culminate in a public screening of each student’s work at the prestigious Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto on May 18th, 2013.

Students will have the opportunity to attend the numerous exhibitions that form the CONTACT Photography Festival, the largest photography festival in the world. Forming part of this extensive programming, each Magnum photographer will introduce their work and career histories through audiovisual presentations in nightly lectures that are open to the public. Workshop students are given priority seating for each lecture.

Registration and acceptances are open until May 7th, 2013.

Once you submit your application, you will be notified within 7 business days of your status.

The Photographers:


Moises Saman was born in Lima, Peru, from a mixed Spanish and Peruvian family. At the age of 1 his family relocated to Barcelona, Spain, where Moises spent most of his youth. Moises studied Communications and Sociology in the United States at California State University, graduating in 1998. It was during his last year in 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 traveling 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 traveling 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 become 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.


Born in 1970 in Philadelphia and the first member of her immediate family to graduate from high school, Strauss was given a camera for her 30th birthday and started taking pictures of life in the city’s marginal neighborhoods. She is a photo-based installation artist who uses Philadelphia as a primary setting and subject for her work. Out in the streets, Strauss typically photographs whatever strikes her interest, paying particular attention to the overlooked (or purposefully avoided) details of life.

In 1995, she started the Philadelphia Public Art Project, a one-woman organization whose mission is to give the citizens of Philadelphia access to art in their everyday lives. Strauss now calls the Philadelphia Public Art Project an “epic narrative” of her own neighborhood. “When I started shooting, it was as if somewhere hidden in my head I had been waiting for this,” she says.

Between 2001 and 2011, Strauss’s photographic work culminated in a yearly “Under I-95” show which took place beneath the Interstate in South Philadelphia. She displayed her photographs on concrete pillars under the highway where she sold photocopied prints of her work for $5 each.

Strauss received a Seedling Award in photography from the Leeway Foundation in 2002, a Pew Fellowship in 2005, and in 2006 her work was included in the Whitney Biennial; she also mounted a solo exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. In 2007 Strauss was named a 2007 USA Gund Fellow and received a grant by United States Artists, an arts advocacy foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of America's top living artists.


Peter van Agtmael 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.

He has won the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the Lumix Freelens Award, as well as awards from World Press Photo, American Photography Annual, The Pulitzer Center, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and Photo District News.

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.

Tuition and Fees:

The Tuition for the Magnum Workshop Toronto and Contact is $1350 USD. This does not include any travel, accommodation or meals.

A non refundable deposit of $100 is required with your application.

Once you are accepted, you will be required to make full payment within 7 days in order to secure your spot. Refund policies will be emailed with acceptances.

For any questions please email


Application Form


Nikon is proud to support the Magnum Workshop Toronto at CONTACT 2013 with their generous donation of 3 tuition-only scholarships to Canadian university and college students who are studying photography. This scholarship is open to any Canadian students who are enrolled in school as of April 2013. Students will be selected via a combination of personal statement, portfolio, and letter recommendation. Students must provide proof of Canadian residency or citizenship, a professional letter of recommendation, and proof of at least half time enrollment in an accredited Canadian university or college. There is no application fee for this scholarship. All applications must be received by April 26th, 2013 11:59 pm. Please note that these are self managed applications. We will not be able to contact students if documents are missing. Please make sure you submit your application in full.
Due to overwhelming response, only the awarded students will be notified of their scholarship by May 1st, 2013.

Apply Now

For information about the many activities during CONTACT Festival of Photography, please visit