We’re back after a long COVID hiatus. We’re kicking off a new season with Benjamin Chesterton, @duckrabbitblog on Twitter, and his open letter to Magnum concerning years of photographing child abuse and other controversies surrounding the iconic photo agency. Trigger Warning: sexual assault, child abuse. This is a harrowing episode. Read his letter to Magnum here. The Statement with over 600 signatures calling on Magnum Photos to demonstrate accountability can be read here.
Since our episode went live, Magnum has released a statement about their archives, “We recognize that we made mistakes and we are deeply sorry for these. In making sensitive work openly available on the internet we haven’t shown enough care for the vulnerable people in the images, and in failing to give the right context to images, we have in some instances misrepresented photographers’ work. Not only has this caused offence to members of the public, it may also have had implications for some of the people shown in the images.” read the rest of the letter here.
Part one of our conversation on shooting war and conflict. Lauren Walsh, an expert on conflict photography, is a professor and writer. She teaches at The New School and New York University, where she is the director of the Gallatin Photojournalism Lab. She is also the director of Lost Rolls America, a national public archive of photography and memory.
Walsh’s newest book, Conversations on Conflict Photography (2019), examines the value of documenting war and humanitarian crisis in the contemporary moment. She is the editor/co-editor of three other books on photography: Macondo, a photo book documenting the long-term conflict in Colombia; Millennium Villages Project, a photography book on efforts to relieve extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa; and The Future of Text and Image, with collected essays on visual culture and literary studies. She has also published widely in academic and mainstream media. Walsh is currently co-directing Biography of a Photo, a documentary film about two iconic images of conflict, and her research concentrates on questions of visual media and ethics. She holds a PhD from Columbia University and has been distinguished with NYU’s Excellence in Teaching award.
From Vietnam to iPhones, David Hume Kennerly has been a photographer on the front lines of history for fifty years. At 25 he was one of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. Kennerly’s 1972 award for Feature Photography included images of the Ali v. Frazier World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden, the Vietnam and Cambodia wars, and refugees escaping from East Pakistan into India. Two years later Kennerly was appointed President Gerald R. Ford’s chief White House photographer. His book, Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford, is a masterpiece in presidential photography.