Bruno Barbey, born in Morocco, has dual citizenship, French, and Swiss. He studied photography and graphic arts at the École des Arts et Métiers in Vevey, Switzerland. In 1961-1964 he photographed the Italians, perceiving them as protagonists of a 'theatrical world,' with the aim of capturing the spirit of a nation. Bruno Barbey began his relationship with Magnum Photos in 1964. He served as Magnum vice president for Europe in 1978/1979 and as President of Magnum International from 1992 to 1995.
Over five decades Bruno Barbey has photographed in all five continents and covered wars and conflicts in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Kuwait. His work has appeared in the world's major magazines, and he has published over 30 books. In 1999 the Petit Palais, Paris, organized a large solo exhibition of photographs taken by Bruno Barbey in Morocco over a period of three decades. In 2015/2016, La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, showed his retrospective exhibition which is currently circulating internationally.
He published simultaneously his retrospective book “Passages.” He has received numerous awards for his work, including the French National Order of Merit. In 2016, Bruno Barbey was elected a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts, Institut de France. His photographs are exhibited worldwide and feature in numerous museum collections. Today he is working on a new project and photographing extensively in China.