Seventy years after the agency’s creation, Magnum photographers remain as committed to capturing the range of human experience, often transcending boundaries of language and culture in their attempts to visually transcribe their “curiosity about what is going on in the world” — in the words of co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Magnum President Thomas Dworzak made the final edit for the 2017 photographers’ choice Pictures of the Year, which serves as a reminder of the diverse sensibilities that make up the cooperative today. Magnum’s chronicling of the world has always been defined by its distinctive blend of reporting and artistry. In 2017, some photographers have selected images that capture world events — from Donald Trump’s inauguration as president to the Grenfell Tower fire in London — while others have chosen more intimate moments, like self-portraits or photographs of family members. Others still have opted for the lyrical or timeless. In an image-saturated world, Magnum’s focus on photographer authorship means that the Pictures of the Year selection offers an alternative reflection on the past twelve months, one that brings together photojournalism and photographic art.
Speaking about Magnum’s coverage of the past year, Dworzak commented: “When reviewing the Picture of the Year finals sent in by my Magnum colleagues I was thrilled to see at what width, in the year of our 70th anniversary, they have continued to document this messy and confusing world of ours. From a gloomy Trump inauguration party to North Korea, the fall of Mosul to the fleeing of the Rohingya, alienated family members, social issues, migration, the environment….and not least the money tucked away for what one could imagine to be an uncertain future.”
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