A new exhibition explores the role of the professional war photographer in a world where conflict is increasingly documented through social media.
© Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos
Featuring the work of 11 Magnum photographers, the Failing Leviathan: Magnum Photographers and Civil War exhibition aims to trace the way civil war and its photographic depiction have ‘co-evolved’.
The show runs at the National Civil War Centre in Newark, Nottinghamshire, until 5 November.
Images range from Robert Capa’s coverage of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 to Thomas Dworzak’s Magnum Instagram Scrapbooks, covering recent troubles in Ukraine.
Organisers say the exhibition ‘examines the connection between failing states and the weakened news media, which are part of the same political and economic ecology, and photography’s role within this’.
Exhibition curator Julian Stallabrass asks: ‘As social media arise to complement or even replace the old, centralised institutions of the media, what role for the professional photojournalist, skilled weaver of tales in finely composed images?’
The gallery added: ‘The overarching theme of the exhibition, uniting the images from disparate conflicts, is the ways in which civil wars and photojournalism have changed in tandem.
‘The exhibition further explores the subjects of siege and occupation, exemplary violence, old and new media, and routes to peace through the juxtaposition of photographs from different conflicts and ages.
‘The exhibition title is drawn from philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ work Leviathan, the famous cover illustration of which by Abraham Bosse shows a giant as an organism composed of many people.’
LIBYA. March 9, 2011. A Qaddafi supporter holds a portrait of the Libyan leader as fireworks go up in the background on a soccer field in a suburb of Zawiyah where government minders took a group of foreign journalists to attend a staged celebration
© Moises Saman/Magnum Photos