To celebrate its upcoming 70th anniversary, international agency Magnum Photos has challenged its members to submit photos responding to the theme of engagement being at the heart of documentary photography, with the resulting images available for the public to purchase, in print format, for a limited time only.
Available until the 4th of November, the roster of museum-quality 6×6″ prints are available for $100 each, and features big Magnum names such as Steve McCurry, Eve Arnold and Thomas Hoepker. Each print will be signed and stamped by their respective photographer or estate.
According to the agency, the Square Print Project was inspired by the work of co-founder David ‘Chim’ Seymour, as part of a series examining the impact that the four founding photographers of Magnum have had on photography since 1947. Seymour’s deeply empathetic approach to his work led him to capture the consequences to the Second World War across Europe.
‘We are only trying to tell a story. Let the 17th-century painters worry about the effects. We’ve got to tell it now, let the news in, show the hungry face, the broken land, anything so that those who are comfortable may be moved a little. – David ‘Chim’ Seymour
Magnum’s ‘Conditions of the Heart: On Empathy and Connection in photography’ square print sale runs from Monday 31 October 2016 at until Friday, 4 November 2016. You can see the full collection and purchase at shop.magnumphotos.com.
You can find some of our favourite shots and comments below:
“I was given a magazine assignment to photograph Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Knowing that singers and actors can occasionally be difficult, I anticipated problems. In fact, this was not at all the case. They were warm, friendly and generally terrific. I spent the whole day with them, and they were totally relaxed, obviously in a great relationship. They attempted in no way to direct or influence what I was shooting, which made my life very easy.” – Ian Berry
“In 1963 I was a young photographer working for Kristall, an illustrated magazine published in Hamburg, Germany. Two years earlier the East German government had erected the ominous Berlin Wall, which divided the two German States. Walking along the wall and the barbed wire, I noticed that children on the western side used the ugly edifice as a playground. They climbed up to take a peek of the other side or bounced their football against the bricks. At another point, I could see a soldier from the East German army, who held his Kalashnikov rifle on his shoulder while he played with his little boy.”
– Thomas Hoepker
“Sometimes they don’t tell stories, they simply speak as images. They express feeling, increase knowledge. Photographs can draw passion, beauty and understanding. And then there is love.” – Bruce Davidson
“Connection in photography can take many forms. While one typically thinks of the connection in photographing people one knows, there can also be a kind of intimacy with a place or a culture itself. As a street photographer, it is this latter connection that intrigues me. Over the years, I’ve learned that each culture demands its own unique and complicated approach—often with many nuanced variations—in order to photograph the life of its streets. For instance in Mumbai, people sometimes seem so interested in strangers, one may later discover smiling faces peering into the edges of one’s photographs. However, in a city such as Kochi in southern India where I took this photograph, one may also encounter unexpected quieter moments. Ultimately, no matter how gently and respectfully one tries to photograph in a culture other than one’s own, how long a street photographer can linger is largely thanks to the grace of others.” – Alex Webb