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BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Defining moments in history captured by Magnum photographers on film over the past 65 years are on display at the ‘Magnum 65’ exhibition, which opened in Katara yesterday.
From harrowing scenes from World War II and the Vietnam War and iconic portraits of Che Guevara and Sharbat Gula to racism in America and genocide in Rwanda, each photo represents the large body of work of Magnum photographers, whose aim was to not simply document history but tell a story.
“The exhibition was created in 2007 for a festival in France to celebrate our 60th year. The idea of the expo is each year would be represented by one picture which is either significant for that year or for that photographer,” Fiona Rogers, Cultural and Education Manager, Magnum Photos, told The Peninsula.
Rogers stressed it was essential for Magnum photographers to produce a huge amount of work on a project to tell a story, not simply represent something in a singular image. Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David Seymour, four photographers pursuing independence to witness world events and the protection of their authorship through copyright.
“Magnum Photos is an agency of photographers which employs business, not an agency that employs photographers,” explained David Hurn, a Magnum member with 60 years of experience as a photographer.
Hurn, along with fellow Magnum lensman Nikos Economopolous, is conducting an intensive five-day workshop on photography during the exhibition. The workshop, which concludes tomorrow, is practice-oriented and offered free to the public.
Over 100 photos are displayed chronologically at the exhibition, which also includes interactive large-scale projections of over 5,000 images from 81 photographers.
“This exhibition is another testimony to Katara’s ongoing commitment to portray the best of art and bridge the gap between different cultures. This is a great way to kick-start 2013, and we are delighted to collaborate with Magnum Photos to bring this exceptional exhibition to Doha,” said Dr Khalid Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara, in a statement.
The event is the start of a series of collaborations between Katara and Magnum Photos to train a new breed of photographers and promote photography as an art in the country. The exhibition is open to the public at Katara Gallery 1, Building 13, until February 12.