Presenting the Winners, Finalists & Jurors’ Picks
We are very pleased to announce the 41 outstanding photographers who have been selected as recipients of the 2nd annual Magnum Photography Awards! Our jury—consisting of Magnum photographers, world-renowned curators, and experts from organizations like National Geographic and Aperture—aimed to recognize a cross-section of the most accomplished image-makers working today. We feel honored to share such a wide range of inspiring, international discoveries; the chosen group represents some of the most talented practitioners in contemporary photography.
All 41 photographers’ work will be shown at a digital exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery in London later this year. In addition, the 12 winners will receive $27,000 in cash awards as well as vouchers to participate in a Magnum photographer’s workshop somewhere in the world.
These photographers—who come from 24 countries on 5 continents—present us with a remarkable array of subject matter, stylistic approaches and personal visions. Below, immerse yourself in a sweeping selection of work: hard-hitting photojournalism, in-depth documentary, intimate portraits, challenging conceptual projects, gritty street photography, celebrations of nature and humanity, and other compelling images from across our world. Each of these projects, whether a single picture or an extended series, harnesses the power of photography to inform and inspire, stimulating a sense of outrage or activism, wonder and hope.
We encourage you to dig deep and look carefully at each of these award winners—all of these projects (and their subjects) are worthy of our time and attention. Enjoy!
I was very impressed by the series entries—there was so much great work to choose from, it was often quite challenging to pick. I thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to many new photographers and working with a stellar group of judges. A wonderful experience!
It can be overwhelming to navigate the sea of images we all live in. But through the process of judging the Magnum Photography Awards, I came to admire the beauty of this oceanic vastness while also discovering some rare, photographic gems.
I was surprised to find such a high level of innovation and creativity within the various categories of entries for the Magnum Photography Awards. It was personally a pleasant experience for me—and for curators working in contemporary visual culture, it is a treasure trove.
Alec Soth’s work is rooted in the distinctly American tradition of “on-the-road photography” developed by Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Stephen Shore. From Huckleberry Finn to Easy Rider there seems to be a uniquely American desire to travel and chronicle the adventures that consequently ensue. Soth has received fellowships from the McKnight, Bush, and Jerome Foundations and was the recipient of the 2003 Santa Fe Prize for Photography. His photographs are represented in major public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Walker Art Center. His work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial and a career survey at the Jeu de Paume in 2008.
Lesley A. Martin is creative director at the Aperture Foundation and publisher of The PhotoBook Review. She has edited numerous photobooks, including Takashi Homma’s Tokyo (2008), Rinko Kawauchi’s Illuminance (2011), LaToya Ruby Frazier’s The Notion of Family (2013), and recent books by Richard Misrach and Gregory Crewdson. In addition to her work on The Chinese Photobook, she was a contributing editor to Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s and The Latin American Photobook; in 2012, she cofounded the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards.
She has curated exhibitions that have traveled both nationally and internationally, including The Ubiquitous Image (2008); Aperture Remix (2012), a commission-based exhibition celebrating Aperture’s sixtieth anniversary; and Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs (2016). Her writing on photography has been published in Aperture, FOAM, Ojo de Pez, and Lay Flat among other publications. She currently teaches a graduate course on the photobook at the Yale University School of Art. Martin lives and works in New York City.
Susan Meiselas was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1948. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in visual education from Harvard University.
Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America. Meiselas has had one-woman exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and her work is included in collections around the world. She has received the Robert Capa Gold Medal for her work in Nicaragua (1979); the Leica Award for Excellence (1982); the Engelhard Award from the Institute of Contemporary Art (1985); the Hasselblad Foundation Photography prize (1994); the Cornell Capa Infinity Award (2005) and most recently was awarded the Harvard Arts Medal (2011). In 1992, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.
Sarah Leen is the Director of Photography for the National Geographic Magazine and Partners. For nearly 20 years she worked as a freelance photographer for National Geographic until she joined the staff as a senior photo editor in 2004. Leen supervises all visual content creation and photography staff for the magazine as well as NG Traveler, the natgeo.com website and the @natgeo photography social media sites.
Leen graduated with a BA in Fine Arts in 1974 from the University of Missouri, Columbia and continued with graduate studies at the Missouri School of Journalism. Leen was the College Photographer of the Year in 1979 and worked as a staff photographer for both the Topeka Capital Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer until 1988. She published 16 stories and had five covers in National Geographic as a photographer. In 2010, Leen curated the National Geographic’s exhibit Water is Life at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles and in 2013 curated The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years at the Annenberg Space.
Leen has won numerous awards for her photography in both the Pictures of the Year (POYi) and the World Press Photo competitions. In 2007 and 2008 she won first place Magazine Picture Editing Portfolio from POYi and second place in 2011. Her team of photo editors has twice won the Angus McDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award from POYi.
Azu Nwagbogu is the founder and director of the African Artists’ Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2007 and based in Lagos, Nigeria that is dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African arts and artists. Nwagbogu also founded the National Art Competition in 2008, an annual arts competition in Nigeria; the Lagos Photo Festival, an annual international photography festival; and Art Base Africa, a new virtual space to discover and learn about contemporary African Art and diaspora. He owns a diverse collection of modern contemporary art and has curated private collections in Africa for the past 20 years.
He was a juror for the Dutch Doc and the POPCAP Photography Awards, World Press Photo, Prisma Photography Award (2015) and Greenpeace Photo Award (2016). He was nominated as curator for the Prix Découverte Rencontres d’Arles (2014) as well as Photoquai (2015) and Photolux Festival (2015). He curated “Dey Your Lane! Lagos Variations” for the Bozar Museum in Brussels and “Tear My Bra” for Les Rencontres d’Arles 2016. Azu Nwagbogu lives and works in Lagos.
Born in the UK but of Welsh descent, David Hurn is a self-taught photographer who began his career in 1955 as an assistant at the Reflex Agency. Whilst a freelance photographer, he gained his early reputation with his reportage of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
Hurn eventually turned away from coverage of current affairs, preferring to take a more personal approach to photography. He became an associate member of Magnum in 1965 and a full member in 1967. In 1973, he set up the highly respected School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales. He resigned in 1989. He has since been in constant demand to lecture and conduct workshops around the world. In 1997 he collaborated on a very successful textbook with Professor Bill Jay, On Being a Photographer—since then the book has never been out of print.
David Hurn has a longstanding international reputation as one of Britain’s most influential reportage photographers. His prints are acquired by many leading collectors and museums. He continues to live in, and work from, his home in Tintern, Wales.
Yumi Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher, consultant, educator and publisher who focuses on the development of cultural exchanges that transcend borders.
She collaborates with local and international artists who live and work in areas affected by conflict, natural disasters, current social problems, human rights abuses and women’s issues. She often works with human rights advocates, international and local NGOs, and humanitarian organizations as well as being involved as a nominator and juror for international photographic organizations, festivals and events.
She is now based in Tokyo and is also a co-founder and curator for the Reminders Photography Stronghold, which is a curated membership gallery space in Tokyo enabling a wide range of photographic activities.
Jim Casper is the editor-in-chief of LensCulture, one of the leading online destinations to discover contemporary photography from around the world. As an active member in the contemporary photography world, Casper organizes annual international photography events, travels around the world to meet with photographers and review their portfolios, curates art exhibitions, writes about photography and culture, lectures, conducts workshops, serves as an international juror and nominator for key awards, and is an advisor to arts and education organizations. He serves on the board of directors at SPE, the Society for Photographic Education, the world’s largest association of photography educators.