As photographic careers go, Jonas Bendiksen's has been pretty barnstorming. A member of the prestigious Magnum photo agency, awards, international solo shows, big clients such as National Geographic. Why on earth then would he choose to take a job at a lo
This month Magnum Photos releases Georgian Spring: A Magnum Journal, a group project for which ten photographers—Thomas Dworzak, Martine Franck, Mark Power, Alex Majoli, Martin Parr, Alec Soth, Jonas Bendiksen, Antoine D’Agata, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Paolo Pellegrin—traveled to the Eastern European country to document the contemporary culture and national identity. The book is curated and published by Chris Boot, a former Magnum director in London.
In 2005, I started work on The Places We Live, a project about urban poverty and slums. For three years, I visited dozens of families in four slums around the world.
The Places We Live was not a search for finding the absolute extremes of urban poverty—I wasn’t looking for the dirties spot, the poorest hovels or the most crime-ridden street corner. My task was to find how people normalize these dire situations. How they build dignity and daily lives in the midst of very challenging living conditions.
In Access to Life, eight Magnum photographers portray people in nine countries around the world before and four months after they began antiretroviral treatment for AIDS. Paolo Pellegrin in Mali, Alex Majoli in Russia, Larry Towell in Swaziland and South Africa, Jim Goldberg in India, Gilles Peress in Rwanda, Jonas Bendiksen in Haiti, Steve McCurry in Vietnam and Eli Reed in Peru
The second annual National Geographic magazine photography grant has been awarded to Jonas Bendiksen, a Magnum photographer who is working to document urban population growth.
The grant offers a documentary photographer $50,000 to work on a long-term project. Bendiksen proposed to document the population explosion in Chongqing, a city in western China that is considered the fastest growing metropolis in the world.
The Soviet collapse spawned 15 new countries that are now established members of the international community. However, economic, political and ethnic disparities also gave birth to a series of far less known unrecognized republics, national aspirations and legacies. Jonas Bendiksen, a Norwegian and Magnum’s youngest photographer, started his “multi-year project about states that do not actually exist”. “Satellites” is a photographic journey through the scattered enclaves, unrecognized mini-states, and other isolated communities that straddle the southern borderlands of the former USSR. The itinerary goes through places such as Transdniester, a breakaway republic in Eastern Europe, Abkhazia, an unrecognized country on the Black Sea, the religiously conservative Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, the spacecraft crash zones between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Jewish Autonomous Region of Far Eastern Russia.