Turning Points: Life-Changing Moments by Magnum Photographers - Photographs and texts courtesy of Magnum Photos | LensCulture

From iconic images of major world events, to intimate moments of pleasure and delight — here is an outstanding selection of remarkable images from Magnum Photos — each with a personal story

Land, Loss and Rebirth in Standing Rock

Photos taken by Larry Towell at Standing Rock over a period of six months are being exhibited at the Visa Pour l’Image photo festival in Perpignan, France, this month.

PERPIGNAN, France — Larry Towell watched as the remains of the main protest campsite at Standing Rock, N.D., burned around him in February. The structures, many of them considered sacred by the Native Americans who began the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, had been set on fire so the authorities preparing to enter the encampment would not be the people who destroyed them.

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Growing up as a young Jewish boy In Iowa Jeff Jacobson was always drawn to uncovering an alternative history. “I was born in 1946, so I grew up in the ‘50s,” says Jacobson. “It was Eisenhower, it was McCarthy, and I knew that there was an alternative narrative that wasn’t being told, that was different from the official narrative. I remember as a kid I would go to the library and I would get biographies of Indian chiefs. I knew from a very young age that the Indians were not the bad guys. I was kind of the odd one out. I kind of would remove myself into the woodwork to watch. And it turned out to be great training to be a photographer.”

Picturing Afghanistan

The most powerful and long-lingering images in Larry Towell’s monumental new book, “Afghanistan,” are those in which the war is entirely invisible.

So it’s fitting that the photographer Larry Towell begins his monumental new book, “Afghanistan,” more or less where Ishmael’s “programme of Providence” left off: the endpapers of the book feature an etching that depicts a massive clash of horsemen in the high mountain passes of the Hindu Kush during the First Anglo-Afghan War

Towell from Kiev (and Canada): the Cream Rises to the Top - Updated - Reading The Pictures

this photo is jarring for the  woman in the fashionable jacket putting her hand to the shield -- as if pushing (or pushing back) with the strength of modernity.

I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about the world being too full of photos these days and how the glut threatens the cream from rising to the top. Well, looking at these photos from Kiev by Magnum’s Larry Towell, I don’t think there’s much risk of that. (Standing out, too, is how the home team CBC makes a big point of the fact he’s Canadian. Well, maybe that’s why the photos are so distinct.…)

A Postcard From Rochester

Last May, five Magnum photographers (Paolo Pellegrin, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Mikhael Subotzky and myself) and the writer Ginger Strand, set out from San Antonio, Texas in an RV named Uncle J…

Ten Magnum photographers will be working in Rochester. Two of these photographers have already gotten started. A couple weeks ago, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Jim Goldberg picked up Uncle Jackson in Oakland and began driving to Rochester. You can see some pictures from their trip here. On their way, Alessandra and Jim picked me up in Minnesota. Later today we’ll be joining Bruce Gilden, Susan Meiselas, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Larry Towell, Alex Webb, and Donovan Wylie in Rochester. For two weeks we’ll be living together and working together.

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Through five harrowing videos (three of which are shown here), Towell gives viewers a comprehensive look at life for citizens inside conflict-riddled Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the photographs from this project are on display for the first time in Larry Towell: Danger and Aftermath at the Museum London in Southwestern Ontario through April 1. “I wanted to look more at the social problems before I looked at what was going on militarily,” the photographer says. “The victims of the war weren’t just people who were wounded. They were the people living in the rural areas who were forced into the cities without means.”

Magnum Blog / Transcript of Larry Towell Interview on Twitter


Larry Towell twittering in the Magnum NY office. Photograph taken by Meagan Young

Check it out here.

Access to Life


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

Check it out here.

Magnum Blog / Larry Towell's Indecisive Moments Documentary

Initially Larry Towell wished to document the birth of a nation, following the Oslo-Agreement. Instead he ended up documenting what he would later refer to as “the World’s largest open-air prison”. In 2001 he was given a small video camera and began to maintain a video diary while working in Israel and Palastine. In his 40 minute documentary “Indecisive Moments” – which won the “Achievement in Filmmaking for a Documentary” award at the 2007 New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, also known as “the voice of indie film” – Larry Towell documents events and perspectives of those caught up in violence. The result is a highly personal documentary from the perspective of one of the world’s most acclaimed photojournalists. “Indecisive Moments” bridges the gap between artist and reporter bringing the viewer inside Towell’s highly stylized world.

Check it out here.

The World From My Front Porch – Larry Towell


A mid-career retrospective, this exhibition explores the issues of land and landlessness in two parts. The first section reveals Larry Towell’s family and their relationship to their land in Ontario. Most of the photographs in this section were taken within 100 yards of his front porch. The second section reviews Towell’s work over the past twenty years documenting the crisis of human landlessness throughout the world, from Central America to the Middle East. Writes Towell, “We must address these crises in order to achieve a more stable and peaceful world.”

Check it out here.

Living with AIDS: Peru, by Larry Towell

From Magnum Photos, part one of photographer Larry Towell’s Living With AIDS photo essay, this one in Peru. As always, Towell’s eye is sharp.