Matt Black’s ongoing project The Geography of Poverty, looks at designated “poverty areas” — with poverty rates of above 20 per cent as defined by the US census—and examines the conditions of powerlessness, prejudice, and pragmatism among America’s poor. Having travelled 100,000 miles across 46 American states—and Puerto Rico—he has found that, rather than being anomalies, these communities are woven into the fabric of the country, as much a reality as the so-called American Dream.
This year the organization is considering a record number of new Magnum associates to potentially join their ranks: Matt Black, Carolyn Drake, Sohrab Hura, Lorenzo Meloni, Max Pinckers and Newsha Travakolian. To celebrate the history-making occasion Milk Gallery is currently hosting, Magnum Photos: New Blood, an exhibition that highlights the diverse points of view of each of these photographers.
In the tradition of W. Eugene Smith, the winners of this year’s prizes have devoted themselves to documenting poverty in the United States, sexual assault in the military and the crisis of a failed state.
Photographer Matt Black has been awarded the 2015 W. Eugene Smith grant for his long-term documentary project The Geography of Poverty. Black started the project nearly two decades ago in California's Central Valley, where he grew up, and in 2014 set out on a cross-country trek to document poverty across America. He utilized Instagram to publish the work during his 18,000 mile road trip.
From film-inspired Max Pinckers to war reporter Lorenzo Meloni, from Newsha Tavakolian’s insider’s view to the conceptual work of Richard Moose, from the lyrical Carolyn Drake to the classic approach of Matt Black, the six Magnum nominees for 2015 cover the full range of current documentary trends
Michael Christopher Brown has been made an Associate Member
Carolyn Drake has been made a Magnum Nominee
Matt Black has been made a Magnum Nominee
Newsha Tavakolian has been made a Magnum Nominee
Max Pinckers has been made a Magnum Nominee
Richard Mosse has been made a Magnum Nominee
Lorenzo Meloni has been made a Magnum Nominee
For PDN’s January 2015 print edition, we spoke with photographer Matt Black about the photo essay he made for The New Yorker about the drought in California’s Central Valley. Black, who lives in Exeter, California, has been documenting the valley—which pr
history keeps repeating its schemes of social consequences. The Cloud People are the latest wave of working immigration, one that can’t go back to Mexico to harvest their own fields after the picking season in California because crossing the border now costs 4,000 $; one that make less money because the time when unions defended the workers’ rights is over; one that have to struggle to find a job because the environment has been so upset by a counter-nature agriculture that it leaves some fields empty and dust-dry and rips off roofs. It’s an entire set of values that is in question in this ongoing work. Matt Black calls it reporting. I call it engagement