Susan Meiselas & Magnum Foundation | VICE | United States

From the 2015 VICE Photo Issue:

We are living in a transforming media industry that today offers fewer resources and funding opportunities to support in-depth documentation of pressing issues with creative vision, as it did in previous decades.

In 2007, members of the Magnum Photos collective came together to confront and embrace the challenges of this shifting paradigm. We created Magnum Foundation, which offers seed support, intensive mentorship, distribution guidance, and avenues for collaboration through various grants and fellowships. Through our programs, we are building a network of support for the global documentary community.

The best articulation of what Magnum Foundation stands for can be found as you pour over these pages. You will find the work of one of our first grantees, Shehab Uddin, alongside that of one of our most recent fellows, Pedro Silveira. From the streets of India and Brazil, their regional voices provide us with an insider’s perspective on issues of global relevance. Tanya Habjouqa, who received support for her work in Palestine, now mentors young grantees from across the Arab region. Pete Pin has expanded his documentary project as a fellow years ago into a growing collaboration with the Cambodian diaspora and rising generation of Cambodian-Americans. It is within this nexus of support and sustained engagement that these stories emerge as striking counterpoints to dominant narratives.

The legacy of Magnum Photos, which was created by and for photographers to sustain independent work and artistic excellence, is a beacon within the field of documentary practice. As photographers today take on the roles of collectors and collaborators, Magnum Foundation seeks to support emergent forms of documentary storytelling.

We thank the photographers in this issue—and beyond—who are provoking curiosity, acknowledging those who have gone unseen, and providing us access to today’s complex cultural landscapes. It is through these authored experiences that we are all urged to keep critical eyes on the world.


Simone Salvo